Stan’s Blues Band has come a long way. The band formed in 1977 changed it’s name in 1979 to the sharper Nine Below Zero which was a wise move – can you imagine a band without an actual ‘Stan’ surviving with that name so long? Forty years on, and still rocking as one of Britains premier RnB bands, they took the temperature up despite their name with a lively set at Bonn Harmonie.
“A dream come true” is how Royston’s finest Blues export describes his latest project – taking a nine-piece band on the road, including a four-piece horn section.
It was a dream that only three venues were allowed to share as these were selected for an audio-recording due for release in April. Bonn was one of the lucky Cities and we were treated to a powerful blast of the Blues.
“Just got home after a hell of a gig in hell’s kitchen: the Harmonie Bonn” – Julian Sas describing his sold out 15th gig in consecutive years at the venue. If this is Hell then maybe the Devil does indeed have the best music…
Bonn’s Alten Zoll isn’t the only place near the University that workmen have been frantically re-constructing. Last week saw the Stadtgarten concert stage arising from the ash of the boules courtyard next to the Biergarten and last night saw the first concert of the new season with Belgian band The Herfsts and Bonn’s own Steal a Taxi on hand to ease the stress of a hard week’s work.
It’s 7.30pm at Bonn Kunstrasen and I meet some friends out back in the audience. “This is still the support act? Right?” one of them asks. By this time Wolfgang Niedecken and his band the legendary BAP have already been onstage for an hour and I have to explain that there ARE musicians out there who play according to their feelings and not to a 90 minute stopwatch – and yes, these guys were due to remain onstage until 10 pm. Fortunately they still had another two and a half hours to move up front in the audience and enjoy the finest Kölsch-rocker that ever trod the boards at Chlodwigplatz.
His right forearm has a tattoo of Elvis punching the air in the 50’s, his left a tattoo of Freddie Mercury doing the same in the 80’s. Right here and now, at 8.15pm on 29 June 2016, at the Brückenforum in Bonn Beuel, Frank Turner has his own arm raised, hand balled into a fist. And it’s only the second song in the set…
It’s shortly after 11.30 am. I’m standing on the roof of the Bundeskunsthalle in Bonn. It’s called the General Anzeiger’s Sommergarten Season but the question bugging me is, will it rain? I’m English so I assume the worst, but the two ladies onstage in front of me have come prepared – songwise at least, as Bonn’s own Anne Haigis and Thüringen born Ina Boo kick off in classic thumb to the nose at grey skies fashion with Tony Joe White’s ‘Out of the Rain’. Gauntlet firmly laid down by messrs Haigis and Boo, the grey clouds go scurryingly on their way – one force of nature conquered by another. Anne is here on the back of her latest disc ’15 Companions’ and within ten minutes she has several hundred companions hanging on her every lyric.