BOB without Beethoven – Classic Picnic time at Kunstrasen

“Welcome to Bonn’s most beautiful Concert Venue”.  Perhaps Beethoven Orchestra Bonn (BOB) Director/Conductor Dirk Kaftan was genuinely only making a point about the beautiful surroundings at Kunstrasen.  A few spectators at this year’s ‘Klassik Picknick’ might well have taken it as a sly ‘dig’ at the disastrous renovation plans of the Beethoven Hall just down the road, however.  Aside from the fact it would get a bit cold in December though it started me to thinking that perhaps they should keep the Kunstrasen stage where it is and just build a football stadium-style roof over the spectator area to make it all-weather friendly and give the Beethovenhalle up as the ‘bad job’ it has become?

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Ismael de Barcelona & Juan del Rhin in Kessenich

Proof that you don’t need big halls and big bucks to hear top notch musicians was proven by Ismael Alcalde‘s appearance on a balmy Saturday evening in the unlikely location of a public library.  As it proved though, books are not just good to read, they also provide a good acoustic environment.  The solar roof of the Stadtbucherei St Nikolaus in Bonn-Kessenich also sent soft and shimmering Summer evening light onto the 100 or so people enjoying the music.

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Michael Jackson: A Man in the Mirror

David LaChapelle – The Beatification (segment)

Following its controversial run at the National Portrait Gallery in London and the Grand Palais in Paris Michael Jackson: OnThe Wall has continued to court publicity during its current run at the Bundeskunsthalle in Bonn. No publicity is bad publicity? It certainly won’t do the attendance figures any harm that Dan Reed’s ‘Leaving Neverland’ film has put Jackson back in the spotlight.

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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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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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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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