The Step Twins – Beer, Sunshine, Rock ‘n’ Roll

Wolfgang Scheelen has quite an impressive list of musicians that he’s appeared with, including Ray Charles, Fats Domino and Dizzy Gillespie. On this fine Summer afternoon in Bonn, Scheelen is laying down dome mean blues harp solos with Bastian Korn on piano and Benny Korn on drums, aka The Step Twins. The SWB Sommerfestival is back with sunshine and music at the Parkrestaurant Rheinaue

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Classic meets Gypsy – Live music is back in Bonn

‘Unter der Zeder’ is a brand-spanking new concert season in Bad Godesberg. A ‘Lite’ version of the popular ‘Concert in the Park’ Season with its limited seating perhaps, but well worth reserving a seat for as the opening concert by Marcus Schinkel and Joscho Stephan proved.

Certainly, the Cedar trees outside of the Kleines Theater in the Bad Godesberger Kurpark make a beautiful setting for relaxing music. On my arrival though I was looking for one with a good roof of leaves. In fact, only an hour before it was hammering with rain and thunder. The rain stopped, and the bus arrived, so I made my decision to get on it – and I am very glad I did.

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Open Air 2020 in Bonn – Kulturgarten

Peter Brings is plainly happy that live music is coming back to Bonn

With plenty of sunshine in the Bonn sky there is now a ray of hope for Bonn’s music-lovers.  ‘Kulturgarten’ is the name, and it aims to bring some major bands to the Rheinaue including Brings, Die Höhner, Nena and Kasalla.   Even better is that we don’t have very long to wait – The opening show will be in less than a month’s time,  on 16th July with Bukahara.

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Night of Light in Germany

Don’t be surprised if you are seeing red In the night of 22 June.  From around 10 pm many concert halls and theatres will be displaying red lights to draw attention to their precarious future as a result of the Corona Crisis and draw attention to the still present limitations that are still in place and threatening their future.  It’s a nationwide action that will involve some 140 locations in the Bonn-Cologne area alone, including Blue Shell and E-Werk in Cologne and The Harmonie in Bonn.  It will be the NIGHT OF LIGHT.

 

Since mid-March, the event industry has practically not made any sales. Unlike the manufacturing sector, lost sales can no longer be made up, and nothing can be produced “in stock”; most companies in the event industry are service providers. Even if high demand were possible after the crisis ended, the loss suffered can no longer be compensated for. The event industry as a whole is one of the largest sectors of the German economy and has around 1 million direct employees. Annual sales of around EUR 130.0 billion are generated. If you add the cultural and creative industries with their event-related sub-markets and supply markets, more than three hundred thousand companies in more than 150 disciplines employ more than 3 million people and achieve an annual turnover of over 200 billion euros! *

Due to the provisional ban on major events until August 31, 2020 and a subsequent preliminary planning for events, there is an 80 – 100% loss of sales over a period of at least eight months. This creates an acute risk of bankruptcy for the entire industry. It is important to draw the public’s attention to the particularly hard-hit event management industry and to make it clear that current aid in the form of credit programs is not sufficient. Since these loans cannot be invested to create value, but have to be used to cover operating costs, this leads to renewed insolvency in connection with over-indebtedness of the companies and institutions concerned after the loans have been used up.  A large sector of the performing Arts is on a red list towards extinction –  The red lights are a warning that help is needed from the Government – NOW!

 

More details to NIGHT OF LIGHT are HERE

 

 

 

25th Anniversary of Rory Gallagher’s Death

Rory Gallagher

In June 1995 I had been living in Germany for about five years.  After arriving in Germany and taking one dodgy job after another I’d finally found a job with a future in the accounts department of a major bookshop in Düsseldorf.  It was my habit during my lunch break in those days to walk around the corner to Düsseldorf’s premier location The Kö.  It was where all the top fashion shops were, but more importantly for me it was also where there was a small booth selling international newspapers.  It was the cover of the local Rheinische Post newspaper that caught my eye though – Rory Gallagher’s picture was on it.  Rory was dead.  A Liver Transplant that seemed to have gone well had led to complications…  I bought The Sun and the Daily Mail and headed back to my office with a heavy heart.

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Live from their living room – The surreal world of playing to an invisible audience

There’s no denying that the last few weeks have been a nightmare for musicians all over the World financially. Gone are the days when a band could live off of a record company advance until the sales kicked in. Money comes from live concerts – admission fees and CD sales at the merchandise table afterwards. Recently both the concerts and the merchandise tables have disappeared. The music ‘business’ has been almost entirely run online. 3songs takes a look at how the music has fared during the dark days of lockdown and discovered that it hasn’t all been doom and gloom. It’s been a time of financial worries for many, but for some it’s been a time of re-invention and creativity. writing new material and presenting old material in new ways. Inventing ways to bring in money. Does every cloud have a silver lining? I asked some musicians out there for their views, and was both pleasantly surprised and pleased, at how upbeat they were.

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Steve Crawford new album with Spider Mackenzie

Steve Crawford has been a regular and popular contributor to the Bonn music scene for some years now.  The Aberdeen born Folk singer and guitarist appears regularly with Sabrina Palm as a duo and as a part of the successful Cajun swamp groove band Le Clou.  Steve has also worked over the years with harmonica virtuoso Spider Mackenzie and the two have just released a new disc called ‘Celticana’  Here they are to introduce the recording made in Nashville and produced in Austin, Texas, by top Country musician Chris Gage.  Sounds like an irresistible Bluesy Country Folk mix to me.

 

 

Life is what happens whilst you’re making other plans…

 

 

 

“I’ve been promoting concerts since 1977… I’ve never experienced anything like it” – Ernst Ludwig Hartz

What happens when, despite the old saying, the show really can’t go on?  Here is a short interview with two men behind the beleaguered live music scene in Germany.  Manni Glamowski would have been behind the scenes at this year’s Rock Hard Festival (hosting Accept and Blue Oyster Cult) and Ernst Ludwig Hartz would have been introducing the likes of Robbie Williams, Kraftwerk and Lionel Richie, Deep Purple at the Kunstrasen and Hofgarten right here in Bonn.  Rockpalast asked them both for their thoughts, and fears, over the live music scene in Covid19 times.

(in German)