It’s always a pleasure to see the band CAYU performing. Their set-list seems to grow with every performance, along with their musical skills. On Saturday the band performed as part of the SDG Festival and both their stamina and repertoire were tested by two hours in the sunshine in front of ever-smiling shoppers and the never-smiling statue of Beethoven looking sternly on. Fortunately John Hay, Eva Henneken and co were more than up to the long task and received well-deserved applause from the audience, many of whom had taken up lengthy residence on one of the colored box seats in front of the band. They came, and they stayed. Always the sign of a good band in action.
‘Cayu’, in case you were wondering (I was) is actually Indonesian for ‘Wood’ and is an ideal way of linking the band’s original roots with the United Nations sustainability framework to the material of most of the instruments played.
Going back a few years, the band’s music started out very much as an outlet for UN workers who enjoyed playing and singing. I still remember wincing with amusement at their original name ‘The UNbearables’. Their ‘fishing’ ground for material was a clever one – underrated World Music gems from around the globe, and indeed it still is in part, but guitarist John Hay and violinist Eva Henneken have introduced an increasing number of self-penned songs and melodies which make for a varied set and their own material stands up very well alongside the World Classics.
Something for everyone indeed. Very bearable you might say!
NOTE: The Bonn ‘Sustainable Development Goals’ (SDG) Festival 2021 is part of an anniversary celebrating 25 years of the UN in Bonn. With the motto “17 days fo 17 goals” the Festival began on September 18 and runs to October 4.