Four days of music as assorted as a box of chocolates, Rockpalast brought it’s twice yearly Crossroads show once again to the Harmonie in Bonn this week. From the Unknown (IndianAgeFlüster) through the rising stars (Die Nerven) to the established icons (Wolf Maahn) and Blues from finest (Sonny Landreth). If you missed out on a ticket – share mine…
It’s easy to take something like the regular Crossroads Festival at Bonn’s Harmonie for granted but I’m betting there are a lot of envious halls up and down Germany who would love to have Rockpalast introducing such showpiece evenings as we get down in Endenich. The four days this time around included Established bands JJ GRey & Mofro and The Great Crusades. Rising stars like Prince Bass-girl Nik West, and best of all – lots of new talent to discover.
It all began in the WDRstudios of Cologne’s Südstadt in 1976, and now it’s very latest edition is being recorded – in Bonn Endenich. ‘Rockpalast’ has of course become a Worldwide Rockmusic institution that has the ability to make(and possibly break) bands into a higher league on the success ladder and touring circuit. The venue is Bonn Harmonie and the bands experiencing a mix of anticipation, excitement and maybe nostalgic goosebumps under the blue neon ‘Rockpalast’ signs tonight are ‘Chain’, ‘Lisa & The Lips’ and ‘Imperial State Electric’.
“When we were selling 50,000 records a week,” remembers Chris Barron, “I’d walk into a mall to buy underwear and 300 kids would surround me!” A Harp playing blues girl and a powerpop band that a few years ago was all the rage with commercial tunes and witty lyrics. Stacie Collins was blowing harp and Chris Barrons band The Spin Doctors were prescribing a good time for all. The only losers were those who stayed at home.
My only CD of the man, ‘Lie to Me’ ,has a sticker on it saying ‘DM 29.95’ so the latest disc is more than a little overdue. I almost bought it recently but Mr Music had foolishly put it on headphones and after giving it a listen I didn’t. So why, you may ask, am I standing in a packed and sweaty Harmonie waiting for Jonny Lang to hit the stage? I guess because tickets for the show were sold in days, which made me think that maybe I’m wrong – or maybe the rest of Bonn is?
Four days, eight bands, and no expectations. What expectations can you have for names like ‘Navel’, ‘The Chuck Norris Experiment’, ‘Flowerpornoes‘ and certainly not least ‘And you will know us by the trail of Dead’? You have no choice but to go into the sweaty cauldron that is Harmonie on Rockpalast Crossroads nights with both eyes and both ears open. Let’s head down to the bar now, grab a cool lager and a spot near the stage before the cameras start rolling.
It’s always worth checking which bands are pencilled in for The Crossroads Festival from WDR Televisions ‘Rockpalast’. The show that caught my eye this year was Saturdays bill which coupled Australian Rockers Dirty York with the opportunity to check on Grimsby’s finest Blues Rockers The Brew. Not surprisingly the music was every bit as hot as the weather on Saturday evening.