If you’re a promoter looking to bring in a good crowd in the Cologne/Bonn area there are not too many certainties outside of the Rolling Stones. Two ‘safe’ crowd pullers though in the Pop/Rock genres are BAP and Brings. Both have graced the stage here at Kunst!Rasen before and will again I’m sure as long as there is a stage here to grace. Tonight it was the turn of the latter of these local giants Brings to provide the magic (and the masses with a crowd of 7000+). A colourful evening was certain to be had by all, both on and off the stage.
From the very first opening at Kunst!Rasen some years ago now when the late, great, Lou Reed took the stage, the opening show seems to have always been, in my memory anyway, on a bright and sunny day. The 2017 opener Passenger + guests appeared on my cellphone calender though along with a storm warning. Thankfully it turned out , as the Bard said, much ado about nothing. Cool music at the end of a hot day in fact.
There was no definite closing time on the last day of business in Maximillian Strasse as Bonn’s last independent CD/Record store welcomed visitors. The last CD’s were being snapped up, along with shop fittings and posters.. A popular man on the day, with a never ending stream of well-wishers, Mr Music, Bernie Gelhausen, found the time to clink glasses with me. A toast to those four pillars of sanity in an often crazy world: Love, Health, Happiness and MUSIC!
Regulars in the shop appreciated the staff for their seemingly endless patience and inexhaustible knowledge. Carsten, Duck, Frank, Piti, Flö and Thomas, I salute you all. Were you a football team you would be in the Premier League!
A last word on this sad day for Bonn must come from Mr Music himself. What should it be? I asked. Bernie thought it over for all of two seconds and replied: “Rock and Roll will never die!” Sadly, today the shop we loved to buy it from did though.
Ice cream during the interval? Not your usual Harmonie concert for certain. The 20th Bonn Schumann Festival was paying a rare visit to the Endenich venue better known for Rock, Pop and Blues. I think it’s fair to say though that it wasn’t only the refreshments that were cool on Friday night as the crystal clear voice of Dutch Jazz Lady Fay Claassen, with a world class backing band to guide it, headed like an exocet missile straight into our ears and clean through to our hearts.
The excellent Dave Goodman reminded me how far I am from being a real acoustic guitarist today.
During a short set in the backyard of Musik Baum in Plittersdorferstrasse the gifted Canadian showed local musicians and music lovers how it’s done, breathing new life into that old warhorse ‘St James Infirmary Blues’ and delivering a quite sublime version of the Hendrix classic ‘Little Wing’. Part of a promotion for Yamaha guitars, but I suspect it will take more than one of these beauties to sound anything like Dave!
So how did a scottish blues band come to be playing a gig in one of Bonn’s more prominent hard rock/heavy metal venues? The answer, rather surprisingly, is whisky. Edinburgh based Blueswater were booked after Dominik Hafner got to know them during a band tour of Islay (land of Talisker, Bowmore and other wee drams of pleasure). It proved to be a lucky meeting for Bonn Blues lovers as the band put on a cracking show in front of an appreciative audience at Kult41 on Sunday.
Being in charge of the Bonn Jazz Youth Orchestra (JJOB) must be like being manager of a top football team. You spend a lot of effort creating a talented team – and before you know it, the stars have moved on. .. and it’s time for a new team. Not that either of the ‘trainers’ Thomas Kimmerle or Thomas Heck would complain in this case, both men clearly love introducing youngsters to the music they themselves love (see my INTERVIEW with Thomas Kimmerle last year). Now in it’s fourth year the JJOB ‘Prom Night’ was upon us – The LVR Landesmuseum was our venue and a bright evening of Jazz in it’s many colours awaited.