Did I tell you how much good local music there is in Bonn? Several times? Well that’s because it’s true. More proof was Saturday’s celebration of the Regional Rock/Pop ‘Toys To Masters’ competition that got together talented bands to commemorate the competitions 20th birthday. 3 Songs caught two of the bands who rocked Alter Zoll – Dead Mans Eyes and Steal a Taxi
Dead Man’s Eyes are, the leaflet at Alter Zoll informs me as I read it whilst listening to Rory Gallagher on the pre-concert loudspeakers, a ‘Psych Rock’ band from Cologne. Well I’ve heard of Cologne, but not of Psych Rock. To my ears it seemed to be a throwback to rock music when the likes of Cream and Taste arrived. Lots of warm, tube amp sounding chunky lead guitar riffing and the feeling that a song might go on for half an hour if the band took a fancy to spread out a bit.
As it is though there are four bands booked to play this evening so they have little more than a half hour to make a mark and ‘spreading out’ is not an option. Not helped by a distinct lack of audience (where were all the picnickers from last Saturday? They did manage to muster a fair degree of enthusiasm though and even if ‘Psych Rock’ isn’t a section at Mr Music that I will be visiting soon they were quite enjoyable. Not enough music or atmosphere to make a proper review of the band fair so I reserve judgement.
The next band on were rather more than ‘Quite enjoyable’. The lead singer suggested she might be something of a prima donna after problems with her guitar straps length and then, after only five minutes stopping the show to have the desk completely re-mix the sound. The longer the set progressed though the more I liked Steal A Taxi and realised that this was not a prima donna in action but maybe more of a Madonna. Certainly someone who actually, even in front of a relatively small audience, cared that the band should sound right. Makeda Mischalke is the girls name by the way, and note it because I think you will be hearing it a lot in future where good music is discussed.
Actually, the band isn’t so new. They have already won ‘Popmotor’ in 2011 and reached a Toys2Masters Final. Theirs is a refreshing mix. Pop tunes with enough Rock grit in them to hit home and a light sprinkling of funk that comes from Mischalke’s silky vocals. Inspired by the likes of Beyonce, Prince and Lana Del Ray A sort of slightly heavy sounding Janet Jackson with a Rock n Roller on lead guitar in the form of Martin Schmidt.
Currently there’s a three track disc that the band offers at concerts but several new tracks were being ‘road-tested’ at this show which sounded very enjoyable to my ears, so hopefully there will be a full set coming soon. I came across a video of the band from a couple of years ago and they sounded good then, but they were a whole lot better on Saturday. I look forward to hearing a full CD of Steal a Taxi. With the band’s excellent musicians, well written songs, some commercial yet good Rock/Funk sounds and a very charismatic front-lady this could be the start of something big. Certainly it’s the start of something very promising.