3songsbonn was saddened this week to hear that Alex Krienke has passed away after a sudden stroke. Alex was for many years the male voice of Bonn’s premier cover band Sunny Skies. He always seemed like a quiet and unassuming man when first stepping onto a stage, but Alex had a charisma that managed to command his audience – even when they were in their thousands as was the case during some of Sunny Skies’ most memorable appearances – supporting Huey Lewis and appearing with the Bonn Hofgarten Orchestra at Museumsplatz for example. After Alex Krienke left, Sunny Skies the band took on a heavier sound but that wasn’t because he couldn’t cover such musical territory – Alex could rock with the best too as he proved time and again with the likes of ‘Smoke on the Water’ and ‘Highway to Hell’
He had great feeling for classic rock ballads too. Alex’s interpretations of Robbie William’s ‘Angels’ and Freddie Mercury’s ‘Too Much Love Will Kill You’ are amongst the best I’ve ever heard. His take on Don McLean’s epic ‘American Pie’ was a highlight that I missed at every show the band played after he left them. His smile enjoying the music was always a pleasure to see and a reminder that it should be enjoyed by those both on and off stage.
In 2014 I was asked to review a new band project. The upshot was that I arranged an interview with Alex at Zone in Bonn Altstadt only to find Zone was closed. We finally found a little bistro up the road and chatted the evening away over beer (my side) and tea (Alex was on antibiotics at the time). When we came to leave, despite my asking for the interview and taking up his time, Alex insisted on paying the tab – he was grateful for my support. A gentle man and a gentleman.
In my interview, Alex exlained the core of music he loved to play as “Anything that sounds ‘real’ to me, no matter what style”. It was an integrity that shone through in everything he did musically. I still owe you for that beer Alex!