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.
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.
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.
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’!
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.
The Harmonie stage looks strangely bare considering five musicians have set up on it. There’s only a single Fender Telecaster propped up in front of a battered speaker cabinet for Henrik Freischlader himself. Over on the merchandise stall, there is no sign of t-shirts, back-catalogue cd’s or signature Stetson caps. Just two cardboard boxes – one with the new release as cd and the other with its vinyl counterpart. Travelling Light could be the Tour motto.
They are now so much of a musical institution in Bonn that it’s hard to imagine a music scene here without Bill Baum and his partners in music The Bluesbenders. It was then, a mark of the respect Bill has gained from the Blues scene, that for his 25th Anniversary show at Bonn Harmonie, Bill was joined by a man nominated in three categories for this year’s International Blues Awards, Richie Arndt. It was guaranteed to be a good evening for Bonn Blues lovers.