Sunny Skies – on and above the Rheinaue Parkrestaurant stage for the Bonn SWB Summerfestival 2015. The only clouds are white and puffy, My Kölsch glass is full, the show can begin!
As you might expect when one of Bonn’s most popular local bands is playing on a gloriously sunny Saturday evening for free, every surface that is sit-onable within hearing distance of the stage is sat on and everywhere you might want to oredr a drink or a meal is queued at. The whole of one side seems reserved for Bonn-ticket, which is odd since this is a free event. Ours is not to reason why, ours is but to find some shade or fry…
Okay, it’s not THAT hot weatherwise, but the music should be. Bassman Martin Philippi tells me before the show there are a couple of new songs in the set and whilst I’m not expecting anything from the likes of Ed Sheeran who knows what awaits?
What certainly awaits is some excellently played Rock music. You know that, just by seeing your own reflection glinting back from the aviator sunglassed face of frontman Patrick Sühl. You might have seen Sühl fronting hard-rockers Gunbarrel on the Heavy stage at the recent Rockaue, so you will know he is a pretty mean guitarman. Today though he leaves that meanness to Martin Behr and delivers some high velocity vocals. Whether it’s Freddie (Hammer to Fall), Ian (Perfect Strangers) or Golden Earring (Radar Love) Patrick is the man. He is also an excellent communicator with the audience. So much so that he has flyers handed out for the Skies upcoming Poppelsdorfer Schloss concert by a young lady celebrating her wedding.
The said newly-wed was also employed as a singer by the band for a song, much to the pleasure of her cellphone wielding friends who I’m sure have every note filmed for posterity and Facebook. It was only a temporary break for Babsi Nitsche though, who, along with Nadine and Jean, has become one of a triumvirate of female singers – having heard them all I still could not tell you who I prefer, which says how much high quality there is to judge between. Certainly numbers like Jessy J’s ‘PriceTag’ and Pink’s ‘U and Ur Hand’ suit Babsi’s bouncy style.
Good music, smiling faces and dancing feet abound. So much so that it’s only when Patrick Sühl asks where the Sparklers are (Wunderkerzen) that I realize it’s not only dark, but worse still for Bonn music lovers, almost 10pm. In the absence of said ‘Wunderkerzen’ a sea of cellphones wave their collective lights stage-wards as ‘Up Where we Belong’ sees the evening to a close.
Patrick is delightfully hamming up the robotic arm waving of Joe Cocker, Babsi is trying to keep it all serious, this is why I love seeing the band – a sense of fun abounds onstage. Too soon there are apologies that music can’t be played louder or longer, and the stage is empty – off to the right a sparkler finally fizzes into life but it’s all over – hopefully only until next year. A Bonn without Sunny Skies playing under sunny skies on a Summers day would be a drab place indeed.
If you missed this show you can catch the band again in the Poppelsdorfer Schloss on 28 August. It’s not free this time but proceeds go to the Lions Club charity for Sick and injured children in War territories – oh, and there is also the bonus of a LARGE backing choir named Bonn Voice. I still remember the two combining for an unforgettable ‘Bohemian Rhapsody at Rheinaue not so long ago. Definitely worth a visit! Ticket details Here