Southern Rock & Blues Kolín 2022: Review

It’s been one of the goals of our Kolín festival to provide a platform for blues, blues rock and Southern rock musicians to meet and, in a sense, confront their peers from other bands dealing in our beloved aforementioned genres.

Above all, however, the event is to be enjoyed by the large community of fans. In contrast to last year’s 10th anniversary festival focusing mostly on Southern rock, this year’s visitors were able to relish various forms of the blues. Skinny Molly was to have played the role of the event’s essential Southern rock outfit but, as the American band had cancelled their entire European tour, the hard rock SoundtrucK combo of Greece claimed that mantle instead.

Without a doubt, the festival found its brightest star in the Dutch Leif De Leeuw Band. The troupe got quite literally the entire Kolín audience up on their feet with both their original songs and covers (mostly by The Allman Brothers Band) performed in their own arrangements featuring moments of sweet surprise. They did all of this with professional technical ability, effortless ease, and the joy of a job well done. Just a blast!

A special treat preceded the band’s evening show when the two frontmen, Leif De Leeuw and Sem Jansen, had an impromptu afternoon warm-up session in the Kolín square.

Looking at the domestic performers, I’d like to highlight the show (only the second ever) by the full-rock lineup of the new Holeček & Marcel Project. This band replaced the missing Skinny Molly, and did so splendidly – what else to say? The Brno-based Tom Jegr & Gang, Matěj Ptaszek and Bužma, the Havířov-based PBK Blues, and Tomáš Homuta’s Trio were among other Czech bands that merited a favorable mention, as well as a barside show by Michal Beneš with the very busy Tomáš Homuta.

I was able to enjoy this year’s event and its music better than usual (as my duties included only emceeing and not taking pictures). As the festival’s final moments were approaching, I realized that this year was probably the best of all, regarding the overall performance level. The only blemish I could see was, once again, its relatively small audiences. I’d rather not even mention the size of paying audiences, much smaller than our performers in Kolín deserved. Profits aside, if you come to see the free afternoon show and sit out the evening in the pub, it smacks of a typically Czech small-mindedness.

At any rate, I mustn’t grumble. Just like in the previous years, we were fortunate to secure sufficient funds to cover all cost, meaning my family budget and myself haven’t been destroyed in the process. This was possible mostly thanks to the support by the city hall, by the Central Bohemia Governor Ms Pecková, and a small number of private business people and corporations within and outside of Kolín: Veolia Energie, Šmíd & Partners, Cambridge Trading Company Kolín, Partners Financial Services, Energia AG Kolín, Martin Hruška, Luboš Křivánek, and others, just to mention a few of the most generous and consistent supporters. We couldn’t have pulled it through without the help of Luboš Vejdělek and his Winter Sports Hall activities. Also, Mr Fořt of Kolín’s Therésia hotel was very kind and forthcoming once again. Thank you, and thanks to all of you whom I haven’t mentioned but who lent us a helping hand holding the event.

My dear friends, don’t let these paragraphs make you think Kolín’s Southern Rock & Blues Festival is saying good-bye. No way! We have already started laying the groundwork for next year, and will announce the dates soon. Those of you who have taken a liking in SRBK will then be able to mark them in your calendars, and spread the word among your like-minded friends.

See you next year in Kolín!