BUMA ROCKS! @ ESNS 2016

Buma ROCKS! @ Eurosonic Noorderslag 2016
Eurosonic Noorderslag is over, so 2016 has officially started!


During the Conference days (13-16 January) in the Oosterpoort in Groningen Buma ROCKS! sponsored the traditional table football competition. Sportive and comic relief for all delegates in a true mini stadium setting! Besides that, Buma ROCKS! mixed some serious heavy entertainment with business and networking on Friday and Saturday.

There were no doubts that LOUD & PROUD was going to be a nice little party. Just figure: a heavy rock line-up at the start of Eurosonic Friday night, before the whole town of Groningen starts to ooze music, with three great bands, in intimate and classy club Lola that hosts 150 people at most, with some beers & bitterballen: of course there was a queue all down the block when doors opened at 5 pm!

Buma ROCKS! aims to promote Dutch heavy rock music, and what better way than by offering three of the best upcoming acts from the Netherlands to the music business present at Eurosonic Noorderslag? John Coffey, Mandrake's Monster and The Charm The Fury have all in some way or another started making waves outside of the Netherlands. And their gigs at Lola proved that these are three hungry bands.

John Coffey had just returned from the US where they recorded an EP with Kurt Ballou. Jet-lagged maybe, and with another gig later that night on the big stage at Grote Markt city square, none of the band members showed a sign of either tiredness or nerves. John Coffey simply delivered with a frenzy, and surprisingly singer David left Lola's chandeliers alone.
Mandrake's Monster emphasized the melody and groove in their songs. They had the guts to play a ballad dedicated to Lemmy and David Bowie and incorporate a short drumsolo in the high-energy rocker that closed their set.
With a new album scheduled for release in autumn, The Charm The Fury gave the audience all the up-tempo madness and heavy-duty breakdowns that frontwoman Caroline and her men are known for, thus rounding up the three-hour LOUD & PROUD.
So yes, the goods were delivered and yes, you should have been there...

At the opening of next day's conference, Buma ROCKS! presented the Heavy Panel. It would have been no surprise if few people had attended (Eurosonic nights are long, and there were some great heavy acts to be savoured, i.e. Luxemburg's Scarred performing at the Vera), but the turnout was great. Both panellists and delegates participated in the exchange of ideas about the diminishing amount of heavy music on Dutch radio - and on radio in general, for that matter. Wilbert Mutsaers, station manager of NPO 3FM, NPO Radio 6 Soul & Jazz and FunX up until January, Studio Brussels hardrock-DJ Pete Da Bomber, Metal Mike, the big man behind metal magazine Aardschok and the internet radio channel of the same name, and last but not least Daniel Regan, manager of female-fronted metal band Epica, all believed that heavy music still needs radio time, just like all other sub-genres. A true metal-aficionado seems to be missing in the 3FM DJ-line-up, that's one thing, but after a one-hour debate there was no consensus on the right approach of the genre either. Heavy music vs. Radio is food for thought, that's for sure, and therefore a subject that Buma ROCKS! will be addressing in the future as well.