Sunday, 18 August 2013

Charles Dickens character Uriah Heep hits Veliko Tarnovo in the shape of a memorable world class rock band!

Moto Rock Fest 2013

Day 3 of the Veliko Tarnovo Grand Moto Rock Fest International gig next to the Monuments of the Asen also had a charitable mission - with all funds collected, from specially made T-shirts and donation boxes at the entrances, to support the treatment of a young 9 year old boy, Radoslav Borisov.
Radoslav, suffering from muscular dystrophy and whose parents are unemployed, needs 40 thousand Levs worth of treatment at a clinic in Israel.
moto rock fest veliko tarnovo
The event was organised by the MC Old Bastards

Organisers of the Moto Rock Fest, Moto Club "Old Bastards", supported by the Municipality of Veliko Tarnovo - which is candidate for European capital of Culture 2019, got the loud support of Uriah Heep band members who said "they support the candidature of Veliko Tarnovo for European Capital of Culture for 2019 and one day will return here".

In fact at the start of the two-hour concert attended by over 3000 fans and bikers from across Europe next to the spectaculaer monument Asenevtsi, Bernie Shaw said, "this is a great place for concerts, just amazing,  incredible!"  after singing the 1st song hearing the acoustics of the almost natural amphitheatre of the River Yantra Gorge!
veliko tarnovo uriah heep
Bernie Shaw was amazed by
Veliko Tarnovo!

In the novel by Charles Dickens, Uriah Heep is not a person; he's an evil machine comparable to a sloth like version of the Terminator, hell bent on destructing everyone who has it better than him! How many characters from Victorian novels have lived on to inspire late 20th-century heavy metal bands?

Trust me after briefly being priviledged to meet John Lawton (Guest vocals), Phil Lanzon (keyboards, moogs etc:-), Mick Box (Guitar) and Russell Gilbrook (drums) these gyuys are far from being like the character of Charles Dickens!
veliko turnovo uriah heep
Uriah Heep, last seen in 1978 at the old Mancheter Apollo Theatre,
now in Veliko Tarnovos' natural theatre!

Lets hope they return sooner than we think and promote Veliko Tarnovo's unique open air theatre in the Yantra to other big international bands and artists!

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Veliko Tarnovo Moto Rock Fest 2013 headlining Uriah Heep in Bulgaria

Old Bastards Veliko Tarnovo
Veliko Tarnovo hosts Uriah Heep thanks to the Old Bastards of Veliko Tarnovo
supported by the municipality

The Old Bastards Moto Club of Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria should be rightly proud of the organisation of the 3 day event here in Veliko Tarnovo.
Its still not too late to come and enjoy this great event! Details are in this link "moto rock fest 2013"
bastards old Veliko Tarnovo
Great organisation by the Veliko Tarnovo "Old Bastards" MC

This Rock Fest is situated right next to the Monument of the Assens (ASENEVTSI MONUMENT) by the River Yantra, opposite from Gurko Street.

To date we have enjoyed on Thursday August 15th:-
Veliko Turnovo Bulgaria

Bulgaria rock fest and tribute bands
Bikes from all over Europe!



Yantra River Veliko Turnovo
ready and waiting
Last night Friday 16th August we enjoyed:-


07.30 P.M. – LIVE MUSIC - RAMMSTEIN TRIBUTE BAND which were awesome with the fire show and outstanding realistic vocals and music
Harley Davidson Bulgaria
Rammstein Tribute Band



11.30 P.M. – AFTER PARTY BAR ROCKA ROLLA which after the performnces of these bands I left to the younger members of the audience and I dare say a few of the Old Bastards!

TODAY Saturday 17th it's Uriah Heep with John Lawton heading up the show at 10-30pm but with Iron Maiden Tribute Band from Serbia, before and ER GOLYAM BAND from Bulgaria, along with chrome shows and stunt exhibitions in the afternonn it promises to be a great last day!
rock and roll fest bulgaria
Last night of rock!

Finishing off the performance around midnight will be an EROTIC SHOW!
rock fest and erotica bulgaria
Who knows what erotica will be here?


Monday, 15 July 2013

Veliko Tarnovo Dixie Jazz Fest, 11th -13th July 2013 Bulgaria, The final night!

Jazz festival
The last night!

The final performance in this years festival in Veliko Tarnovo a stones throw away from the historical General Gurko Street was performed by the great "Sentimental Swingers" supported by the Michael Iosifov Sextet, preceded by modern jazz Rumen Halatchev quartet with Tsvetomir Tsankov singing and humming along capably with his huge range of octaves!
Bulgaria Veliko Tarnovo news
The sentimental swingers salute!

The ladies and the sextet wowed away the audience and even got me dancing at the end with my wife in front of the stage!
dixie jazz festival veliko tarnovo
No not the Andrews, these are the sentimental swingers!

At the entrance of the festival a line of photo exhibits arranged against the stone wall under The Art Galery "Boris Denev." The exhibition consisted of 18 large photos of performers who participated in the previous two festivals. The photos were taken by three Bulgarian photography artists - Gentcho Petkov, Nikephoros and Theodore Todorov Kalushkov.
This year's Dixie jazz festival was performed in support of the candidature of Veliko Tarnovo for European Capital of Culture in 2019 which it clearly deserves being the old cultural capital city of Bulgaria and already sporting the Veliko Tarnovo Sound and Light show at Tsaravets Hill amongst many other attractions within the town and neighbouring settlements.
The sentimental swingers
The Dixie Jazz Fest in Veliko Tarnovo comes to a close in 2013

Saturday, 13 July 2013

Veliko Tarnovo Dixie Jazz Fest, 11th -13th July 2013 Bulgaria

A fantastic two nights of Trad and Dixie Jazz with a bit of Big band sound thrown in for even better measure!
And that's just Thursday and Friday, still tonight to go.
Relaxed natural amphitheater setting in Veliko Tarnovo

If you want to watch and listen to quality jazz music with a backdrop which is undoubtedly unique in an informal and overwhelmingly friendly atmosphere, look no further than Veliko Turnovo, Bulgaria!
Dixie Jazz Fest
Militsa Gladnishka, singer and actress wowed everyone
on her 1st night performance
The first night we had the concert kicking of with Teteven Dixie Band and after turning dark the Military Big Band Stara Zagora started to pump out rythms and jazz like there was no tomorrow!

Veliko Tarnovo, lights, music, action....Dixie Jazz Fest

Not long into the performance Militsa Ivanova Gladnishka appeared onto the stage to a massive cheer from the crowd! Wow, can this lady sing, enough said since these mere words cannot do Militsas' voice justice. Her enthusiasm and massive vocal range brought a decided hush to the audience, even the young children who were just about everywhere on this balmy July evening were mesmorised by Militsas' voice!

Just when we thought the singing had come to an end, the cheerful and charismatic Tsvetomir Tsankov (Tsetzo) from neighboring Gabrovo jumped up onto the stage and started blasting out some great big band sounds including a duet or two with Militsa. The evening culminated in an amazing version of New York, however in this case Tsetzo started to spread the news that he wasn't about to leave Veliko Tarnovo today, yes Frank Sinatra arrived in town and gave a collosal performance in the native style of New York but tonight it was "Tarnovo", re-written specifically for the magnificent city of Veliko Tarnovo!
New York or Veliko Tarnovo?

The next night consisted of the evening starting with the Municipality Brass Band hammering out some big band tunes and jazz! After the Alexandrov Ragtime Band played some inspirational trad jazz to an ever increasing audience. Lastly, my old time favourites appeared  Mladenski Barisax on clarinet, Stefan Nikov on trumpet, Hristo Tsatsinov on saxophone, Tsvetomir Tsankov on banjo, the forever smiley Georgi Donev on his sliding trombone,  Krasimir Stefanov and his amazingly large tuba, Emil Kosturkov on drums and last but by no means least, Rumen Halachev on keyboards. Yes it was The Royal Dixie Band!
The Royal Dixie Band, oh YES!

They blasted out some great old time trad jazz favourites before being joined on stage by Stefka Onikyan,
Stefka Onikyan
who sang with class and matched the band with strength and perfect harmony. I could have listened to this ensemble of musicians all night, but sadly all things have to come to an end and the final piece was true Dixieland and reminiscent of a New Orleans funeral party "The Saints".
Good night and God bless!

What a fitting end, to an evening that I had dedicated in my mind to my Father who would have been 78 on the 13th July.
Cheers Dad!

The "Saints" and the fact that he had most of the music being played on original Louis Armstrong "78's" makes this Veliko Tarnovo Dixie Jazz Fest particularly memorable for years to come. 
Cheers Dad!
Happy Birthday Dad!

Sunday, 21 April 2013

A meeting with the Chairman of the Bulgarian Association for Preservation of raptors in Veliko Tarnovo

Imagine my surprise when this fellow and his partner turned up at an outside table on a spring Saturday afternoon in our home town of Veliko Tarnovo, in the Hunter Inn close to the River Yantra and Gurko Street.

Veliko Turnovo, Bulgaria Bulgarian association for preservation of raptors
Pavel and Harry in Veliko Tarnovo

Yes, you can see he had with him a Harris Hawk or Harris's Hawk, indigenous to south USA and down to Chile, South America.

His name is Pavel Yakimov, the chairman of BAZGP (Bulgarian Association for the preservation of raptors). He took time out to explain what they are doing and introduced me to Harry the Harris Hawk.
Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria Bulgarian association for preservation of raptors
Pavel Yakimov, Harry and Phil

I was honoured to be introduced to such a beautiful raptor, and somewhat gloomed by the story that many Bulgarian "Green activists" call him barbaric and a torturer etc....these misfits are so misinformed, these raptors are doing what they do naturally and if that means they keep pigeons and other birds away from airport runways as an example, I see nothing barbaric in this.
Veliko Turnovo, Bulgaria Bulgarian association for preservation of birds of prey
Phil meet Harry the Harris Hawk, in Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria

I am sincerely grateful to Pavel for taking time off his well earned lunch to share Harry with me for a few minutes and it is a chance encounter I will never forget!
Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria Bulgarian association for preservation of hawks
Harry the Harris Hawk in Bulgaria