One of the most welcome surprises for me this year was the discovery at Dottendorf’s Blues Night that there is a band delivering smoky, vintage Chicago Blues with style in Bonn. Good reason then when I heard they were playing in a smokey Bonn Club to see them. The Chaingang Kings were at Session in Gerhard-Von-Are Strasse so I laced up my Boogie Shoes and got ready for a sweaty night of hard liquor, low lighting and Blues.
“Sing along if you recognize this one!”Laurence Jones calls out, before launching into a powerful version of the John Fogerty classic ‘Fortunate Son’ at Bonn Harmonie on Monday. Those present were indeed fortunate, this really was a devastating performance from the acclaimed British ‘Blueser’, truly live music from the heart and soul. For his last appearance here with Blues Caravan in 2014 Laurence Jones was just a youngster with star potential under the RUF Records roster, at 27 though he has very definitely made the step up to Premier League status.
Sometime in the ’70’s I found myself at a local Folk Club in Portsmouth sitting next to a man in dusty clothes with a battered suitcase and even more battered hat who looked like he’d come in out of the rain. I didn’t think he would be sitting in the lounge bar long once the concert had started but I was wrong. He stayed for all the floor-spots and the guest stars appearance too. He only stood up when the star guest was announced – at which point he opened that battered case, took out an even more battered guitar, and proceeded to blow us all away with his songs and guitar playing.
It’s that time of year that many live music regulars at The Harmonie in Bonn look forward to. How else can you explain why the venue is regularly packed full for four days in a row of music by bands that most of the local visitors have never even heard, let alone seen before? Well, these concerts do come with the seal of approval from Germany’s (the Worlds?) most celebrated music programme – WDR Rockpalast. A programme that has been bringing music lovers legendary performances by the likes of Rory Gallagher, David Bowie and the Who since 1977. On this particular Thursday evening in Bonn it’s the turn of Australian Band The Black Sorrows and Holland’s Sven Hammond to get the Rockpalast Star treatment.
Now, I’m not at all sure why anyone would try and sell new versions of some of the best Rock and Roll songs ever put down on plastic. But if anyone is going to be that crazy, then it might as well be someone that is doing it for the fun rather than the money. In which case, Mr Mike Zito gets away with the ‘blasphemy’ of re-playing already perfect Rock n Roll songs with perfection on his new release A Tribute To Chuck Berry
The theme at Dotty’s Sports Bar for Folk Club Bonn meet number 106 was colours. But are Black (Back to Black) and White (Nights in White Satin) actually colours? Another question – what was that red plastic barrel on John’s finger for? Pull up a chair (or risk sitting on the floor), grab a beer when the waitress comes round with her tray, and settle down for another evening of music in all shapes, sizes, and colours…
It’s not very often that you see Blues-Rock being played by just a drummer and guitarist. It’s rarer still for the drummer to be both female and pregnant. Welcome to the unconventional musical World of CC and Tone aka Little Hurricane as the duo bring their very individual brand of Lo-Fi-Indie Rock to Cologne’s Luxor venue. 3songsbonn generally stays true to the name. Every so often though there are bands playing not too far away that are just too promising to draw boundaries on.
The Poppelsdorfer Strassenfest has become a popular place to be over the years. Indeed, by 7pm I usually feel like an ant trying to cross a motorway without getting knocked down or indeed, squashed flat. Good news then that two bands I wanted to catch were due onstage before that watershed time of chaos. Winterfeld and Sunny Skies were the bands in question – yes, Sunny Skies playing whilst the sun was actually in the sky…