Three out of four ain’t bad! I had to miss Thursdays bands at the Crossroads Rockpalast unfortunately but Wednesday and Friday had some great music and this evenings visit by Danish Rock heroes Dizzy Miss Lizzy and current aspiring stars My Baby promised to be the best evening of all to head for the Harmonie in Endenich.
Dizzy Miss Lizzy were at the forefront of a Danish Rock revival in the 90’s. Since then the band has broken up and reformed twice so it’s either the money or the music that re-unites them – my money given the adrenalin level of tonight’s show is that it’s the music.
The band’s first single since ‘Re-activating’ (they prefer the term to ‘re-uniting) ‘I would if I could…’ was a popular one early in the set but plainly there are a lot of devoted fans out there who are glad their heroes are back treading the boards and playing the old hits.
It all got pretty frantic at times both on and offstage. At one point I was politely asked by a gentleman behind me if I would kindly make a little space as they planned some stage diving. I tried to explain in sign language above the loud music that there was a barrier, a video pit, and some extremely expensive movie equipment between them and said stage.
As it turned out there was a brief flurry of waving arms and I caught sight of a body being weaved amongst them before being unceremoniously deposited somewhere in the darkness from whence it had come. I’m sure it made for good television though.
What can I say about the Band then? Obviously something of a legend in Denmark in the 1990’s and not at all bad in Germany in 2016. A power trio worthy of the name for sure. A bit more dynamics in the set would have been nice though, In the 70’s every band had its ballad somewhere mid-set (often, like the drum solo, a good time to fill glasses at the bar). A break from non-stop piledriving Rock would have been nice, or maybe I’m getting old. The young boy standing next to me with his father was offered a pair of ear-plugs but for most of us over 40 it would have been too little too late. Curiously the stage was completely devoid of monitors – usually the ideal place for a rock guitar God to put a foot when taking a solo.
My Baby are a band that came highly recommended by a number of Bonn locals so I was looking forward to seeing the trio. As it turned out I had trouble actually seeing anything at what must be the most sparsely lit concert I’ve ever attended outside of a public house. I can only assume the Rockpalast cameras had infra-red lenses for the evening.
The darkness made sense in that the music was something of a hybrid between Blues soul and disco without quite being any of them. Their own definition is ‘Delta Trance’. As a Blues fan things had started out very promisingly when Daniel ‘da Freez’ Johnson plucked at a single string on a post in true out in the cotton fields fashion. The white painted stripes on his face made it plain though that this wasn’t going to be ordinary anything musically and that’s really a great part of ‘My Baby’s’ charm. He takes old 1950’s parlour sized guitars, running them through high power amps and a clutch of sound effect pedals to produce something that Donna Summer might have played on a stage with Muddy Waters (now that’s an interesting combination for a dream gig isn’t it?!)
After cranking up the exposure on my images in Photoshop I can confirm that Cato van Dyck was indeed present on the far side of the stage.
If I tell you the band did an interesting interpretation of a Folk classic ‘Wild Mountain Thyme’ (in their case ‘Mad Mountain Thyme’) then you will get an idea of Cato van Dyck’s style of Hippy Folk. If I say they blew new life into that well worn Dylan classic ‘Masters of War’ with a disco beat, then you will also get an idea of their wonderfully creative style.
I very much enjoyed the band’s performance even though it veered too much in the direction of a 70’s disco at times musically. There was always that gloriously Bluesy edge courtesy of New Zealander Daniel Johnston to keep me happy. In a world where there are seemingly so many retro bands in action who sound like someone I heard 40 years ago My Baby were certainly medicine for the musical soul and a welcome proof that even though there are only so many chords that can be played it’s still possible to find a new way to play them.
It was, as always, a mixed bag at the Crossroads this last week. I missed Vintage Caravan and Wucan on Thursday but am told they were good. Certainly the bands I did catch were all worthy of a shot of vintage fame in front of the Rockpalast neon signs. Overall winners were Thorbjorn Risager and his Black Tornados with the best set I’ve yet seen by them. Nicest surprise were The Deaf and tip for fame are My Baby. Now I’m off to play the Steve Waitt CD I bought after his set. Thank you Harmonie and Rockpalast for another fun mini festival.