Bad Bonn @ Rough Trade East

Bad BonnBBSB_Cover_final_23-2-16_simuliert venue in Düdingen celebrates its 25th anniversary this year with – amongst other things – the publication of a unique book: over the past few years, bands appearing at this idyllic location in the rolling green hills near Fribourg have been asked to donate one song each for the project. Some sent sheet music, others sent drawings, poems, chord sequences and collages. “The Bad Bonn Song Book” collects 140 of these in a splendidly glittery coffee table book published by Edition Patrick Frey in Zurich.

A unique collective work

IMG_3966The impressive and diverse list of participants ranges from Flaming Lips and Bonnie “Prince” Billy to Goat, Jandek, Sebadoh, Sleaford Mods and Suzanne Vega. To launch the book, Bad Bonn came to the legendary Rough Trade East shop off London’s Brick Lane. The choice of venue made sense: Most of the lyrics in the book are in English, many of the artists involved are from the UK, and the shop carries one of the most comprehensive selections of music-related books anywhere. The two-pronged event attracted an excellent crowd of around 150 people.

A panel and a solo concert

Hanspeter Kuenzler, Tom Relleen, Luke Turner,Christophe Schenk, Daniel Fontana

The first part consisted of a panel discussion, “Can a Live Music Venue Change a Small Town?” with the participants, Tom Relleen (musician with Tomago and The Oscillation, concert agent with the Julie Tippex Agency), Luke Turner (writer, founder of the Queitus web-zine), Christophe Schenk (Swiss television), and Düx aka Daniel Fontana (founder, Bad Bonn). A lively exchange was peppered with excellent anecdotes, including Relleen´s story that many a band he had booked for the venue called him up in desperation, fearing the GPS had misdirected them when they found themselves driving past freshly tilled fields and manure

IMG_3856silos instead. Following the discussion – the conclusion: of course it would! -, Richard Dawson, a highly original singer/songwriter from Newcastle and a happy regular at Bad Bonn, gave a breathtaking solo performance, sometimes with his battered guitar, sometimes acapella.



The Bad Bonn Song Book, Edition Patrick Frey.

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