Review: Hans Theessink + Mark Koehorst at the Harbourside Club, Liverpool Marina – 26 Sep 2007

Posted on: Thursday, Oct 11, 2007

[Apologies for the lateness of this review – Lionel]

Theessink 001Koehorst 001

The first gig of the autumn season at the Harbourside Club offered two Dutch masters for the price of one. Mark Koehorst (above right), better known as the lead singer/guitarist of locally-based blues band Giles, opened the show with a sparkling acoustic set. A couple of slow and bluesy originals were separated by a fine delivery of “Stop Breaking Down” and followed by a fast-moving original, featuring some impressive fingering. The brief but highly entertaining set was concluded with “Dancing With Dolores”, the excellent title track of the latest Giles album and a terrific rendition of “Shake Your Hips”.

Hans Theessink headlined the event with two wonderful sets, combining spectacular guitar playing with deep mellow vocals, occasional rack harp and a constant flow of warm and humorous chat. His declared admiration for Big Bill Broonzy was underlined by his starting with “Key To The Highway” and a tribute in the form of “Big Bill’s Guitar”. There was a marvellous version of “St James Infirmary Blues”, which included an innovative diversion through “Greensleeves”, and some 12-string magic to accompany “Blind Willie” and “Bourgeois Blues”. Then there was “Slow Train”, the title track of Hans’s latest album – but it has to be said that the audience fell mightily short of the standard set by the Zimbabwean trio on the recorded version. The first set ended with a heartfelt composition written the day after the Katrina-induced devastation of New Orleans, with poignant echoes of “Little Liza Jane”.

The fabulous second set ranged widely across the blues spectrum with the swinging “Love Sweet Love”, the foot-tapping “Diddy Wah Diddy”, a slow blues and a belting rendition of Rufus Thomas’s “Walkin’ The Dog”. The set concluded with “Freight Train Blues” and a very different, but very enjoyable version of “Maybelline”, topped, as encores, by another helping of 12-string virtuosity on Mississippi John Hurt’s “Avalon, My Home Town” and the ever-popular “Statesboro Blues”.

It was yet another memorable evening at the Harbourside, with Mark Koehorst demonstrating his considerable talent as a solo artiste and Hans Theessink reinforcing what we already knew – that he is a world-class acoustic bluesman.

Lionel Ross
[photographs by Stuart F Steele]



October 11th, 2007 at 22:38
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Thanks Lionel – worth the wait. I really fancied Hans having heard him playing live and being interviewed on the radio. However work conspired to keep me away.