As we continued to tour and work our a**es off throughout Europe in the mid-to-late eighties, we continued to work our way onto many, many festivals and slowly but surely we worked our way up the bill as well.
One festival that everyone kept talking about was the Tegelen Blues-Rock Festival in the south of Holland. What interested us most about it was the fact that it was billed as a blues-rock festival. This was before Stevie Ray Vaughan’s breakthrough and Gary Moore decided to release a blues album. Prior to that we often found ourselves between a rock and a hard place. By that I mean we were often considered too ‘rocky’ for a blues festival and too ‘bluesy’ for a rock festival.
Rory headlined it several times and we were lucky enough to be in the neighbourhood in 1984 (one of the years he headlined). We made sure to be there… not only to catch his show but to check out this festival as well.
As you can see, it’s a fantastic location. Not too big and not too small. I think it seats 5000/7500 people.
Before we had booking agents in all the various countries we played throughout Europe, we booked ourselves wherever necessary. I had called Jan Smeets (Mr. Pinkpop) over the years only to be told each year… sorry, no room for Albatross this time. By the time 1991 came around we’d built up quite a name and following in Holland. We had an agent then too, but our contact with Jan was still personal so I called him as usual to see if he had place for us. That year he said the magic words – yes, I think it’s time for Albatross! We were thrilled to hear that news, especially as Walter (Trout) was headlining. We had played a ton of shows with Walter around that time, so it was great to have him headlining.
It was such a pleasure to finally stand on that stage and look out at the enthusiastic crowd responding to our music. It was a milestone gig and for many years afterwards we had people come up to us after shows to say they’d seen us at Tegelen.
I have nothing but the warmest of memories of that day!