Bonn The Next Generation…

No, it’s nothing to do with Star Trek. In Bonn ‘Next Generation’ is a new concert series aimed at giving young local musicians with their own songs a chance to shine at a top venue. This time around it was the opportunity for David Nevory, Melchi, and Peanut Butter Spirit Lover (PBSL for short!) to show what they could do in front of a large and enthusiastic audience at The Harmonie.

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Musical pearls from the Oysterband in Bonn

 

Long before there was Skinny Lister and the Dropkick Murphy’s.  Even before there was the Pogues, there was a ‘Folk Punk’ movement.  Okay, it wasn’t so ‘in yer face’ as the later incarnations, but The Oysterband were up there singing crafted lyrics from a fire in their collective bellies.  Now into their 43rd year, the fire is more a smoulder than a furnace, but after a half hour listening to the band on Thursday at Bonn Harmonie it was clear that the songs still matter – to both band and fans.

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Fresh Air at Folk Club #99

The official theme was fresh air, but Bonn Folk Club has got so popular that it would have been a theme anyway as a packed Dotty’s welcomed special guests Tangoyim and a lively mix of styles and ages amongst the musicians, lucky enough to snare spots in the ever increasingly popular sets – including the son of a popular visitor.  As always at FCB, the unexpected is to be expected…

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Duke, George, Cole & Astatine at the Harmonie

She calls them her ‘Holy Trinity’ of music, and I’m sure Duke Ellington, George Gershwin and Cole Porter would all have enjoyed Astatine‘s excellent concert at Bonn Harmonie on Sunday.  Put together some of the best Jazz composers of the 20th Century and a talented band of musicians and you really can’t go wrong.  As Mr Gershwin would have observed – “Fascinating Rhythm’!

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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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