My favourite shot of 2014 came pretty late in the year, November in fact, when I Caught Sam Fish and Mike Zito enjoying playing as much as we were enjoying hearing them do it.
There was lots to like about 2014. Some of it familiar, like the Kunst!Rasen shows and Jazztube livening up the Tube-stations. Other events were not so familiar to me, and my favourite new venue of 2014 was Alter Zoll. Steal a Taxi and Blümchenknicker were two of the free acts that had happy and smiling picnickers enjoying the music, the sunshine and the Rhine view.
Excellent concerts were again on offer at Kunst!rasen too in a year that saw Chicago and Simple Minds Rocking despite the restrictions and a stunning afternoon ofJazz in the presence of Chick Corea and Stanley Clarke.
The Kunstgarten -holds a special memory for me in 2014 as my very first open air concert on a live stage with Folk Club colleagues John Harrison and Paulo Pacifico performing a history of the Blues. I just turned my amp way down low so I couldn’t be heard and enjoyed the atmosphere (don’t tell John & Paulo!)
No 3SongsReview could be complete without a mention of The Harmonie of course, and especially not when it celebrated it’s 25th Anniversary this year. Apart from being the venue for my new discovery of 2014 – Danish Bluesman Thorbjørn Risager.
it was also the venue for my most memorable event of2014 – Rockpalast with King King. It’s been a seemingly quick jump for my favourite British Blues export to go from a schoolhall to a WDR Legendary Stage but Alan Nimmo and co took it all in their very talented strides – and sang my most memorable song of the year along the way too. This actually didn’t take place in the Harmonie itself but on a building site across the road from it. Happy memories of Alan Nimmo, clutching a guitar signed by Nektar and borrowed from the proprietor with the only shag pile strap I’ve ever seen on a guitar. Alan played beautifully – until the Church Clock struck 7pm. For all who were there the songtitle is now “A Long History of BONG!!” SEE VIDEO HERE
I can’t sign off the year without a mention of two Rock Legends that passed away this year. I caught Johnny Winter at Museumsmeile in 2007 and again last year at the Harmonie. He had to store his strength for short bursts of playing at both shows, but when he got that Gibson Firebird going it lived up to it’s name indeed. What must he have been like to hear live in his prime I wonder?! Joe Cocker I remember from his 2010 appearance at Museumsplatz as part man part helicopter, those hands of his were never stock sharp in a single picture from the concert. What an incredible voice though, and what a vocal gap he leaves in the Rock World.