Milene at Kunst!Garten. A young girl of 17, and the lyrical eye of someone going on 70. With just guitarist Oli Stark for company, this was an evening to sit back with a cool drink and enjoy the late Summer sunshine by the lake.
In 2010, at just 13 years old, Milene Weigert was already winning competitions including Udo Lindenberg’s Panikpreis with her interpretation of a Hermann Hesse poem ‘Bustaben’. No surprise then that four years later her face may be that of a 17 year old but her own songs have a worldweariness and pathos about them that belies her tender years.
The first song is about dreams (Träume), the next about people (Menschen) and it’s as if she’s had a lifetime to study her subjects and collect experiences. In the latter song she berates that ‘Der Gott verdammte Zeit bleibt nicht stehen’ as if she were at the end of a life that has rushed past. In fact Milene is at the point where she has to choose between a job, a future education, and a future in music.
There’s no doubt that the girl has a good voice that should get even better with time. She managed to give a seemingly effortless freshness to old and often overcooked classics like ‘Summertime’ and ‘Mercedes Benz’. She also gave a creditable performance of Amy Winehouse’s ‘Valerie’ (I get the feeling that Amy has become the 21st Century answer to Janis Joplin where aspiring young female jazz/blues singers are concerned).
It was Milene’s own material, with it’s worldweary experience that impressed me most though. ‘Vogel Flieg’ for example was inspired by seeing the BBC documentary following Edward Earl Johnson in his last days before being executed in the gas chamber whilst all the time proclaiming his innocence to rape and murder. Pretty heavy stuff to come from the pen of one so young.
Hopefully music will stay in her blood whatever she decides for her future plans. This concert and her live CD (recorded at Bonn Harmonie) suggest the future for Milene as a singer could be a bright one.