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.
No, it’s nothing to do with Star Trek. In Bonn ‘Next Generation’ is a new concert series aimed at giving young local musicians with their own songs a chance to shine at a top venue. This time around it was the opportunity for David Nevory, Melchi, and Peanut Butter Spirit Lover (PBSL for short!) to show what they could do in front of a large and enthusiastic audience at The Harmonie.
The Harmonie stage looks strangely bare considering five musicians have set up on it. There’s only a single Fender Telecaster propped up in front of a battered speaker cabinet for Henrik Freischlader himself. Over on the merchandise stall, there is no sign of t-shirts, back-catalogue cd’s or signature Stetson caps. Just two cardboard boxes – one with the new release as cd and the other with its vinyl counterpart. Travelling Light could be the Tour motto.
They are now so much of a musical institution in Bonn that it’s hard to imagine a music scene here without Bill Baum and his partners in music The Bluesbenders. It was then, a mark of the respect Bill has gained from the Blues scene, that for his 25th Anniversary show at Bonn Harmonie, Bill was joined by a man nominated in three categories for this year’s International Blues Awards, Richie Arndt. It was guaranteed to be a good evening for Bonn Blues lovers.
Squinting into the harsh sunlight onto the stage before me, it’s all to clear that it’s almost Autumn – and this is the last Stadtgarten concert evening of 2018.
Will the final notes played this year be amongst the most memorable? Gentree, Galactic Superlords and Electric Sandwich are about to answer my question. No question that the band names are amongst the quirkiest of this, or indeed any year, but will the music be as interesting as the monikers? This is also a first for The Harmonie as a contributing partner to the Stadtgarten season.
Popcamp has been a key point of contact for young musicians for some time now. Friday’s concert at Stadtgarten showed why, as local singer/songwriter Clara Clasen was followed by the power-pop of Lenna from Bremen and Münster Garage-pop band Soeckers. Three confident performances showing that an extra polish of training truly makes a difference between playing music and playing music live.
Sipping a cool glass of wine on a sunny Summers day, Relaxing live music wafting on a slight breeze, with no waiting at an airport or hotel bill. Bonn City Centre on Stadtmusik 2018 Day was indeed like a one day holiday on Saturday. Friedensplatz, Bottlerplatz, Markt and later Stadtgarten were the ‘holiday’ locations and, much like that beach radio, if you didn’t care for the music on offer you just needed to change your location but with your feet rather than a dial.