At a time when Bonn is increasingly being derided as the ‘Silent City’ with it’s seemingly endless stand-offs over decibels and life quality The Hard Rock/Metal scene might be feared to suffer the most. All the more reason then to support an excellent new release from local Band Deserted called Heroes as well as get an update on the current local scene via a microcosm of support bands from the area.
The last time I visited the Klangstation in Bonn Bad Godesberg was several years ago and publicity was so dire that Aynsley Lister played to an audience that barely outnumbered the band. Several years on and publicity at the venue is still dire – theire website is ‘under construction’ and points you to a Facebook site that contains barely more info than the out of action website could muster. Fortunately Deserted have an excellent grass-roots following, not to mention each of the support bands bringing it’s own contingent of supporters. It was clearly going to be a hot and sweaty evening – perfect Rockmusic weather in fact.
Before things kicked off though I grabbed the chance to find out more about that rather nifty looking but perplexing cover artwork on the new CD ‘Heroes’. I raised the question during my review about the covers ‘Banksy’ styled logo and actually it’s quite simple: The two men on the front cover start out as the two boys on the left picture become the two middle aged men with beer bottles, who become the two old men – one pushing the other in a wheelchair, in the last shot. Lifetime friends and comrades in the best male tradition then and perfect sense. True enough the bands music is largely in a male domain and as the evening progresses it’s all men who are jumping around stage front . There are however a lot of young ladies in the audience though. Could Deserted be Bonns first Hard rocking ‘Boy Band’?
Lots to think about then, only it’s difficult to think when your head is being pounded against a brick wall, which is rather how I felt when the evenings first guest band took the stage. Betray Your Idols was the name and my notes say ‘Wall of Noise’. Maybe a power chord too many and too loud at times but you couldn’t criticize their enthusiasm or their work rate. Which is something to be said of each and every band that played.
I had The Riot Jams from Siegburg down as an interesting band due to some interesting lyrics around the chorus of ‘Why Marry’ except that when I finally got a look at their set list later the song appears to have been titled ‘Mary’. Shame as I think ‘Why Marry’ is more provocative – or maybe they were singing ‘Why Marry’ about ‘Mary’? By this time it occurs to me that these are all German bands but no one has sung a single thing in German.
That situation was unlikely to change with a band named Bedford Falls and it didn’t. Neither did the lack of a biting guitar solo. Plenty of powerchords again but no stinging solo. The enthusiasm and pure dynamics of the music can’t help but take you along with its momentum though. A good tip also is to close your eyes when the music gets frantic as Klangstation has cunningly placed it’s stagelights to ensure that bands remain in gloomy darkness but audience get their eyes singed by low hanging starlights flashing bright blue at exactly my eye level (so maybe my fault there I suppose).
PerspektiWE (no, that’s not a spelling error or typo) looked to be the most heavy metally of all when singer Stephan Bach took the stage. They actually had a little more subtlety than the earlier bands, although subtlety is used here comaparitively speaking. They even had a ballad in the set. Audience participation was also part of the proceedings here with Bach at one stage riding on the shoulders of an audience member. Cardboard Nicholas cage masks were also a theme of the band – Facebook reveals that the actor has an aversion to them and would have the band wiped out if he could. Fun Publicity? I hope so. Certainly by sets end I’m thinking PerspektiWE are a hard act to follow. This should also have been a cd release day for them too it seems but technical problems left them without the hard copies. A downloaded copy was promised however should be worth checking out.
Deserted were musically the star attraction of the evening of course. There music showing a nice mix of the heavy and the commercial. Where others this evening strayed into deep territories of noise the star Band had light touches and yes, even guitar solos! No songs in German, but it seems that German is not the language of Rock/Metal even now. Lots of excellent songs from the new CD of course though. The music is already there to make them a big act, maybe the live show needs a bit of added attention. I hope they were taking notes when PerspektiWE were onstage working their audience. Philipp Honrath has a nervousness about him but there’s no denying he has a distinctive voice and style. In the end I came away thinking that the difference between survival and success in the music business depends on so many things but if you have the talent the rest will come. I also came away pleased that the Bonn area can still not just play it loud but play it well.