These dates might be a little far off, but to celebrate St.Patrick's Day put them in your diary. In July the Pogues will be in Bonn making a big noise at the outdoor stage beside the Kunst-und Ausstellungshalle. Sadly Shane MacGowan will not be appearing, but you're still guaranteed a great night with the bands original line-up (minus Shane). Later in the year Sir Bob Geldof will also be in the region, this time in Cologne at the Theater am Tanzbrunnen. With a mixture of old an new material Sir Bob is a great entertainer and classics like "I don't like Mondays" just don't age.
Bonn's local orchestra - the Beethoven Orchester Bonn - will start 2011 with two delightful concerts at the famous Beethovenhalle in Bonn. The glorious music of Franz Schubert and Ludwig van Beethoven can be heard on the 23rd January at a matinee concert, with some superb soloists and the Philharmonic Choir of Bonn taking part in two famous works. On 30th of January the Beethoven Orchester Bonn shows its musicianship in interpreting the work of its patron. Beethoven is the sole composer on the programme for Sunday's evening concert.
Musical ambassadors will be performing from countries around the world at the Philharmonie in Cologne: traditional folklore from along the Silk Route, exciting dance acrobatics, Irish drumming, Japanese ensemble Yusei and so much more. The journey starts with Mohammed Reza Shajarian, one of Iran's greatest singers, goes on to Turkey with Sezen Aksu and then Israel with singer Yasmin Levy. See and hear ancient Japanese gagaku court music with its extremely subtle sound gestures with Yusei, and then catch the Anoushka Shankar Project 2010 with Anoushka Shankar on Sitar.
The young Canadian soprano Measha Brueggergosman is giving a recital in Bonn on March 15 at 8pm. The concert is part of Deutsche Welle’s concerto discreto series. Born in 1977, Measha trained as an opera singer in Toronto and Düsseldorf and was chosen to sing the Olympic Hymn at the opening ceremony of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. At the Bonn recital she’ll be performing music from Surprise, her first solo album on Deutsche Grammophon, together with her partner Justus Zeyen (piano).
I have it on good authority that "Oh No Ono" is a band to watch. They're already big in their homeland of Denmark and are now breaking into Europe and the US. Their style is a pretty mixed bag of alternative pop, electro-clash, funk and new wave, and they've been compared to a host of other Danish bands (that I'm afraid I've never heard of) and The Raveonettes (who I have heard of). Their intricate and otherworldly music defies conventions and expectations (and sometimes gravity).
Old school funk/soul fans will love Lee Fields and The Expressions. Born and raised in Wilson, North Carolina, Lee began his singing career, working with the bands that lay the foundation for funk music, including Kool and the Gang, Sammy Gordon and the Hip-Huggers, and Little Royal.
Where were you when Air burst onto the mainstream with their dreamy, synthetic pop inspired Moon Safari? I can tell you exactly where I was because it was the soundtrack to my life for a few months in 1998. Air is a music duo from Versailles, France, consisting of Nicolas Godin and Jean-Benoît Dunckel.
You know you are becoming a local when you start following local bands - and if you're a local in the Rhineland you've got a great bunch of local bands to choose from. The little town of Düsseldorf is actually the birthplace of electronic music, having produced the world-renowned electro meisters - Kraftwerk. They're a reclusive bunch and don't have much to do with journos on the whole, but they have been known to frequent a Düsseldorf bike shop where journos and fans often lurk to catch a glimpse of the 70's electro pioneers.
If you've followed the career of Dave Grohl, post Nirvana, you will have noticed that he's not averse to sharing his musical talents with friends and colleagues. He played drums for a while with the Queens of the Stone Age, made an iconic metal album under the name "Probot" with various metal legends, including Lemmy from Motorhead, as well as doing stints with the likes of Killing Joke, Tenacious D, Nine Inch Nails and The Prodigy.