Germany’s got talent, and proof that there is plenty of it in the local area is the Band contest Toys2 Masters The contest started in 1995 as a local affair but has quickly established itself in the whole NRW region as a place for young musicians to make a name and get some valuable experience and coaching.
The six finalists in this year’s Toys2 Masters will have prizes totaling 20.000 Euros as compensation for their abilities and efforts, including CD production, professional photoshooting and general coaching. Judging by my visit to the round at Bonn’s Klangstation in Bad Godesberg though they (and the audience) will have to sweat for it.
Certainly if enthusiasm was the main criteria for choosing a winner there would be a strong case for every band I saw. But how do you choose between a punk/pop band (Talk About Tommorrow), Hard Rockers (Millennia), Heavy Metalers (Smashed) Hardcore (Quantum) and an Electric Folk duo (Bromo)?
Maybe there should be different categories of competition? As it is though audiences are certainly guaranteed an interesting evening and the chance to maybe even hear a new genre along the way. Which I did with Smashed and Quantum. Not sure what the growling into the microphone was all about, but they looked serious about it so I’m not arguing. Very definitely a ‘hats off’ to Bonn Folk Club regulars Dennis and Marvin Ledermann for having the courage to get up and play a style that was totally different to what everyone else did, and seemingly it paid off with the brothers taking first place amongst the voters.
Hats off to for the organizers and stagehands who managed to get everyone on and off (and on and off…) the stage so quickly yet still keep a good sound mix. I’m not normally a big fan of the Klangstation but it is a venue with tremendous potential for local musicians and a bit of investment could make it an impressive little venue along the lines of Cologne’s Yardclub. As for Toys2 Masters, it’s a gem of an idea, let’s hope it produces a band or two this year to make the City’s fathers realise how important live music from our talented City is.