A Merry Little Christmas with Ezio

Tony Blair is famously remembered by fans of tonight’s band not just for being British Prime Minister, but also for including ‘Cancel Today’ among his chosen records to play on BBC Radio’s ‘Desert Island Discs’ (allegedly a favorite of the PM before Commons ‘Question Time).  Ezio have been around a while now making great music, with well crafted lyrics and a healthy dose of Italian/Cambridge mixed humour.  Why, with so much praise, are they still playing The Harmonie and not The Cologne Arena?  Maybe it’s down to the lack of glitter and glamour – “This is advertised as a Christmas Show” admits Ezio Lunedei early in tonight’s set.  “But that’s only because we’re playing it now, around Christmas,  There’s no tinsel or Santa Outfits”  What there is though are great lyrics, super music, and the best between-song banter I’ve heard on a musical stage.  Morecambe & Wise meet Bob Dylan?  Well, maybe not.  But the former didn’t play guitar like Ezio and Booga and the latter isn’t renowned for between song joviality.  Simply put – Ezio are a unique experience of the best kind as Tuesday’s Harmonie concert proved.

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Folk Club 97 – Get On Board

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I was recently critical of Bonn Folk Club’s themed evenings. Almost no-one pays any real attention to it I said. Ah, but when the theme is trains… then things run along a different track (excuse the pun). Here we were for the final first Friday of the year at Dotty’s Sports Bar, and the list of train songs seemed almost as long as the list of stations between Bonn and Berlin. When it comes to emotionally charged lyrics, it seems trains evoke the songwriter in us all – and when not in us personally, there are plenty of standards to choose from.

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Topping Charts & Winning Hearts – Larkin Poe in Cologne

When, mid-set,  Rebecca Lovell mentioned that the new CD ‘Venom & Faith’ had gone straight into the biggest Blues chart in America at number one, it seemed like something she was mentioning by-the-by.  Atlanta sister duo Larkin Poe have gone from insider tip to the hottest blues act on the planet.  This will be the last gig of theirs in Luxor, of that I’m sure, and if you were lucky enough to grab a ticket for the show (which sold out weeks ago) you will know why.

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The light and darkside of Bonn Folk Club

Folk Club 96 at Dotty’s Sportsbar.  There is a large gap between tables and where the performers will stand.  Tables are added, then more chairs, and more chairs, and more chairs…  Pretty soon there are no more chairs and people sit on the floor – shades of those black and white ‘Folk Music Television specials of the early 60’s with listeners camped out at the feet of players.  I would reckon that the number of listeners equalled at least the number of Folk Clubs(96).  Maybe it’s the double guest star slot of Canadian David Blair and always popular red-headed duo Brother Movement?  Even the number of dogs in the room seems to be growing.  What’s happening Mr Harrison?  I may have to do the German thing and drape a bath towel over a chair at Dott’s before going to work on the first Friday of the month.

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Time for a Kiss – Ana Popovic is Back

Ana Popovic was clearly taking the title of this concert series from 2getherconcerts and the Harmonie – ‘Blues for Lovers’ – very seriously. ‘Give me a kiss’ glitters on her white t-shirt.  Can anyone pass up such a request from the enigmatic blues guitar Queen?  Especially after such a long absence.  In 2011 Ana played two shows here in Bonn – one here at the Harmonie, and a notable appearance at Museumsplatz as support for the late BB King. Today Ana is finally back, and with a musical bang, in the form of a new horn section from Italy.

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Same Procedure As Every Year – Julian Sas at The Harmonie

 

The t-shirts in the front row said it all:  ’15 Years – Mr Music Presents Julian Sas‘. Sas himself celebrates the relationship by describing Bernd (Bernie) Gelhausen as “One of the few good Men still standing” in music – and dedicates ‘Devil Got My Number’ to the Man behind Mr Music.  The two have come a long way, always believed in what they do, never compromising, and built up solid support over many years for it – one making music and the other selling it. It may be a big living room – but for Julian Sas Bonn Harmonie really been home for well over a decade.

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World Music comes to Kessenich

 

As Dottendorf shapes up to be Bonn’s Jazz Centre with it’s popular Jazz Nights, why can’t Kessenich be the City’s World Music Centre?  Where would they play? I hear you ask.  Bucherei St Nikolaus (St Nicholas Library) in Putzstrasse is where.  Saturday evenings ‘Klein aber Fein’ concert by World Music Bonn proved an excellent live location with an audience that almost outnumbered the books by 8pm.

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