Saturday afternoon seemed a good time to sample the atmosphere of this year’s Bonn Fest. The verdict: Very crowded indeed, with everyone fearing this might be the last warm and sunny Saturday of 2023. I caught veteran one-man-band Tom Drost entertaining busy shoppers at Munsterplatz and Melchi Vepouyoum at Marktplatz.
Up at Marktplatz Melchi Vepouyoum was stealing the show. First directing the Ndaluu Afro A Capella Choir and then delivering a super set backed by Leonie Wollersheim (cello) and Jan Teichmann (guitar). It seems a million years ago now that Melchi first stepped before the audience at Bonn Folk Club and blew us away with his Cameroon-inspired songs and melodies. Now he plays to large audiences at Harmonie and Stadtgarten and manages to draw a crowd even amongst hundreds of eager shoppers at Marktplatz. Wonderful stuff indeed!
The days of concerts at the Ortszentrum in Dottendorf being an ‘insider tip’ seem to be well and truly over. A packed house yesterday evening for Alma Naidu on Jazznacht was proof of that. Or perhaps there are a lot of Süddeutsche Zeitung readers in Bonn who will have seen Alma rated as “One of the most promising singers on the German scene”. That’s a lot to live up to for someone with just one albumrelease to her name but on this evening’s evidence Alma Naidu is very possibly at the start of what a book writer might describe as “An awfully big adventure”
Yes, the shops will be open next Sunday too, but this is 3SONGSbonn and not 3SHOPSbonn so check out the details as to where there will be music from 29 Sept to 1 Oct HERE Friday 29 Sept looks like an evening of coverbands and Kölsch together with an Electronic Dance Festival. Saturday looks to be a promising time for live band music with Los Manolos, Melchi Vepouyoum, Sir Williams, Musicians from the Bonn Beethoven Orchestra, not to mention, Anny Ogrezeanu, Voice of Germany winner in 2022). De Anjeschwemmten und die Domstürmer will take over responsibilities for a Karneval atmosphere.
Erja Lyytinen’s Facebook profile currently sports a photo of the lady in a hard rock pose and flanked by a solid wall of Marshall amps. Bonn council will be pleased to know that she doesn’t have this sound system on tour with her but it certainly tells you where Erja is musically in 2023. Is she releasing the inner Lemmy? By 8:15 pm at Bonn Harmonie we will know for sure.
Old Trees. Has Folk Club had that theme before? If not, it certainly should have. Many is the time now that John Harrison has been found standing under an old oak or a beleaguered birch extolling the virtues of the Green Man. No trees allowed inside Dotty’s of course but Bonn Tree Guardian (Baumwächter) Andreas Thieves was on hand to remind us what these tall and patient guardians of Nature do for us.
All good things etc… On Saturday evening it was time for the 2023 Stadtgarten Season to come to an end. The month has flown by and hopefully, there has been something for everyone, that’s always the aim of the Kulturamt der Stadt Bonn led by the tireless enthusiasm of Hans -Joachim Over oder ‘HaJo’ as everyone knows him. Today it was largely French Music Night with local band the Soline Ensemble and French Indie-Pop band The Rodeo, with a warm-up for everyone courtesy of the Bonn inclusion band Project Inclusion. Three bands then – and a 6:30 pm start to cram all the good music in.
They’re not as old as the Blues itself, but Baum’s Bluesbenders have been around now for thirty years men and boys. Truth to tell there was still very much boyish fun on the faces of the four mature gentlemen on the Unter der Zeder stage. Let’s not forget another blues veteran in the form of tonight’s support act, Mighty Mike. Needless to say, a good time was had by all – including the eager crowd of listeners and dancers.