Introducing Cynthia Nickschas to regular readers of this site would be a waste of words. She’s appeared here in various guises and on various stages: Stadtgarten, Harmonie, and this time around as part of Bad Godesberg’s ‘Musik im Park’ series. I’ll keep it short then for newcomers. Nickschas made her mark as a street musician in the Bonn area, before being ‘discovered’ by top German singer-songwriter (Liedermacher) Konstantin Wecker. The lady has since put together her own (excellent) local band, played on ever bigger stages – and will move up to an even bigger one in August as support to Max Geissinger at Kunstrasen. I last saw her play a fun set at Bonn Folk Club.
Bigger stages, indoor halls… I wish Cynthia every success, and she deserves it. I most enjoy seeing Cynthia though when, as in Bad Godesberg tonight or at Bonn at Folk Club, she has an audience she can see – and whom she can react with, and to.
In front of the Trink Pavillion this evening Summer is most certainly here. The sun is shining, Blues skies with friendly white puffy clouds look down on a relaxed scene. Family and friends of Cynthia are in the front rows shouting encouragement to her. Occasionally they join the local kids for a wade in the cool water running near the stage front. There’s a friendly dog too who meanders onstage from time to time to see what’s what and sniff the microphone stands. In short, there’s lots happening, and I haven’t even mentioned the music yet. It’s the sort of lively setting where Cynthia Nickschas is at her best.
The musical background is provided by an excellent band that today numbers chief Blümchenknicker Bender Corleone Flowers (René) on trombone. All of them watch Nickschas with eagle eyes because she might just go off on a musical or verbal tangent at any time. One unexpected ‘tangent’ both they and she go off on this evening is a broken string. Sister Jule is on hand to sort it out with majestic waving of hands and strings. It rather puts me in mind of a memorable video of BB King playing/singing on whilst he fits a broken G string on Lucille. As with the moment when she momentarily forgot the lyric to a new song at Folk Club, Cynthia Nickschas seems to actually gain from mini-disasters. It’s that street music coping thing. You want perfection? Cynthia Nickschas is not your go-to girl. You want honesty, enthusiasm, dare I add – charm? She’s your girl.
It was great to see Cynthia sharing vocals with her sister Jule, and if you enjoyed her sister’s contribution, then be at the Stadtgarten concert (near Alten Zoll) on 17 August when Jules will be playing her own set with backing from Jazz guitarist Uwe Arenz.
This evening though belonged very much to older sister Cynthia. ‘Egoschwein’ was, as always, a highpoint of the evening, but older numbers came across equally fresh too – ‘Gold glanzt nicht’ had the audience singing along to the chorus enthusiastically for several minutes and just as enthusiastically splashing water from the shallow pool. A great way to cool off with such a hot band. I thought someone somewhere said Cynthia Nickschas was 30? It must be a typo. So much young enthusiasm. 30 going on 17 perhaps?