Back to Kunstrasen’s ‘Klein aber Fein’ Vsecond Stage. Roxanne de Bastion and Daniel Bongart were on the bill on a day when all the threat of rain during Sunday’s VIP lounge concert arrived with a vengeance from early afternoon on Tuesday evening. An hour before the music was due to start there were regular peals of thunder from the Rheinaue direction. A wise man would have stayed home. I set out – with a raincoat and strong umbrella. Well, there was an English lady waiting for me. Waiting for an audience of any sort I suspect as the lightning lit up the early evening sky.
Not having been back to my home country for over two years it was rather pleasant to walk down to Kleines Theater in the Bad Godesberg Kurpark on Monday. For one, it was slightly drizzling with rain. ‘Even the weather will be Best of British’ I sighed happily inside my waterproof jacket. Music from the British Isles was what it said on the flyers. But what exactly was that? I mean, we all know Irish jigs and Scottish bagpipes, but can you fit four individual territories into one evening, indeed into an evening ending at 10 pm, in the park in one evening? If anyone could, it would be the man stepping promptly onto the stage at 7:30 pm.
“Die Bühne hier gehört jetzt mir. Ich könnt‘ hier wohnen!“ – from ‘Jamsessions‘
For Cynthia Nickschas a stage, any stage, seems like a second home. Even no stage, when she is playing on street corners for change collected in her famous ’Mad Hatter’ top hat. So why tonight, for her Unter der Zeder concert, is she nervously plucking at her guitar strings and chattering like a nervous sparrow in a tree full of sparrow hawks? Looking round at the sold-out seats in front of her, Cynthia explains her predicament. “I know everyone here personally!” It’s a ‘home concert’ for Cynthia, playing in her own backyard of Bad Godesberg, and that’s the source of the nervosity. She’s actually relieved later on when the light dims and the stage lights mean recognizable faces are hidden from her sight.
On Monday the new Unter der Zeder season got underway in fine Bossa Nova style with Astatine and her special guests Michael Heupel and Uwe Arenz.
Music is indeed coming back to Bonn this week, and in the Kurpark Bad Godesberg it seemed like the most natural thing in the world.
Peter Wohlleben, in his groundbreaking book ‘The Hidden Life of Trees’ notes that many a tree trunk in many a forest still lives on thanks to the trees around it. They ‘feed’ it through their own roots, looking after their own so to speak. Which is just as well, since we humans very often use our leafy friends as mere political pawns. We claim to guard our climate by cutting down fuel emissions through improving cycleways, and to do so we cut down trees. Good then that there are humans out there looking out for the welfare of our leafy oxygen guardians, and Sunday was a chance to meet some of them as well as a day to enjoy good local music in a good local park on a good sunny Summer afternoon.
Created in 2020, “Baumwächter” or ‘Tree Guardians’ in English, was the initiative behind Sunday’s relaxing event. “We give trees a voice – because every tree counts!” is the motto here.
It’s barely been two years since Grace and Aaron Bond had a musical epiphany. After eight years of making music largely as the fancy took them, the husband and wife team from Essex discovered they could make a pretty great Blues Rock sound. In fact, they liked it so much that the duo headed out on the roads of England in an old VW Camper to test out their new musical love – and then came Covid.
At this time you would expect the story to take a downward turn. Instead, the Pandemic proved to be the making of them. Proof of that is in a record-breaking four wins at this year’s British Blues Awards. Alongside Best Emerging Artist, Best Band and Best Album they also picked up the curious Most Inspirational Online Performance award. All of which makes both band, and album well worth a listen for all Blues Rock lovers out there (and I know there are many around Bonn area!)
Popular French rockers Rozedale are back with something new, and and I don’t mean just a change in spelling (from Rosedale) either. The band centred around Amandyn Roses’ punchy vocals and Charlie Fabert’s tasteful guitar licks have completed their third studio disc. ‘Third album syndrome’ (there’s even a name for it) usually develops as follows: New band kicks off with a solid debut, filled with songs that have perhaps been years in the making (1st release). Band then find out what went down best from this first disc and use that knowledge to deliver a solid follow-up (2nd release). But then comes the question: should release number three stay safe and be more of the same? Should it show progression and risk losing fans? For Rozedale it’s make your mind up time..
Actually, that subtle spelling change is a clue to the musical path taken. Yes, things have changed, but not too much. Overall the band has kept it’s sound – and that’s a good thing. Using the mixing skills of Chris Sheldon (Radiohead/Foo Fighters) is an equally wise move – guaranteeing that this release maintains a Rock edginess even in its introspective moments.
From “Kultur Blüht Auf” in Coburg. Marion Lenfant-Preus and Alexander Sobocinski prove here, with the talented help of Radek Stawarz (violin, Bratche-Cello), Stefan Berger (double bass) and very special guest Joscho Stephan that they are amongst the best bands around, and not just in the Bonn area. Enjoy this World-class performance from the Bonn duo – with a little help from their friends.