It all began in the WDRstudios of Cologne’s Südstadt in 1976, and now it’s very latest edition is being recorded – in Bonn Endenich. ‘Rockpalast’ has of course become a Worldwide Rockmusic institution that has the ability to make(and possibly break) bands into a higher league on the success ladder and touring circuit. The venue is Bonn Harmonie and the bands experiencing a mix of anticipation, excitement and maybe nostalgic goosebumps under the blue neon ‘Rockpalast’ signs tonight are ‘Chain’, ‘Lisa & The Lips’ and ‘Imperial State Electric’.
Take a look at the guitar toting youngster leaping skywards on our 3SongsBonn logo. A few years down the line and the man might have changed, but not thankfully his music.
Jason Barwick was back to spearhead the latest Hardrock attack of Grimsby’s finest musical exponent – The Brew.
Songs of Social injustice and real life on the street were the stuff of Germany’s ‘Liedermacher’ singer songwriters in the late 1960’s. One of the most influential was Konstantin Wecker. In April Wecker formed his own Recordlabel – ‘Sturm & Klang’ and found four suitably socially conscious musicians to put on it. One of them learned her craft playing on the streets of Bonn, but tonight she has a stage, a band and a microphone. A chance to hear Cynthia Nikschas play without fear of a passing rain shower or the babble of passing shoppers.
King King swept the board at this year’s British Blues Awards, taking home trophies for Male Vocals, Bass, Drums, Band and Album, as well as being runners up in the Guitarist and Song Categories. All the accolades haven’t translated into big venues in Europe yet, but what it does mean is that the smaller venues get very crowded and very sold out very quick. Join me in a hot and sweaty part of Cologne just off the B9 called the Yardclub for some equally hot and sweaty Blues.
It’s 6.30pm, an hour before Bonn Folk Club part 51 is due to start. There is already a pile of guitar cases stacked up outside the hall that is growing steadily by the minute and a selection of garden chairs that is diminishing just as steadily by the minute as they are taken into the backroom of Haus Mullestümpe. By 7.15pm they are being carried in, only minutes later to be carried back out again – full house. By the time John Harrison shouts his cordial “Ladies & Gentlemen!” at 7.30pm there are a dozen or so people reduced to peering in through the entrance doors.
Longtime regulars at Bonn Folk Club will remember Richard Limbert from his days with a twelve string acoustic – always playing confidently, and often as not, taking a walk around the beer tables as he did so. A veritable Folkmusic troubador. No longer a Bonn resident, it had been a while since we last met when he joined in the 50 Clubnight Anniversary celebrations last month, and to make up for lost appearances he proudly handed me a copy of his very first CD to review.
Proud he should be too, because it’s a cracking mix of self-penned compositions that, even if they don’t come with state of the art production do come straight from the heart.
For those who don’t recognize the bands name , you might well recognize the face behind it. Alex Krienke (AJK) was the longtime male vocalist behind Bonn’s long running coverband Sunny Skies.
A couple of months ago at the Harmonie I got a pat on the back and a how are you from a guy I couldn’t quite place (blame the long hair he didn’t have before) and it was Alex, talking enthusiastically about making music of his own and a band he was getting together.
The fruits of that band’s labors went into my cd player recently, and an interesting little disc it turned out to be too. So much so that it has made several returns to my cd player since in fact. I didn’t know quite what to expect, certainly there were some pleasant surprises in store. Alex was a keen fan of the immortal Freddie Mercury but he never sat at the piano for a Sunny Skies song as far as I could remember. He was/is a keen fan of heavier rock than I am, being a member of the local Iron Maiden coverband Killerz. I sort of oriented my expectancy of the bands debut ‘AJK’ on the back of Killerz – was I wrong or was I WRONG?!