Page 286: Time Changes Things
Boy, what a weekend this festival-weekend was. I will try to write down a few of my impressions for you:
Friday I arrived at around 12 on the festival grounds and quickly built up the exhibition along with the great help of Ralf Koppelkamp and the owner of the bicycle workshop Lutz, thanks to them at five everything was ready, just in time for the opening of the exhibition.
Tristan Wilder, Comicartist from Cologne was the first visitor, shortly followed by the musicians of Bim Skala Bim from Boston, who were quite happy to spot the record cover of Skaville USA on one of my pages, which singer Dan Vitale had produced back in the day. Very nice guys, those gentlemen from the states.
Unfortunately there were not too many visitors for the rest of the evening , maybe because it was damn cold that day. Quickly shut the shop and head over the Festival Hall, where Bim Skala Bim were starting their gig . After about half an hour I got a text message from my buddy Billy, who had spontaneously decided to visit the Sonics which should play the same night in Cologne. Thinking about it for a minute and feeling a little bad conscience not to watch the rest of it, but then decided to quickly jump into a taxi and also race down the Essigfabrik in order to take a look at the legends.
And a fantastic concert it was, which made up for the concert in Paradiso two years ago, when the amplifier of the guitarist went bust, and no one of the technicians could help him. The saxophone you couldn’t hear at all back then.
After that I was heading quickly back to the festival, just to catch The Trojans play my favorite rock steady number of all time, the wonderful Perfidia. Beautiful. After a little hanging around in the backstage area and a short chat with Studio One musician Vin Gordon who told me, he was taking part in the recordings of ‘Perfidia’ with Phyllis Dillon back in the day.
That I missed the Jamaican heroes Keith & Tex as guest during the Bim Skala Bim set, was a little bummer. Well, you can’t have it all.
After the Dj-Set of Gaz Mayall I called it a night and went back to my hotel. Before that the nice people from the catering helped me with a big bag of dry rolls, so I could eat some as breakfast and could sleep a little longer.
On Saturday I got up quite freshly and went directly to the Intercomic in the Mülheim Stadthalle, the local comic-fair. I just wanted to see what the colleagues are up to, but I only had a short chat with Sarah Burrini and didn’t stay long. I could have searched for comics a lot, but my nightstand is currently full enough enough. So back to the festival and to open the exhibition.
Finally, the weather got better, and I could enjoy a little sun on the bench in front of the shop. The afternoon was still quiet, and most of the visitors came in the evening.
Nevertheless, the response was very positive, people gave nice feedback, and I also have some pictures sold. My heartfelt thanks to all buyers.
At eight clock I had to pack up everything again, and wanted to see more bands, but my stomach was asking for attention, and so I quickly got me a pizza in the hotel. Because of this I unfortunately only saw the end of the set of Maroon Town. Shortly afterwards, the headliner of the evening Keith & Tex came with their great Rocksteady set. The guys were great, but they had also a very good band behind them. The whole room was chanting ‘Stop That Train’.
Shortly after that came another highlight, a small acoustic set of Mick Clare, the former lead singer of the Hotknives . What a voice the man has, and what a great atmosphere there was in the bar. Definitely one of my personal highlights. After that the Pannonia Allstars Ska Orchestra, and a few chats outside and in the backstage range.
My conclusion: it’s been a great festival, and the exhibition was a lot of fun. Unfortunately, there have been not SO many people visiting, so I have to think about a bigger signs next time. Too bad that I could see but relatively few bands, but the ones I’ve seen , all were great. But the fact that I was able to see the Sonics was great of course.
And I especially enjoyed the nice conversations , with the visitors of course, but also with the artists , with Vin Gordon , with the guys from Bim Skala Bim , with Mr.T-Bone from Italy, with Mick Clare, and the filmmaker Brad Klein. To his film “Legends of Ska” I’m looking forward very much.
And thanks again to all who were there, to the buyers , and of course Pete and Jockel for the invitation to the festival. And of course, Ralf , Lutz and Marc for helping to set up the whole thing.
More information about the festival you can find of course on the Festival page and photos and live recordings on their Facebook page.
Here are a few of my photos , pretty bad quality but oh well: