Having been down for four years, board members of Verdal Bluesklubb have set themselves the goal of rebuilding the club to “old heights”.
Since last fall, the club’s enthusiasts have arranged 5-6 concerts, with the concert with Hans Bollandsås 4th Christmas day as the highlight. There are some from 17 members today to 450 members that the club had in the 90s when it was one of Norway’s largest clubs, but the new enthusiasm in the Verdal promise well.
The club in Nord-Trøndelag has also previously had a period of little activity, so it is not the first time it goes in wave valleys.
- We will probably get it up this time too, one of the enthusiasts, Tor Åge Løvstad, could confirm when Bluesnews visited the club’s event on 18 May. During the evening concert with the band Blue Aspic, Bluesnews’ employee witnessed that 15-20 people contacted to join the club, so the interest in the club is present. We also witnessed that the enthusiasts who have started concerts again got a lot of praise and many support statements, which gives the initiators inspiration. Now, an election committee is in the process of finding members for a full board.
The plan is to arrange a 6-8 concerts a year in the first instance, and to work on financing the purchase of their own PA facility.
Bluesklubben has entered into an agreement with the restaurant Ørens Meieri which indoors has a capacity of approximately 350 people spread over two floors. The premises are in a rustic style, and the place has a nice service and a dedicated manager in Bjørn Ulseth. In addition, Ørens Meieri has a new large, beautiful outdoor scene. One of the most beautiful outdoor scenes they had played on, the members of the band Blue Aspic could tell Bluesnews’ broadcasters.
The Bluesklubben also has a good cooperation with the center management at Amfi Verdal which is next door to Ørens. They participated and sponsored the two concerts that Blue Aspic had during the day on Saturday, May 18, which otherwise drew around 90 and 65 people, respectively. Amfi Verdal will in the future also support local music events, regardless of style, we learned.
Blue Aspic had a busy Saturday and played his third concert at 22. The band has long been one of the most popular blues bands with blowers in Trøndelag, and has been widely used as a backing band for larger foreign artists at festivals and concerts.
The evening’s second feature, Hazard, a local blues rock / rock coverband, played from 23:30 until 1:00. The band has been around since the 1990s with changing crew. Today’s crew has been running since last fall, and consists of experienced musicians. It must be said that hiring these guys is not ‘hazard’, they play 80s inspired music from artists such as Koko Taylor, Bonamassa, Walter Trout and Deep Purple. This evening they played a lot of blues in honor of the club.
In the evening concert, there were over 170 in, so one must say it was a successful day for the club.
On Sunday, Bluesnews took a little chat with the enthusiast Tor Åge Løvstad, about the club’s future plans and hopes.
- There is much new to be learned and experienced in the operation of a club. One has to create routines, applications must be sent and contacts must be established. But that is no problem for a gentle trustee, says Tor Åge smiling.
He says that the other blues clubs in Trøndelag will be contacted to get a collaboration on booking artists for eg. to be able to allocate travel expenses on several concerts.
- Previously, the club has arranged joint trips to the festival in Østersund, and it can be one thing to take up again as a social happening. But the greatest desire is to spread the blues among the youth and engage them so that the interest in blues music will grow and continue.
Thanks to the enthusiasts of Verdal bluesklubb, Tor Åge Løvstad, Morten Normann and Jorun Løvstad, and to Bjørn Ulseth who runs the club Ørens Meieri. Thank you for a nice weekend and for the blues.
We now see signs of giving more places with many young blues musicians and starting up new blues clubs – it promises good!