A second highly enjoyable evening of live music outside of the Kleines Theatre in Bad Godesberg with Cynthia Nickschas playing under the Cedar trees at the Kurpark. Whilst Wikipedia tells me that there are many trees that go under the description of ‘Cedar’ there is very definitely only one Cynthia Nickschas.
What happened to the chirping bird-chorus that joined in throughout the last show here with Markus Schinkel and Joscho Stephan? Force of nature that she is, I can almost believe that Cynthia asked them to ‘keep the noise down, please’ and they did. A big crowd of course (well as big as is currently allowed anyway) and the usual ‘village’ of fans and helpers ready to be at a Cynthia show at the mere drop of that famous hat of hers. Two cameras videoing and photographers scurrying about to capture everything from every possible angle. Snoopy the dog overseeing everything with a calm eye and wagging tail. Everybody happy then. Well, almost everybody.
When KuKuG’s Chairwoman Sabine Köhne-Kayser asked Cynthia for a few words before the concert started the nerves were clearly jangling. Outside of playing at a recent demo alone this was the band’s first show directly in front of a real live audience for a long time. Cynthia ended up apologizing so often that someone even called back asking her to stop apologizing. Cynthia apologized for her frequent apologies. The show was going in a typical Cynthia Nickschas direction – upwards.
All the ‘hits’ were there of course. ‘Positiv Denken’, ‘Egoschwein’, The glorious fiddle-hook line of ‘In Reihe Bleiben’ (nice one violinist Alwin Moser), the sing-along ‘Gold Glanzt Nicht‘. There was even a new song dedicated to the current Public Enemy Nr 1, Corona, entitled ‘Punkorona’ which is, as the title suggests, a Punk tinged paen to Covid-19.
On ‘Schissig’ from Cynthia’s 2014 release ‘Kopf Regal’ she begins “Ich kann und will keine Liebeslieder”. But here she is singing one that’s as good as any I’ve heard called ‘Irgendwie Geil’. Alwin Moser’s violin is again magic, as is Cynthia’s voice. Maybe the nerves worked positively for Cynthia on this one but her trembling vocal coupled with the similarly trembling notes from Alwin Moser’s violin accompaniment made this my evening highlight.’ A shout out to the whole Band behind Nickschas. They pulled together musically despite the enforced absence from regularly playing together – and when things got ragged around the edges, especially early on, the problems were solved with a smile and a joke or two.
The only disappointment of the evening for most of those present was that dancing was forbidden. They did their best, however, to move as many body parts as is possible from a sitting position to ‘Tanz!’ and it seemed like the extra energy saved by us having to sit down was transferred to Cynthia herself who jumped around the stage even more ecstatically than usual – if that were possible.
Fans of BB King and Rory Gallagher still speak of their heroes replacing broken strings whilst still playing on. Cynthia being Cynthia just declares after seeing a string snap mid-song – “Well who needs an E string anyway?!” and settles for a five-string acoustic. Cynthia being Cynthia, could keep an audience enthralled on a ‘no-string’ guitar.
Needless to say, by the evening’s end, Cynthia had gone from trembling hands and dry throat to wanting to play for another hour. I think the birds in the surrounding trees enjoyed it. I know the ecstatic audience did.