Uriah Heep market sheepUriah sHeep Market june 18 2005
Langbroek The Netherlands

Featuring : Ken Hensley | Circle of Hands | The Bullfrog Taste Express & The Heepsters
A review by Louis Rentrop
The 2004 edition of The USM was a huge succes. John Lawton & Steve Dunning showed Langbroek what rock music is about. We as promoters were happy to present the fans a ‘real’
Uriah Heep celebrity. The event was located in a tent that we shared with the yearly  local ‘schapenmarkt ‘ event .
We noticed that the Dutch and Belgian heepsters like to get together every now and then, do some heep n beer , heepchat and enjoying, if possible, the real thing.

Pretty soon after the 2004 edition we knew that we would have a hard time to get a ‘real heepy’ programme together for the 2005 celebration.
We btw is  Jan Hoogland living in Langbroek. Evert Achterberg living close to Langbroek and maintainer of www.uriahheep-discography.com  and Louis Rentrop.
image21Ok, we came together in my apartment, got very drunk  and found ourselves under the kitchen table the other day. Did this solve our problem? Not really..
Jan Hoogland though just got slightly more drunk then Evert and me…what turned out in this idea…
Lets celebrate the San Diego 1974 gig. The live CD, released many years later, shows Uriah Heep in full glory and a David Byron in optima forma. Not many people know that Rory Gallagher did the support slot as special guest.
So Jan booked THE BULLFROG TASTE EXPRESS. An exellent Rory Gallagher tribute band. We already had our contacts with Germany based Uriah Heep tribute band CIRCLE OF HANDS. As serious scouts we had checked out the band in Achen late 2004, yes we were convinced. An exellent band for the USM2005
In the meantime I had the band booked for an acoustic performance at the Heepfestival club in London as part of the MAGICIANS BIRTHDAY PARTY 2004.
For any band that plays heavy rock it isn’t easy to pull the plugs out of the amps. COH though did a great job in London. The global heepsters appreciated the band a lot.
We had our programme fixed. The website was updated…..but….with all respect to both booked bands we missed the real heep content. What to do?
We had a few ideas. Ken Hensley solo…..Mick & Bernie together ……?  Great options.
But would either one of them accept our invitation?
For Mick and Bernie is was to early to call as there’s always an option for Uriah Heep to have a gig on the date. I asked Ken if he was up for it. And, guess what…he was!!
You should have seen me jumping around my pc when this email came in:
Thanks much for inviting me. Before we go into details, I am free and I would be happy to help you celebrate! The only com
plication is that there is the US grand prix that weekend and I canīt miss that! :)-
So...let me know what youīd like to do and letīs do it!!
your fellow outlaw!


Our Sheepmarket again became a real heepy event. I was sure that we could arrange a tv for the US GP. No problem. When it came that far I made a terrible mistake by telling Ken the wrong channel to watch…but that’s a later story…
Ken was going to do a set solo  and also agreed to play Hammond with COH. A very exciting idea!
The heepsters started ordering for tickets as soon as we announced the news on the website and the mailinglist . The 100 tickets for the Heepy dinner prior to the gig were sold out in no time. And to our big surprise the other 200 gig tickets as well.
Heepster Henrik Rantala approached us. He is going to leave Holland after 10 years for his homeland Finland. His family and friends would like to  celebrate his farewell party with us. Henrik learned to know the dutch heepsters very well, as he uses to attend all dutch and Belgian heepgigs and joined us on the Luxemberg heep camp last year.
Of course we jumped in. Henrik told us he planned to come over with 50 people, family and friends. And so it happened..
This edition was the first one indoors and 100 % our event. Every promoter knows what it takes to get everything sorted. Venue, PA, promotion, bands, security, tickets, website, press, catering, merchandise…you name it. Jan & Evert both handled a big part of all this. They live in the area, they know who to talk to, and have many helping friends. We had 5 press adds in local and regional newspapers. Not bad at all.
The Friday before I went from Bergen op Zoom to Langbroek to help Jan out  getting things fixed in the venue. And much more important to congratulate him and his wife Margriet with their new born son. That june morning Wessel Hoogland saw the light of day for the first time . Jan had fooled us a few months earlier by stating that Margriet should give birth on the 18th…..The USM day!
A few weeks later Margriet said that Jan was joking, the exact date was the 8th..
I don’t think that Jan had even thought of the idea that it could turned out to be the 17th or the 18th~!
As said most of it was done long before. And Venue keeper Ko did a fantastic job for us. So Jan and me went for dinner when the mobile rang. It was Ken.
He missed his connecting flight from Barcelona to Amsterdam. He had to sort out what to do..
It took a few hours when Ken called back . They stayed in Barcelona for the night and arrived in Amsterdam the other day at noon. Pfffffffff…..That message was a big relief for us…
Finally the big day was here.
Jan went to the hospital to bring Margriet and Wessel home. Evert together with his son Matthijs placed route markers in the area, and was the man in charge at the venue. At 10 the PA system arrived, soon followed by Circle of Hands to do an early sound check.
I went to Schiphol airport for Ken and Monica. The weather was perfect. Just sunshine all day long.
Right in time Ken ands Monica appeared at gate 1. It was very good to see them looking so well. We went to the car for a 1 hour ride to Langbroek. A phone call with Evert learned that everything went smoothly.
Ken decided to go straight to the venue for a quick sound check and tea. There he and Monica were welcomed by Evert and the COH crew. All of us were pretty excited that it all was going to happen.
The sound check took more time then scheduled due to a mixing table replacement.
While Ken was sound checking the first heepsters arrived. All familiar faces!
At 4.15 the concert hall opened up.
Evert drove Ken and Monica to their hotel for a siesta and the US GP qualifying. I shouted to check channel 5. Thumbs went up….
Uriah Heep market with Rory Gallagher cover band
In the venue the heepsters met up with each other like one big family. The Heepy dinner actually was a grand buffet. So inside and outside heepsters enjoyed the sate and their cold beers.
From 6 on all other guests were allowed to come in. Jan’s friend Sjaak helped us out on the door. The website list and email confirmations had worked perfectly.
The gig started with THE BULLFROGG TASTE EXPRESS. This Rory Gallagher tribute band surprised us all by a magnificent set. The lead guitarist and singer brought Rory back to life, really! The set list contained all Rory hits, as also my favourite A MILLION MILES AWAY. Heepsters like Gallaghers music that’s for sure…
After one our BFTE we were ready for some  Heep music. After the Heep festival club it now was a full blast for CIRCLE OF HANDS. On the website heepsters had voted for the songs they wanted to hear. COME AWAY MELINDA, RETURN TO FANTASY,TALES and THE MAGICIANS BIRTHDAY were top ranked. The outstanding  band played these songs in a stunning way.. The Park was a personal highlight for me as that one is never played live by Heep, as far as I remember that is....
Singer Torsten is blessed with a great voice. Close your eyes and you can hear David Byron, that’s what I experienced and many heepsters told me…
The band presented their new CD LEGACY OF FANTASY. It contains two songs with John Lawton on leadvocals: The Wizard & I’m a live.
After almost two hours of Heep music  we were up to the heepy raffle and auction.
Thanks to our sponsors we had many heepy prices like live ‘73 coasters. CD’s featuring Bernie Shaw. Mostly Autumn T-shirts. Raging Silence buttons…etc etc….
It was warm and sweaty  in the venue….time for more beer and more heep. Time for Mr. Hensley. Just before he went up he told me how lucky I was, as he found out that the US GP was at channel 6 instead of 5…oooooooooppppsssss…
Nevertheless he went op the stage with a grin.. I was lucky
You could see in some heepsters eyes that this was their moment. Is this really my hero..is this really Ken Hensley….YES!!!
Ken acted very gentle. He sang a few songs from his solo albums, told us the little stories to them, and did a song called TELL ME WHEN. Before Ken said that this song was not even finished…and he might even change it right there on stage..
Another new song is called ROMANCE. Both songs will appear on a future album..

Especially for me Ken did HOUSE ON THE HILL. As I reckon it as one of his best solo songs. Thanks Ken!
Ken did an Q & A session for a few minutes. He told us about the way he sees the difference between Proud words and Eager to please.
For him Proud words was and is a very honest album. Eager to please had the wrong intentions. He wanted to proof that he didn’t need the band. You can hear that he stated
Ken told us about his projects like the Wizards Diary. Russian musicians are very good musicians but a little bit to much in a box…
Btw Ken had loads ( as much as is possible by plane ) of mercho with him, needless to say  it all sold out.
You know the ice on the cake was Ken & COH  . They started of with THE WIZARD..
The moment of ultimate Heep of course is JULY MORNING with Ken on the Hammond.
So exciting to see him playing that song again…..the expression…the great sound, the happy faces…all around.. Many heepsters relived their  finest heep moments…
During a short break we invited Henrik and his Family to the stage .Standing next to Ken and COH they got a special Beermat presented, arranged and designed by Ab van Mourik. Overwhelmed by all this  they got even more surprised by our request  to help Ken and COH out with LADY IN BLACK.
Did they sing or what! Despite the heat…everyone was in to lalala with them…
A marvellous end to the musical part of USM2005.
Ken had a quick tea before the signing session :  books, cd’s dvd’s ,bellies….everything.
Ken took the time, talked to everyone, patiently listend to everyones stories. Sometimes very personal. Heepmusic means a lot to us Heepsters. Ken’s appearance  was the best we could have this year.
The bar stayed open, the dvd player showed Ken’s new song Romance…Fans chatted and reviewed  a great heepy event…
Thanks to Ken Hensley & Monica, Karola & Circle of Hands, The Bullfrog Taste Express, The PA guys, Ko & crew of the Toekomst. Sjaak for checking the door for quite a long time. Hanneke & Diana for taking care of the merch. Matthijs for selling the ballots. Our sponsors for doing what they did..
Last but not least all the Heepsters being there….
CU next year.

Louis Rentrop