What is there left to say about Julian Sas at Bonn Harmonie? Fact: this was his 18th appearance here since 2003. Fact: Most of those shows have been sold out within a few days. Fact: Julian Sas is one of Europe’s best guitar players. Fact: I’ve taken pictures of Julian’s devoted, mostly dutch, followers regularly over the years, and the faces don’t change. So what makes these people ‘fans for life?’. It’s Saturday night on a sunny November night in Bonn. Wintertime. Inside the Harmonie though it’s a hot and balmy evening – it’s Sas time…
The new disc ‘Means of Escape’ was recently nominated for Best Album of 2019 in the European Blues Awards, as well as being included in Joe Bonamassa’s personal Spotify Playlist of music from musicians who are keeping the Blues alive. It was recorded in as few takes as possible says the English guitarist behind it, in order to keep the live feel. Here we are then to test out just how well that live CD vibe aimed for by Danny Bryant matches a room full of Blues fans on a chilly November evening at The Harmonie
For those not wanting to wait (and those not wanting to pay 70+ Euros for a Kunstrasen ticket next July) this was the perfect Deep Purple presentation. Some compromise is inevitable of course, but how much and where? As Purpendicular With Purple original Ian Paice on drums step onto the Harmonie stage we are about to find out…
So many top names have surely never before been booked so long in advance. This must be a record for compiling a top-notch concert calendar in the Cologne-Bonn region. With the addition of the Hofgarten, top local promoter Ernst-Ludwig Hartz now has even more top locations at his disposal from which to offer major musical stars, and it’s reflected in the big names coming Bonn and Cologne’s ways next year.
Lionel Richie will be saying ‘Hello’ to Bonn
The biggest showground of all will be the Hofgarten Wiese in Bonn. Vividly remembered by local residents for the many student demonstrations that took place there, it will attract big crowds for very different reasons in 2020. 25,000 people will be able to see German Electro-Pop legends Kraftwerk in action on 15 May. The day before will see a simultaneous concert by the Bonn and Vienna Orchestras.
Kunst!rasen will see Sting (already sold out) and Lionel Richie deliver concerts down by the Rhine in Bonn, whilst down by the Cathedral in Cologne stars will include Brian Ferry on 28th July. The ‘trial’ concert by Joan Baez at Insel Grafenwerth was a roaring success, with the result that more shows are being planned down by the Rhine there too – Albert Hammond, who delivered a wonderfully eclectic show from his long and successful career as both singer and songwriter will be playing on 6th June.
“I got ‘A’ listed on my latest record on the Radio in Holland, so it’s going out to the masses which has been great you know. There are still massive Blues elements in there though and I’ll always have that Blues guitar no matter what I do”
Good news then for the many fans of British Blues musician Laurence Jones who paid his early musical ‘dues’ touring alongside top Blues musicians like Johnny Winter and Walter Trout. With a new Band, a new CD and a new beard there was a lot to talk about when I met Laurence after his recent concert at The Harmonie.
“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.
The ‘Will he? Won’t he?’ saga is finally at an end. Sting has agreed to make good his 2019 date at Kunstrasen with a show at the same venue in Bonn next year. The concert is set for 9 July 2020. An exclusive pre-sale for the Sting Fan Club begins on 29. October (10 am), followed by Ticketmaster Deutschland where tickets will be onsale from 30. Oktober (6 pm) with all other outlets offering the few tickets left from1. November (10 am).
Purple’s legendary vocalist Ian Gillan at Kunstrasen in 2013
“We all went down to Gronau. On the River Rhine shoreline…”
Legendary Rockers Deep Purple will be bringing hits like ‘Child In Time’ and ‘Woman From Tokyo’ to the Kunstrasen stage on 10 July 2020.
Not many bands can boast the power of Ian Gillan and Co after over 50 years in the business. The band’s show in 2013 saw a guest appearance from Warren Haynes on a little rock ditty you may have heard of – Smoke on the Water.