Diary - August 2012
Lee Miller Exhibit
Berlin, 2 August-3 October, Galerie Hiltawksy, www.hiltawsky.com
Photographer Lee Miller had experience on both sides of the camera, first entering the world of photography as a model in New York. In 1929 she travelled to Paris to work with avant-garde photographer Man Ray after which she returned to New York in 1932 to set up her own studio.
Her first marriage took Miller to Egypt where she became fascinated with the desert. Her second, to Ronald Penrose, launched her into the world of Surrealism and she produced powerful portraits of artists such as Picasso. The whirlwind of Miller's life then collided with world events as war enveloped Europe and, in 1944, she became an embedded journalist with the US Army. She witnessed the liberation of Buchenwald and Dachau and billeted in Hitler's house in Munich. In co-operation with the Lee Miller Archives, this is a fascinating insight into Miller's work.
30% off b.light economy fares* Book 1-23 August; travel 24-27 August; promo code MTXLEXBT
Way Out West
Gothenburg, 9-11 August, www.wayoutwest.se
Held in Gothenburg's beautiful Slottskogen Park, this year's festival features Florence and the Machine and Blur, but the highlight will be the return of legendary Swedish punks, Refused - the influential band who split in 1998.
Lisbon Jazz Festival
3-12 August, www.musica.gulbenkian.pt
This year's annual jazz festival aims to explore 'the other side of jazz' through not only performances, but documentaries and a lecture on contemporary jazz by Brian Morton.
30% off b.light economy fares* Book 1-9 August; travel 10-13 August; promo code MLISJAZZ
Barcelona, 15-21 August, www.festamajordegracia.cat
Barcelona's Gràcia district is known for its laid-back bohemian atmosphere but in August each of its streets fervently competes to have the most impressive decorations.
30% off b.light economy fares* Book 1-16 August; travel 17-20 August; promo code MBCNFEST
Oslo, 7-11 August, www.oyafestivalen.com
Held in Oslo's Medieval Park, the site where the city was founded 1,000 years ago, this year's festival hosts Bjork and The Stone Roses. After the gigs are over, clubs around Oslo hold special events for ticket-holders that go on until late into the night.
Belgium is not renowned for its blues scene but this is something artist Guy Verlinde aka Lightnin' Guy is working hard (like only a blues guy can) to remedy. He talks music with Jenny McNeely
"Society nowadays is a lot different from life in the American south where the blues began, but we have the same triggers. We work hard every day, we want to have a drink, dance, be liberated. When you go to a concert and jump on the blues train it's a way of escaping from real life. I think it's better therapy than going to a psychiatrist.
People who hate the blues say 'it's always the same'. People who love the blues say 'it's always the same'. In blues you have a basic rhythm, over which you sing about things that happen to you, what you feel - it's all about the rhythm.
Blues has a lot to do with travel; hobos riding the trains searching for new adventures and a better future. In the 1960s, performers such as Eric Clapton and the Rolling Stones brought the blues to Europe. There's not much of a blues scene in Ghent where I live, and this is one of my big frustrations. In Belgium, the blues scene is more alive in small towns and villages you won't have heard of. If you want an authentic night out in Belgium go to a blues club or festival. This is what travelling is about - going to a bar, full of locals who have lots of stories to tell."
Lightnin' Guy gigs throughout August
12 Les Fêtes du 15 Aoüt, Liège
13 Hôtel 'Ol Fosse d'Outh, Houfalize
16 Naaldwijkse feesten, Naaldwijk
18 Drijf In Blues, Giethoorn
25 Roode Haan, Warfhuizen
31 Prinsenhof Feesten, Ghent
Where to board the blues train this month in Belgium
Gouvy Jazz & Blues Festival
3-5 August, www.gouvy.eu/madelonne
Since the 1960s this has been the most prestigious Jazz & Blues festival in Belgium, located in an old farm in the Ardennes.
4 August, www.oetslovenblues.be
A small blues festival in the east of Belgium in the middle of apple orchards.
17-19 August, www.swingwespelaar.be
The biggest free festival in Belgium takes place in the main square of the village of Wespelaar.
(Ge)Varenwinkel Blues Festival
24-25 August, www.gevarenwinkelfestival.be
A cosy blues festival in the centre of Belgium. All the profits from this festival go to charity.
Blues Clubs in Belgium
■ Banana Peel Blues Club Ruiselede, www.bananapeel.be
The most legendary blues club in Belgium. Top international artists have played here every Monday evening since 1966.
■ Crossroads Antwerp, www.crossroadscafe.be
The hangout of most Antwerp blues musicians. Live music every Sunday afternoon.
■ Le Grain d'Orge Brussels
The best jukebox joint in Brussels, live music every Friday evening.
■Spirit of 66 Verviers, www.spiritof66.be
Located in an old cinema with live music daily.
■ 't Goor Gooreind, www.goorblues.com
Small club, big vibes, blues on Sundays.