There are days when rather than go out to a show, you’d rather sit back and enjoy a glass of wine in the sunshine? Bad Godesberg was the ideal place for you then on Sunday evening.
Theaterplatz saw the first ever GoVinum Wine Festival. It had its problems weatherwise on Friday and Saturday, but Sunday revealed some sunshine and blue skies. I put the improvement down to my old Folk Club friends John Harrison and Paolo Pacifico who I’m told had brought the best of acoustic blues to the square earlier in the day. This may have been the first such Festival in Bad Godesberg, but already I’m thinking that Bonn City Centre could learn a thing or two from the organizers. Plenty of room to spread out. Rather than a big square with a stage at one end, trestle tables in the middle and wine/food stands around the edge as is the case in Münsterplatz, there were two stages, one at each end, and not pointing at each other. It split the square up pleasantly I thought.
The City Centre Wine Festival seems to be somewhat bereft of live music nowadays. Probably a result of the usual complaints about noise. Not that Bad Godesberg was without its complainers I suspect. I saw one middle-aged lady walk past the R&B Express stage with her figures in her ears and accusing looks pointed at the band. I really am at a loss with such people. It was after all only 5pm in the City Centre of Bad Godesberg. Ten years ago, the music would have been twice as loud. Hopefully, it won’t go the same way here as it seems to have in the main City, where the music is too quiet to really be enjoyed by the audience until at some point it will just be considered a distraction from the wine drinking.
Of course, music, when played badly, can be hard to bear. The two bands I caught on this fine afternoon though were certainly worth hearing loud and clear.
The R&B Express had an excellent choice of material culled from the Rnb/Jazz scene. My favourite of the evening was undoubtedly their take on BB King’s ‘When Love Comes To Town’. I liked too the funky sax and vocals of Rolf “Kiki Schumacher when they played Tower of Power’s ‘Diggin on James Brown, and The classic Blues of ‘Worksong’ that I last heard some years ago in the set of Ana Popovic was well delivered by singer Linda Meissner. An excellent band that I’ve not heard before, but now I’m looking forward to their appearance at the Godesberg Festival ‘Music im Park’ on 22 May after last year’s roaring success.
Down at the other end of the square Greenberg, based around Bad Godesberg’s Ralf Reifenberg, were also playing music to impress and entertain. Their leader is a natural frontman: with a presence that reminded me very much of Ian Siegal. You couldn’t help but be curious about any band that advertises itself as ‘Acoustic Rock’. It seems a musical contradiction in terms. In truth, to make it work it needs musicians with oodles of ‘attack’ in their playing styles.
With Greenberg, we’re talking a Cajon player with leather waistcoat and gloves. Most of all, we’re talking a lead singer that has the courage to put ‘Cum on Feel The Noize’ and Free’s ‘Wishing Well’ in a set-up with Cajon and purely acoustic backing. Don’t ask me how – but it worked a treat. The best number for me was ‘Nobody Knows You When You’re Down And Out’, made famous of course by one Eric Clapton during his MTV Acoustic set many moons ago. Keep going back many moons before that though and it originates from the set-list of Blues Queen Bessie Smith.
All in all then, an afternoon of sunshine, good wine and good music. Does life get any better to relax before another working week rolls around?