May 4th is Remembrance Day, commemorating fallen soldiers and civilians since WWII. May 5th is Liberation Day (Bevrijdingsdag) celebrating freedom from German occupation. On the 4th ceremonies take place all over the country. On the 5th it’s party time. Haarlem is famous for “Bevrijdingspop” (Liberation Pop), a free music festival that takes place all day.
On the 4th we went to North End music store where Dry the River played a set. This is an English band that’s touring at the moment. I took a video of one of their songs, which you can see here. Here are a couple of photos.
Their music is folky and easy and their harmonies are fantastic. Maybe the style gets a little monotonous but that could also be because it was completely unplugged. Maybe they do more with a larger venue. No matter. It’s great to see bands playing in a record store – up close and personal!
On the 5th we headed to Bevrijdingspop. The weather was luckily dry, but cloudy and cold. Really. Cold. We didn’t stay as long as we had planned, mainly due to the cold and also because there weren’t many places to sit and hang out. In the cold. Here’s what we did see:
The main stage area – Spin Vis playing
The park area left of the main stage
The Juliper stage – Bombay Show Pig playing
Bombay Show Pig – amazing how much great sound can come from just two people
The worst hair all day – yes, he did that on purpose – it’s not the wind
The loveliest street in Haarlem – full of green and flowers