Winterfeld in the Park

Living in the UK, the 1980’s to me were musically filled with irritating early stabs at techno sounds, where synthesizers (and even mini Casio organs) filled (polluted?) the airwaves of my little transistor radio. Now here’s the surprise – on the other side of the channel those staid and serious Germans were having more fun than we were in Britain.  Wednesday evening’s Musik im Park concert by Winterfeld was the proof, with quirky songs from the Neue Deutsche Welle that had people splashing happily in the shallow pond that separated band from audience.

Admittedly, a tiny bit of this music did actually make it over the ‘Pond’.  I immediately recognized both the mini- Casio organ that singer Daniel Bongart held up, and the simple beat… “da, da, da…” from the band Trio.  Apparently, Nena’s ’99 Luftballons’ was also Deutsche Welle too, although bassist Michael Semmler maybe thought it too commercial as he called out  emphatically “we don’t do that one!”

I recognized the name ‘Major Tom’ via Bowie’s ‘Space Oddity‘, but not the song itself (a hit for Peter Schilling). Neither did I recognize the band name Extrabreit but I did enjoy their anarchic ‘Hurra, hurra, die Schule brennt’.  None of that really mattered of course.  This was never meant to be music for guitar solos or even keyboard extravaganzas, it was all about having fun, and also, for a large part of the big audience, clearly a chance to hop into a time capsule for an evening. 

I can’t complain; when Daniel went walkabout with his microphone and held it in front of me, I too couldn’t resist belting out “Verdamp Lang Her!” even though, when Wolfgang Niedecken wrote the song in 1981, I was a bank clerk in England for whom a bap was just a kind of bread roll.  When I think about it, it’s odd that everything from the NDW era seems lighthearted – the BAP classic is lyrically heavy going and even Nena’s hit was inspired by the arrival in 1983 of Pershing missiles on German soil and fears of Atomic War.

Full marks then to Winterfeld for creating and maintaining a party mood in the sun on Wednesday evening. 

Still to come at the Trink Pavillion in Bonn Kurpark Bad Godesberg:

21 June – Hoves Meute (Celtic-Folk-Rock): from 7 pm ‘Um Sonst und Draussen’

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