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John Coffey and support - Back to the roots
The star of John Coffey rose high after they released the album Bright Compagnions. The toured through Europe and played almost every festival in at least The Netherlands, Belgium and Germany. At the end of January 2015 they will release their third full length with the new The Great News. The release parties will be held in Amsterdam, Brussels and Cologne, but before it’s time for the big shows they once again return to the small café’s, youth centers and bars were it all started under the pub crawl 2014 banner. Today I visited the kick-off of their Dutch stint of the pub crawl in their former hometown Barneveld. Together with Startled and Alive Again they were about to tear up the place.

When the venue opened its doors it was already very busy outside and during the night this resulted in a sold-out show. It all started a bit earlier than advertised, so I missed the first couple of songs of Alive Again. This young pop-punk band did a nice job with warming up the crowd and especially their acoustic end of the show let us longing for more. Although their music was a bit too soft in retrospect to the other 2 bands of the night it was a pleasant warming up.
 
After little less than 15 minutes Startled (former Startled By Silence) turned it up a notch or 2 when talking about heavy music and preparing the audience for the chaos to come. With a switch from a female-fronted band to an all-balls deathcore outfit they are heavier than ever. The clean backing vocals were a bit of a letdown sometimes, but in a full venue the people stayed on moshing throughout the set. Short and powerful performance and a great opener for the madness that was about to unleash.
 
And right from the start John Coffey and the crowd went berzerk. The one fired up the other and the high energy level was kept until the end. With a perfect mixture between the new and yet unreleased songs from The Great News and all their singalongs from Bright Compagnions the band was in a great shape. Moshpits, crowdsurfing, a wall of death, every single cliché was brought to the stage, but it never felt forced.  When the band started ‘Romans’ there were some surprised faces, cause this was usually their closer, but now fortunately they had way more to come and played multiple songs as they returned for an lengthy encore. These five guys thrashed the place and everybody loved it. John Coffey is getting bigger and bigger, but respect to them for still doing these kind of gigs. 220 people max, loud, sweaty, fueled with alcohol; couldn’t get any better.