It’s been one of Mr Dylan’s proverbial ‘life is a jetplane’ years or so it seems to me anyway. Have there really been a whole 12 months of cd releases and live concerts since 2014? Here is my review of some magic times and music this past year.
Certainly some excellent cd’s reached my ears in 2015. The eagerly awaited ‘Reaching for the light’ needed to be something special, and despite a seemingly endless time spent on the motorways delivering live music to an ever increasing army of fans the band King King delivered in style. Also delivering in style was Mike Zito with some glorious soul searching from his troubled past to come up with great songs on ‘Keep Coming Back’. My favourite track being ‘I was drunk’. Like I said, music right from the heart.
Sam Fish and Laurence Jones were also in top form, but my top CD award goes to Dani Wilde who’s 2015 release was, like that of Mike Zito, right from the heart and soul. A disc chock full of songs that the Taylor Swifts and Adele’s of this world would have monster hits with and giving Dani a place in the Country Music charts too.
Alice Cooper and Status Quo both showed how live music should be delivered at Kunstrasen, with power, feeling and a sense of fun.
The appearance of Joan Baez was also one to remember – just to have seen such a legend would have sufficed, but Joan is clearly no spent force on the human rights front. My favourite live shows oddly enough in 2015 were not mega or even major stars, they were relatively local affairs. I did enjoy catching Jack Savoretti at MTC in Cologne (and great to see his cd’s in the racks at HMV in Portsmouth recently) It was also great to see Ana Popovic again, particularly with her marvellous band.
Local music really did rule the live year for me though. A super evening at Alten Zoll with Cynthia Nickschas is very much in my memory – and what a marvelous venue too! I won’t forget the first show I ever saw at the Poppelsdorfer Palace either with Sunny Skies and Bonn Voice Choir which has to be THE highlight and hopefully a future live music venue on a regular basis, the sound was excellent. The local scene also saw the release of two excellent discs – AJK’s debut release ‘Whats Good For You’ and Steal a Taxi’s ‘You want what you don’t want’. Two local bands to watch in 2016 for sure.
Location-wise I loved the Alter Zoll and it was super to see a new Open Air Festival up and running this year in the shape of Rockaue. An excellent mix of music and especially good to see the local stage and Deserted playing an excellent set. The Harmonie still has to be my venue number one though. A patchy Crossroads Festival I have to say, although Miraculous Mule were great as were The Buttshakers. Mike Zito and Layla Zoe were great too and Julian Sas was, as always, a bit special. Musicians who don’t just play good music but visibly enjoy doing it. Mike, Layla, Julian, Stacie Collins, How can you not have a ball when these guys and girls are on the stage?
Which brings me naturally it seems to Bonn Folk Club where everyone plays for the pleasure of doing it and the popularity has brought an ever rising quality of musicians. Dan Walsh with his banjo was certainly a bit special, and Canadian Paul O’brien was a popular visitor. I particularly loved Fil Cambell who had to fill a huge hall at Base Camp with her delicate voice with Tom McFarland, but somehow succeeded in having us all entranced. Fil also introduced me to the music of David Francey so I am doubly grateful.
2016 then is waiting to be filled with music – on cd’s and stages. I cant wait!