Bad Bonn @ Cafe Oto

BBSB_Cover_final_23-2-16_simuliertThe day after the successful launch event at Rough Trade East, the celebration of the publication of the“The Bad Bonn Song Book”  continues. Bad Bonn crew moved North to Dalston for a celebratory Kilbi night at the legendary avant-garde/jazz/folk venue Cafe Oto. Another sizeable and appreciative crowd was served a diverse programme of Swiss artists that showed off Bad Bonn´s sense of adventure to good effect.

First off was Strotter Inst., aka Christoph Hess. Operating in a border area between noise and conventional music with a pair of “treated” old record players and a series of similarly adapted vinyl records, Strotter Inst produced a minimalist and yet richly textured drone that somehow pulsated with rhythm and held the audience´s attention with remarkable ease.

Next came percussionist Julian Sartorius who, judging by the conversations afterwards, was perhaps the biggest success of the evening. Playful and yet precise, subtle and yet powerful, his uninterrupted half-hour performance was a master class of innovative and controlled solo percussion. In sharp musical contrast, the synth duo Papiro reconnected the audience with early Krautrock history with their slowly shape-shifting take on dreamy Ash Ra-Temple-type sounds.


The evening was rounded off sweatily by Camilla Sparksss, Barbara Lehnhoff’s fiery electro outfit, consisting of just herself and a dancer. Combining punky vocals with minimalist electro rhythms and melodies, her short, sharp bursts of high-octane songs were completely different from everything else that had been heard before then, and all the better for it.

Contributing greatly to the success of the night were the DJs Andy Votel and Doug Shipton whose selection of records was perfectly in tune with the spirit of Bad Bonn. In short – the two Bad Bonn nights in London turned out to be an unqualified success.

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.

Klaus Johann Grobe an der Bad Bonn Kilbi 2015

Ihr Label ist in den USA beheimatet, und die Bühnen, die sie bespielen, befinden sich nicht selten in England oder im angrenzenden Euroland – so spielten sie eben am Entdeckerfestival The Great Escape in Brighton. Hierzulande blieben Sevi Landolt und Dani Bachmann lange Zeit unbehelligt, was wohl auch mit dem Namen zusammenhängt, den sich die beiden gegeben haben. Klaus Johann Grobe lautet dieser und unter diesem Namen fabrizieren sie eine analoge Musik, die repetitiv und doch nervös getaktet ist.


Im vergangenen Jahr erschien ihr Album «Im Sinne der Zeit», das in Winterthur aufgenommen wurde und seither eigentümliche Runden dreht. Krautrock, Soul und heiss-kühle Tropicália: all das sind Elemente, die auf dieser Platte echohaft und psychedelisch anklingen. Es ist eine retrofuturistische Tonspur, die aus Orgel, Bass, Schlagzeug und verhallten Stimmen gebaut ist und die perfekt in eine popmusikalische Gegenwart passt, in der oftmals nicht mehr genau ausgemacht werden kann, wo der Song aufhört und der Track beginnt und was Vergangenheit, Zukunft oder das Jetzt eigentlich sind.

«Die Zeit, sie steht still // der Kamin qualmt vor sich hin und wir sind auf der Reise», singen Klaus Johann Grobe im kosmisch-melancholischen «Schlaufen der Zukunft», und kommen zum Schluss: «Wir sind noch nicht am Ziel.» Dass das Ziel noch nicht erreicht ist, dokumentiert auch die Wiederveröffentlichung ihrer namenlosen EP aus dem Jahr 2013 auf dem englischen Label Salvation Records – und ein eindrücklicher Tourplan, der sie quer durch Europa und glücklicherweise auch an die Bad Bonn Kilbi führt.

28.05. Düdingen, Bad Bonn Kilbi
11.07. Lausanne, Festival De La Cité,
21.07. Nyon, Paléo Festival

Alle Daten der Tournee, die Klaus Johann Grobe auch nach Deutschland, Luxemburg, Spanien, Frankreich und Holland führt, sind hier notiert.

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