Win tickets for Danny Bryant – 6th Dec Harmonie

For the UK’s best-known music magazine ‘Classic Rock Magazine’, Danny Bryant is a “National Blues Treasure“, a title that the exceptional guitarist has earned through hard work and tireless touring. Only 42 years old, Bryant has made a name for himself on the European blues scene for almost two decades, playing over 2500 club and festival gigs for his many fans, and is regarded in the industry as one of the best of the best.

His new studio album “Rise” was recorded earlier this year at Chapel Studios, UK and produced by Grammy winner Ian Dowling (Adele and others). Stylistically, Danny Bryant remains true to himself and offers an exciting mix of blues, rock and singer-songwriter, but has opted for a slightly more modern sound in the production, which makes the Brit sound fresher than ever. “My label and I agreed that everyone wanted a more heavily produced, more layered sounding record without compromising my sound,” explains Danny Bryant.

To hear Danny’s sound on a live stage you only need to make a visit to Bonn Harmonie on Wednesday. Even better, the first person to email and tell me who produced the new Danny Bryant album ‘Rise’ will be on the guestlist for free entry with a companion! Please title the email ‘Danny Bryant Competition’ and may the best live music fan win!

If you miss out on the competition tickets are available HERE

Advent unter der Zeder with Christian Meringolo

He’s young, Italian, good-looking, with a great voice and a charismatic presence. Christian Meringolo. All this perfection is hard to take for the lesser, non-Italian, mortal males amongst us. He even handles somewhat exasperating audience requests from thin air with consummate ease. “Can you sing Happy Birthday as you promised to?” asks one lady mid-concert, “Because we have to leave in a minute!”. “So you want me to sing something for you so you can leave and don’t have to listen anymore?” is Christian’s winking reply. Of course he obliges.

You think it can’t get more challenging? “Could you sing a Kölsch song?” Christian is relieved as he knows a couple. Then comes the sting – “A Christmas Kölsch song?”. Aha! I thought. That’s stumped him finally. But of course, he is not only a good-looking Italian etc, he knows a suitable song from Bläck Föös. Joking aside – Christian is always a pleasure to see and hear on a stage. Whether with a full electric band, solo, or as today in a duet form with drummer Timur Tiglu also braving the cold. Songs in English, German, Italian, and Kölsch. What more could you want? I bet someone in the audience would think of something… Nice one Christian (and Timur) and thank you KuKug eV for arranging this evening.

Still to come Unter der Zeder:

09.12.2023 – Gospelchoir ‘Sounding Joy’ 4pm – 7pm with Sounding Brass from 6pm

16.12.2023 – Kleines Theater Allstars Advents Konzert 4pm – 7pm

All concerts free entry but please put money in the hat!

KuKug Website

Remembering Shane MacGowan

My only encounter with the late Shane MacGowan was not of the close kind. It was 2012, after The Pogues had played Tanzbrunnen in Cologne and I had arranged an interview with Pogues accordion player James Fearnley who had just published a book on the Band. To quote Fearnley in the interviewI rang Shane up to tell him that I was finally writing a book about us and that I would probably be on the unstinting side, he said: ‘I don’t give a fuck about that.’“. The atmosphere backstage was not, you won’t be surprised to hear, particularly cosy. The doorman had told all the fans who asked for autographs outside that Shane had already gone back to the hotel – those astute enough to point out they could plainly see his reflection in the mirror inside were answered with a tired “Do I have eyes in the back of my head?” Until the next fan asked and got the same answer.

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December 1 Date for Simon Kempston in Bonn

It’s Christmas. That time of year when a Bonn Folk Music fans thoughts turn to – Simon Kempston.

This Friday (1 December) the gifted singer/songwriter and finger-style guitarist extraordinaire will be making his 12th consecutive visit to Folk Club Bonn. When John Harrison jokingly told Simon many years ago that we would love to have him back – but he has to bring a new CD with him every time, little did we know that the joke would be on us!

This year is no exception. Would he manage to pass the strict contractual obligations set out by the Folk Club’s MC John Harrison? The new CD is titled ‘Moonrise over Mostar’. Simon describes the deal thus: “As agreed with Sir John of Harrisonshire back in November 2011 at the Graurheindorf crossroads I shall of course, have copies with me in Bonn on Friday!”.

“This will be my first ever collection of original pieces for the classical guitar. Recorded at home during a time when musicians could not perform, these are compositions from the heart I feel impossibly close to, and in many ways my saviour during the most difficult days I have known as a musician. Hopefully, this is reflected in the final performances and that you enjoy listening to them as much as I have enjoyed creating them”.

We really are blessed to have Simon trek down to Bonn from his native Edinburgh to play for us. Described as ‘One of Scotland’s very best singer/songwriters’ by leading Scottish publication ‘The Herald’, Simon has performed across the world in 35 countries and counting but always holds the first Friday of December free for a date at what he describes as “The best Folk Club outside of Scotland”. It will be an evening to remember so don’t miss out – and bring some cash for that new CD too. There are not so many shopping days left until Christmas!

01 December 2023 Folk Club Bonn

7 pm to c.10 pm – Admission Free – but buying CD’s is permitted 😉

Dotty’s Sports Bar 
(Bonner Tennis- und Hockey-Verein – BTHV), 
Christian-Miesen-Str. 1,
53129 Bonn-Dottendorf

Julian Sas Goes to Work – Bonn Harmonie

“Let’s go to work!”. They were the trademark words of the great Rory Gallagher before his legendary live performances. Julian Sas walks onstage and says those words, not verbally, but in the very way he picks up his battered white Strat and plugs in the jack cable. It’s been a long while since Sas gigs were smattered with Gallagher covers – the flying Dutchman has so many great songs of his own to choose from now – but that work ethic remains the same. It’s the 20th time that ‘Mr Music’ (Bernie Gelhausen) has presented Sas here at Bonn Harmonie and you can be sure of only two things – it will be full, and it will be great!

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Astatine under the (Wet) Cedar Tree

Well, Astatine had it right on this particular evening. It did indeed feel like a “Blue, Blue Christmas”. It was certainly a wet start to the KuKug Advent Season outside of Bad Godesberg’s Kleines Theater. Don’t be fooled by the pictures though, there was an enthusiastic audience to enjoy the Advent songs and also the voice and piano of Michael Sorg. They were tucked away under the marquee roof enjoying hot Bratwurst and Glühwein. Michael’s preferred way of enjoying the latter beverage was to warm his fingers on the cup between songs though so he could play the piano.

Many thanks to the brave duo (and brave KuKug volunteers and indeed the brave audience as the rain poured down around them). Hopefully, if it has to pour down at all next Saturday when Christian Meringolo is the guest it will be snowflakes!

More details on the coming concerts on the KuKug website HERE


Christmas under the Cedar Tree

The programme for Unter der Zeder (Kleines Theater Bad Godesberg) from Saturday to Xmas. Great music, great people, and mulled wine too. Not quite ready to call it Christmas yet – but Happy Advent everybody and hope to see you under the Cedar tree!

Let the Summer come – Kunst!Rasen 2024

What better way to warm the hearts of music lovers on cold and wet Bonn Winter evenings than posters advertising next year’s Summer open-air concert season at Kunst!Rasen? The Season is currently set to kick off with Taylor Swift’s favourite band ‘The National’ from Brooklyn. Okay, so Swift is a bit biased since National Bassist Aaron Dessner produced her “Evermore’ and ‘Folklore’ discs as well as being a co-writer, but they should get the Season off to a flyer. More details on the Kunst!Rasen website