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.
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.
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…