Discover Benelux | Best of Benelux Gastronomy | Belgium
Ghent: Europe’s New Orleans TEXT: JANINE STERENBORG | PHOTOS: MARTIJN SOENEN
Imagine boogie dancing to swing music in a sultry New Orleans juke joint, or listening to Muddy Waters while sipping bourbon. This vibrant blues and roots atmosphere is the core of Missy Sippy, the young yet established blues club of Ghent. Located in the bustling heart of the Belgian city, the warm and cosy bar Missy Sippy brings a modern homage to the Mississippi delta blues – without flaming guitars or Harley’s, but with the joyous atmosphere of a barrelhouse. Playing a wide range of roots music, they host many events throughout the year. “Missy Sippy is like a ‘two-faced bar’,” co-founder Marie Follebout explains. “You can relax and chat with a drink in hand,
but also enjoy exuberant dance parties with room for 120 people to swing or boogie.” The gorgeous old-fashioned interior of the bar suggests that it has existed for over 30 years, even though Missy Sippy opened only a year ago. Follebout: “It has the vibe of a typical New Orleans bar: its brick walls are covered with musical instruments and pictures of legends like Bessie Smith and on the ceiling is an eye-catching yellow stained glass window lighting the room. It’s like travelling back in time.” Being the first blues club in Ghent, Missy Sippy is already home to the thriving and upcoming blues scene in the cultural city. Young and old come to Missy Sippy to enjoy music in a wide range of settings.
Established international musicians play concerts in a cosy and comfortable theatre setting. “On 5 April, Boo Boo Davis will play an acoustic set for instance,” says Follebout. “But we also host Local Hero evenings, Boogie Fridays at which DJs spin energetic rock ’n’ roll and blues to a filled dance floor, warm monthly Drag Juke nights and Sunday Sessions during which our regular musicians are accompanied by talented guests.” In July, during the annual festival Gentse feesten (Ghent Festivities), Missy Sippy will host two concerts and a jam session each evening. And make sure to attend their festive birthday bash in the first weekend of March. www.missy-sippy.be Issue 27 | March 2016 | 17
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