Stadtgarten – An Evening With PopCamp

PopCamp is an excellent project from the Deutschen Musikrats that helps young musicians develop their music, and advises on all things – from concerts, through marketing to recording. That’s good news for musicians. It’s also good news for music lovers as it gives us an overview of upcoming musical talent in Germany. More than a good enough reason then to spend the evening next to Alten Zoll in Bonn Centre. So grab a beer from the beer garden and join me with a picnic blanket on the grass under the trees, where there is protection from the hot Summer sun but a good view of the stage and acoustically a good place to listen.

This is the second weekend of free music next to the Alten Zoll brought to us by the Kulturamt of Bonn City and it’s great to see Bonn’s Rock and Pop Representative Hans-Joachim Over onstage to open the evening again. ‘HaJo’ can’t have an easy job at times mixing the wishes of the City Representatives with those of the City occupants and the City musicians. Even the angle of the stage has to be mapped out to avoid noise complaints. His smile then is probably part relief as well as part enthusiasm as he announces this evening’s music. It’s Summer, the stage is set, the sun is shining…

The sun is indeed shining. Straight into the faces of the opening act German-Turkish Indie Rockband Engin. German/Turkish Indie Rock? Sounds like a not-so-simple mix. Singer Engin put it like this on his Facebook site: “Identity is complicated. I celebrated, hid, hated or loved mine as needed. My father is from Turkey. My mother is from Germany. I was born and raised here. So simple, so complicated”.


Actually, what sounds like it would be a difficult musical cultural mix works astoundingly well in the hands of this young trio. Check out the video ‘Halb’ if you are curious. The most difficult part of the evening wasn’t winning over the audience, it was being able to actually see them as the sun shone directly into the trio’s eyes. I particularly liked Engin’s direct guitar playing style and he also has an excellent voice that seems to change along with the language he’s singing in – somewhat deeper into Jack Savoretti territory on the Turkish numbers and more brittle on the german ones. Turkish melody and German lyrics? Can it work? Yes indeed, and a band to watch out for doing something a little different very effectively.


When he introduced Mischa HaJo had said they made a great impression during the soundcheck. If they put even half the effort into that soundcheck as they did into their set then they must have been totally exhausted by 9 pm. It’s possibly not saying too much to proclaim them as the best band to ever come out of Biberach an der Riß, indeed even they were astounded when someone in the audience recognized the location. They were winners of the Baden-Württemberg PLAY LIVE 2019 Southside Festival and clearly have the stage presence to extend their fanbase further into Deutschland. ‘First we take Biberach, then we take Berlin’ perhaps? Bouncy pop songs delivered by bouncy musicians – the audience finished up bouncing about too after Mischa jumped off the stage to get everyone involved. I was rather surprised that they were not the final act of the evening. Certainly not an easy band to follow.

The 9 pm spot was held by Indie Trap musicians Trill though, and as Monty Python would say: “… now for something completely different”. I guess it’s a knock-on effect of PopCamp being for young, up-and-coming bands meeting my older musical genre expectations. I am though totally bewildered by the ever increasing style divisions. I was recently in an HMV shop in the UK and I am sure there was no Indie Trap section. Shops it seems are still even lumping Blues and Jazz together to save space. Anyway, please drop me a line listing other Indie Trap artists. Trille are apparently the first Indie-Trap band to bring Cloud Rap back to Earth. No, I’m completely lost here. I was pleasantly surprised to see both a keyboard player and drummer come onto the stage, and whilst I’m still not a huge fan of music played by anyone wearing a baseball cap, Trille’s music filled the Stadtgarten pleasantly and there were plenty of people enjoying it as the sun went down on a hot evening beside the Rhine on a musically diverse day that celebrated also the diversity of PopCamp itself.


Next week sees a Folk-Blues evening with Daniel Bongart followed by Richard Bargel on Friday (19 August) and on Saturday (20 August) Jazzpop meets Balladenpunk with Mangoo Factory and Hasenscheisse. That’s two more musical genres for the list. Are you ready? If so, visit the STADTGARTENKONZERTE HOMEPAGE

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