MY BOUKE PILGRIMAGE
Once upon a time, not so long ago, someone singing “In The Ghetto” came across my FB feed. I immediately got shivers down my spine and goosebumps all over. I played it over and over and over again.
And everything that followed, I might add!!!
OMG, I thought, he’s phenomenal!
I was immediately transfixed. For months I traversed the internet finding and watching repeatedly, compulsively, obsessively, EVERYTHING he had ever done.
I found out his name was Bouke.
No impersonator, no imposter, but a spectacular tribute artist and performer extraordinaire from the Netherlands.
I was hooked, lined and sinkered!
I know inside out (pre Battles) most videos, compilations, show sets, festivals, concerts, small and individual gigs and of course his own songs and videos, Tom Jones sets AND naturally his Dutch shows (my favourite).
I realised just how long and hard he had worked on his art. I cried that this brilliant, captivating, engaging, phenomenally talented young man had not hit the big time, at least 10 years earlier.
I love everything he does, all stages as he grew. But I’ve got to say probably my favourite is in his cheeky, extremely entertaining 30s decade. His curly blond mop, his cheeky smile, the glint in his eyes and his absolutely endearing performances won my heart. Well until now that is!!!!!
I knew instinctively (post Battles) I had to see the man perform live. I have been in a fairly dark place for some time and the weight that lifted when Bouke sang, raised me from this hellish hole to a place of captivating joy and sunshine. Albeit not sustainable at this point. I knew I need more.
Very early on, during the ‘Orange Radio’ interview, Bouke talked of the importance of his family, parents, his home in Emmen and especially his boys. His openness, honesty and integrity showed me the calibre of the man. When he said touring was not on his agenda, I KNEW IMMEDIATELY it was on mine! I was not going to miss seeing this man performing live.
So I started planning what is now known as My Bouke Pilgrimage. I’m travelling 10,000+ klms from Australia and taking a 6 month sabbatical from the depths of despair where I have lost my enjoyment for life and excitement about the future.
I have made many friends through Bouke’s social media sites. With the help of two very special ones, together with buying my own tickets, I am seeing 11 concerts culminating at the two Ziggo Dome shows next April. I will also take time to absorb the beauty of The Netherlands with my bestie by my side and have with a wee trip to Brussels for a show and sleep over, while I’m there.
The importance of this trip to me is extremely significant. Seeing Bouke, Leon & Rowdy, Bjorn, Andy, Nick, (hopefully Michael), the Singers & Wind (hopefully Sendi) is Als Een Droom.
Hearing Bouke masterfully tribute Elvis will blow my mind, and take me out of this world whilst ironically keeping me on it!
Today, try as I might, I cannot hear Elvis when Bouke sings.
Occasionally I strain to pick it up, but nothing, zip, zilch, zero!!!
Today I get pure unadulterated BOUKE!
Today I get the majestic, molten, golden, velvet voice of a man who delivers so much more than just goosebumps. The voice of a man who sings from his heart and soul straight into my heart and soul (and countless thousands of others).
It matters not, that he knows not who I am. Nor that he knows not how many he has touched. It matters only that he has; that he does! Well, okay, if my guardian angels align and perhaps whisper into his ear about my Pilgrimage, maybe, perhaps a meeting of sorts might miraculously happen. But we shall see. I understand he has a thousand and one things on the hop at any given time.
Nor has he done it entirely alone, but rather with an ensemble of equally talented, distinguished and infamous individuals who provide a remarkable and riveting passage for this monumental phenomena to take place.
Together, as a group, as one - they have rewritten the history books without diminishing, but rather, honouring and enhancing what came before!
That is unique!
That is remarkable!
That is to be celebrated!
From the bottom of my heart THANK YOU, EACH AND EVERYONE!
But BOUKE I especially thank you …..
For your determination and diligence
For staying true to your course
For giving your all, everyday
For following your dream
For believing in your truth
For your tenacity
For your gift BLESS YOU
With love and gratitude, Sue
The pen goes to Tammy
Sue Fanning, 23 juli 2023
MY BOUKE PILGRIMAGE