Albert Hammond – It (Almost) Never Rains at Roncalli Platz

Albert Hammond smiles as he recalls midway through tonight’s show: “I often have people come up to me and say ‘I enjoyed the show.  But why so many cover songs?”.  During the current Songbook Tour though Hammond is able to put the record (literally) straight before each song.  “Here’s one I wrote that Julio Inglesias had a hit with (‘All the girls I’ve met before’), here’s one I co-wrote for Leo Sayer (‘When I Need You’) One I co-wrote for the Hollies (‘Air That I Breathe’)Roncalli Platz in Cologne was a chance to remind people just how prolific a songwriter he is – and he took his chance well.  An evening of familiar songs that, if they didn’t stretch back in time as far as the Cathedral towering behind the stage, still had a long and very successful history.

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Sir Van the 90 Minute Man

The local paper reports that Sir Van Morrison said ‘Thank You’ before leaving the stage on this pleasantly warm evening in Cologne.  The only words I can recall from Ireland’s celebrated and knighted (2016) musical son all evening were song names, barked more for the band to follow than for listeners to hear.  Ultimately though, with such a legend, it’s the music that should do the talking; and it did so perfectly in front of a sold out Roncalliplatz audience.

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Ashes, Dust & Diamonds with Warren Haynes

WarrenHaynes-(21-of-158)-Edit_DeNoise-Edit_DeNoiseThey didn’t do too badly for guitarists did they?  The Allman Brothers  lost Duane tragically in 1971 but continued on with three of the finest southern style men that ever plugged in a Les Paul, in the shapes of Dickey Betts, Derek Trucks and tonight’s guest at the Kantine in Cologne – Warren Haynes.  Sadly we will never know how great Duane Allman might have become.  We can however check up on the playing of Mr Haynes, and I think Duane would have been smiling on Saturday.

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Dani Wilde & Friends

Who says familiarity breeds contempt?  Dani Wilde has become a regular visitor to Cologne/Bonn in recent years but every visit has been very different.  With Sam Fish and Casisie Taylor on Blues Caravan, with her own Band, and on Tuesday, with an acoustic trio.  Dani Wilde & Friends saw Brighton’s Blues Belle bring her infectious enthusiasm and soul laden voice to Colognes Yardclub.

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Thir(s)ty Years of The Pogues

Pogues 2012 CologneLabelled by Rolling Stone as ‚The Musical equivalent of a pub crawl’ The Pogues were in Cologne at the Tanzbrunnen on Tuesday to celebrate their suitably titled  ’Thir(s)ty Years’ Anniversary Tour.

I knew the plastic beer glasses would be flying, and I was pretty certain the 7pm start was more a hope than a statement of intent.  I was certain too that the main question on everyone’s minds would be the same as it was in Bonn last year: ‘How will Shane be?’. Which is a pity, because people really should read their tickets more closely.  It doesn’t say ‘Shane MacGowen & Band’  it says ‘The Pogues’ – and they are a great Band in their own right.

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