Music in the heart of Bonn? Saturday’s Stadtmusik Day was more a case of putting the heart back in Bonn to my ears and eyes. Five stages presenting largely local musical talent all day and it seems we were still only skimming the surface of what Bonn and the surrounding area has to offer.
Amongst the things I would invest in when the long lost millionaire Uncle (that I’m sure is out there somewhere) passes away is a small but dedicated team of cub-reporters and photographers for this website. It’s a dream I first started having after last year’s long treks around the stages at Rockaue. Even a moderately well-off unknown Uncle would allow me to invest in a small motorised cart. In the meantime I missed out on a LOT of great music on Saturday.
My question to numerous people at the end of Saturday’s musical extravaganza was ‘Who was your favourite act today?’. Invariably it was someone I missed – Trio Zityab at Bottlerplatz were a popular choice. I did my best, and if I missed you dear musician, my apologies. But thank you for being a part of a wonderful day’s music.
So much music. I need to organize it somehow. Well let’s take it in stages then if you pardon the pun.
KLANGGRUND – Better known most of the year as the infamous ‘Bonner Loch’ When I say that ‘Loch’ is German for ‘Hole’ then you will get the idea of this empty wasteland – empty until today that is… I caught a soundcheck early on and meant to get back there later but time didn’t unfortunately allow for it. The Music Station of ‘Kleinen Muck’ is a youth organisation aimed at providing support for young musicians and I heard positive reports of the proceedings at the ‘loch’. Hopefully there will plenty of time to catch the musicians playing here again over future years. Possibly not in this location though as plans for redevelopment are batted back and forth with typical Bonn sensitivity.
When I caught the tram back to Bonn centre, Klanggrund was between acts so I continued down Poststrasse and followed the music to stage two, at Munsterplatz where the serious faced statue of Beethoven was presiding over a large stage and a single piano that was under the control of a similarly seriously faced eleven year old boy who in interview admitted to having played said instrument for less than two years. He seemed to have more than got the ‘gist’ of it though. I left as an elderly gentlemen was bent double over the stage to interview said ptotege.
I found myself at Bottlerplatz and this time was confronted by a man with a horses head. The ‘horse’ admittedly wasn’t playing anything. That was down to his companion who smiled as he sung with yellow sunglasses perched on his head and a Halloween Chuckie doll plonked threateningly in front of the stage. Ah! more my sort of music. I didn’t catch much of the man’s ( Jun Fukada der Rockstar‘s) set but presence he certainly had. As did Björnson Bear. I’m not sure what I expected from the name but a mix of Johnny cash meets Russian Polka wasn’t it. One of my favourite sets of the day followed, with a short break during which a Kurdish demo wended its way through the street. A touch of Bonn meets Greenwich Village then. Music and politics.
This turned out to be a stage worth staying at as the Jimi Heinrich Orchestra played jazz that was as cool as they looked. But I had to move on…
Down at the Marktplatz my favourite wine booth, Rupps, had closed up for the evening but there was still something to chill out to. Timo Brouwers made me realise what a pathetic guitarist I am with his seemingly effortless playing. How did he make his acoustic sound like a full drum kit without destroying the soundboard? I resolve to test my own guitar out later for rhythm.
Later, a profusion of wedding guests filtered out behind the stage to listen to Antiquariat. Violinist Frank Brempel,, Jose Diaz De Leon on Guitar, Julian Hahn on Contrabass and naturally Marion Lenfant-Preus vocals and Alexander Sobosinski (aka Sobo), one of the best jazz guitarists I’ve come across were very much in charge of proceedings with their irresistible form of Gypsy jazz and French chanson. Always a popular band and with good reason.
Shame that I had to cut their set short and head for the Alten Zoll (where oh where is that motorised cart/golf caddy?). I arrive during literally the last three verses of JURI which sounded great – see the ‘Best bands I missed’ lament earlier. Great Elephant who were next up where not my cup of tea. Not their fault, I just needed a music-less break.
I returned in time for TIL. These guys were winners of Toys 2Masters last year and a band I definitely wanted to catch. I was not disappointed. Guitarist Moritz is a natural Rockstar with eye make-up that bears a striking resemblance to Tokio Hotel frontman Bill, but the music itself was all their own and certainly if I had to pick a future hit band out of all the days music it would be TIL. Despite their young ages they’ve been together quite a while and it showed, with a classy and cocky set that says these boys from Wenden near Olpe are going places far beyond Wenden near Olpe. Hang on for the ride!
Last up after a long day of fine music were Eifel Indie-Pop band Lampenschirm who also showed that the future of Pop music is in very capable hands. From the Ahrweiler/Cologne area these guys also had a thumpingly good sound that proved popular in last year’s Toys 2Masters. They even made me forget my aching feet for a while. Kudos then to Lampenschirm, to TIL, to Antiquariat and indeed to everyone who contributed to putting the music back on the streets of Bonn.