Montag, 21. Dezember 2020

Just In Case, here is John Hurd's 3SongsBonn interview with Simon Kempston

Simon Kempston, ist trotzt Coronavirus COVID-19 von Folk Club Bonn in Dezemeber nicht weg zu denken! 

Your latest album "Hand On My Heart" is one of your very best and a true window into a man's soul. 

Thank you, dear Simon, for your inimitable courage, dedication, and tenacity, in the face of adversity in 2020.

If one looks on the brighter side of life, things can only ever get better from hence forwards.

A special thanks to John Hurd for interviewing Folk Club Bonn's most very special, "Special Guest".

Enjoy !

Samstag, 12. Dezember 2020

3SongsBonn boosts Simon Kempston live on air in Bonn, in a home near you, on Sunday Evening 13.12.20 at 20:00 hrs

It would appear that Simon Kempston has another fan from a John in Bonn from John Hurd's 3 SongsBonn website, just across town in Bonn!

2020 has been a very bad year in so many ways, but as I never tire of saying, apart from the Doonald, no one can now reasonably and honestly suggest that Coronavirus COVID-19 is NOT now contagious.

There are currently a few conspiracy theorists waiting in the corridor outside the headmaster's study for lessons in reality, with deaths in the USA recently reaching a 3,000 daily high. Maybe some current US lawyers may have their licences to practise law rescinded in the new year, for telling fibs in court?

There is now neither no longer any question that despite a "popular vote" majority of 6 million votes and a majority in the US Electoral College exactly the same as Donald Trump declared a "landslide" in 2016. The new President-Elect of the USA is, without the shadow of a doubt "sleepy" Joe Biden!

Sorry, I forgot, we do not do "Politics" at Folk Club Bonn. However, we do DO history, and in quite a big way. I can now happily confide, that the apparition that was Presidency of  Donald J. Trump belongs now firmly to the latter, and no longer to the former category.  

I am happy to say that not only is Coronavirus-COVID-19 dangerously contagious but also one of the most basic human traits is also not only equally contagious but hopefully even more so. 

"HOPE" is an integral human facet which has followed mankind on all of its many journeys, from the early forests down to the steppes, on its long walk out of Africa to the Middle East and throughout the rest of the world.

We stand now at the end of a bad year but on the cusp of a very hopeful new year, with no more Trump and not one, but at least three, very hopeful vaccines on the immediate horizon. 

The world's scientists have all pulled on the same spirited rope of human hope, and if not in all of 2021, we can at least hope that 2022 will return us all to a semblance of "normality" albeit having learnt a little more from the past.

The carriers of such messages of hope have always been, from human time immemorial, travelling troubadours, support a modern Scottish one, and already a Bonn legend, on this Sunday evening,

Thanks John Hurd!

Freitag, 11. Dezember 2020

Simon Kempston Virtual Concert on Sunday Evening 13.12.20 at 20:00 hrs local German Time Here

SONNTAG, 13. DEZEMBER 2020 VON 20:00 UTC+01 BIS 21:30 UTC+01

Dear Folk Club Bonn regulars,
greetings to you all and hoping you are all in good health and full of good cheer!?!!
The true regulars amongst you will be acutely aware that following keenly on the heels of FCB's inception in 2010 in Graurheindorf a Scottish troubadour by the name of Simon Kempston played one December in the folk club on his inaugural European tour. So from them on our futures have been somehow inextricably interlinked. There followed an after-show party at Detlef's and then roundabout midnight at the crossroads there, an, at the time, almost throwaway, pact was made. Simon had performed such a good concert that it was decided that he should become our most special of "special guests" and have a regular early December slot at Folk Club Bonn into eternity with the proviso that he produced a new CD each year, so that he could present it each year at the folk club, in order that the committee and other folk clubbers had at least one or two Christmas presents for family and friends already in the bag or bottom drawer by early December, thus ensuring a less stressful pre-Christmas period. 
It was quite a tall order for Simon because in addition to performing 150-200 live gigs a year, initially in the UK and western Europe, and more recently worldwide, he had to write new material each year and find the time to record it. Ironically earlier in this year, Simon hinted that he might have trouble managing it this year, after almost a decade of compliance, but he did not reckon with COVID-19 putting more free time into his hands this year that even a man on death row could imagine. The Coronavirus put an end to so many happy pursuits in 2020 that in the end, it was us, at the folk club that could not finally keep our part of the bargain and provide Simon with a public stage on the first Friday in December. Simon's CD for this year is ready and is entitled "Hand On My Heart" As one says in German "Aufgeschoben ist nicht aufgehoben!" ("Postponed is not cancelled!")
Thanks to modern technology you can actually hear a Simon Kempston concert live this Sunday 13.12.20 at 20:00 - 21:30 hrs local time, by simply following the link above. If you are sufficiently tight-fisted you could click on the link and watch the concert for free, just like you do at the folk club. However, any of you with a modicum of imagination, and most of you I know have "Vorstellungsvermögen" in abundance, could well imagine what kind of an annus horribilis Simon has had both financially and psychologically, as a performing artist in 2020. So I am sure that even the most Scrooge-like amongst you will be glad to send a few Shekels Simon's way. For those of you counting on acquiring Simon's new CD for the festive season, "the same procedure as every year", they are available at €15 each or two for €25 and Simon has done a backdoor deal with Santa's helpers for them to reach you all in a timely fashion prior to Yuletide"
For fear of not having been persuasive enough, here is a wee message from Simon himself,
"Sadly, my usual December performance at the Folk Club Bonn won't be happening this year - I very much hope you can join me on Sunday instead - please add yourself here to the event to set a reminder.
Hope to see you all then!
SK x "

John Harrison
 thank you very much, although it actually starts at 2000 your time - 🙂. Many thanks, SK x

mea culpa Simon, I must admit I was slightly thrown at your lucidity with your ever- increasing international audience and your extensive global reach. 
UTC stands for Coordinated Universal Time and is to all intents and purposes a successor to GMT (Greenwich Mean Time).

The etymology for the compromise of the term UTC is not uninteresting:
The official abbreviation for Coordinated Universal Time is UTC. This abbreviation arose from a desire by the International Telecommunication Union and the International Astronomical Union to use the same abbreviation in all languages. English speakers originally proposed CUT (for "coordinated universal time"), while French speakers proposed TUC (for "temps universel coordonné"). The compromise that emerged was UTC,[which conforms to the pattern for the abbreviations of the variants of Universal Time (UT0, UT1, UT2, UT1R, etc)

 The UK is currently on UTC which is always the same as GMT, rather than BTS (British Summertime) which is an hour in advance of UTC/GMT during the summer months, to make use of daylight saving hours. Germany is currently only one hour ahead of UTC or GMT as it is winter. In the summer months, however, Germany is two hours ahead of UTC or GMT.

So, to cut to the chase, Simon's concert can be viewed at 20:00 hrs on Sunday evening the 13.12.20 if you are listening in Berlin or Bonn, or indeed anywhere else in western Europe outside of the British Isles, or alternatively, it can be viewed and heard at 19:00 hrs if you are listening and viewing in either London or Dundee for example.
Quite simple, isn't it?


Donnerstag, 5. November 2020

Folk Club Bonn stopped dead in its tracks again!

"Dear Folk-Friends,
We must inform you that the Folk Club will, unfortunately, be closed in November due to the current Coronavirus regulations of the government which prohibit all music evenings like ours. Hopefully, Corona will soon let us out of its clutches again. We will keep you informed about further developments with information on the blog. Alternatively, If you want to be informed about upcoming meetings by Email with our (under normal circumstances) regular Folk Club information, please contact us (see our Email addresses under "Contact")"

Mittwoch, 4. November 2020

Folk Club wieder gestoppt

Liebe Folk-Freunde,

eigentlich ist diese Nachricht für alle, die die Nachrichten verfolgen, überflüssig. Aber der guten Ordnung halber teilen wir euch mit, dass der Folk Club im November aufgrund der aktuellen Beschlüsse der Regierung ausfällt. Wir hatten im September und Oktober trotz Corona mehrere Veranstaltungen mit erheblichen Vorsichtsvorkehrungen und Einschränkungen organisieren können. Aktuell sind aber Musikabende wie die des Folk Clubs generell untersagt.

Wir hoffen, dass uns Corona bald wieder aus ihren Klauen lässt. Über die weitere Entwicklung halten wir euch mit Informationen auf dem Blog bzw. mit direkten Mails an alle, die uns ihre Adressen gegeben haben, auf dem Laufenden.

Wer mit unseren (unter normalen Umständen) regelmäßigen Folk-Club-Informationen über anstehende Treffen per Mail informiert werden möchte, der nehme mit uns per Mail Kontakt auf (siehe unsere Adressen unter „Contact“)

Montag, 19. Oktober 2020


 Bonn Folk Club in 2020 has been quite a roller coaster ride. From a stunning 10 Year Anniversary Edition in March, celebrated by having 10 different fiddles, quickly followed by our last indoor edition in April a month later with "Stables" which was then followed by a six-month hiatus, partially self-imposed, with eventually two FCB Lite editions outdoors on the hockey pitch at Dotty's, each only 90 minutes in duration and with no break, to avoid mingling. Then finally, what John Hurd would probably call "the icing on the cake" a Folk Club Bonn On Tour in the Harmonie in Bonn.

(Photo courtesy of Sabine Büttner)

Read the report and see the unusual photos in the following link, which John Hurd, who as a journalist, ever aware of the danger of yesterday's news being stale, actually wrote on his own birthday! Bless him!

Just click on the two links below to read and see:

3 Songs Bonn





Mittwoch, 14. Oktober 2020


" Folk is great - beer is good - and people are crazy!"

Live partially plugged Acoustic Music

Friday, 16th October 2020

Folk Club Bonn “on Tour” Edition!

19:30-22:00 hrs (doors open 18:30 hrs)

"The Harmonie” in Bonn-Endenich has been approved for concerts in accordance with current COVID-19 regulations for numbered and seated audiences of 172 and we are further restricting this to only 130 people. The beauty of the hall at the Harmonie is that it has a very efficient ventilation system, without air-conditioning, which typically re-circulates the old air and just cools it. All the air in the hall is simply and efficiently replaced every 12 minutes.

Admission Free

(This time there will be a raffle in order to cover additional costs involved with the venue.!)

If you wish to attend please send your COVID traceability details in advance to  in order to avoid delays at the door on the night.

Theme of the evening: Instrumentals and songs for COVID-19


The Harmonie Bonn

Frongasse 28-30

53121 Bonn (Endenich)

Tel.: 0228 / 61 40 42

“Featured Artists”

Johannes Epremian (Fiddler extraordinaire with Le Clou)

World Folk Band CAYU (expanded with Celtic Harp and hammered dulcimer)

“Floor Spots” by

Shay McVeigh         Harrison & Henneken          Daniel Bongart

Nik Novakovic            Dennis Ledermann            John Hurd

Plus surprise guests.

MC for the evening: John Harrison

"Man, all music is folk music. You ain't never heard no horse sing a song, have you?"     Big Bill Broonzy

Sonntag, 11. Oktober 2020

The Mike Harding Folk Show Podcast

 Dear Folkies,

                        on the right-hand side of this blog, there are a few interesting links for you to enjoy. One such is the Mike Harding Folk Show. It is exactly what it says "over the door", or if you prefer "on the box." "The very best in folk, roots and acoustic music."  

Here it is a two-hour podcast for you to listen to, for free, and at your leisure:

Mike Harding is quite a character, and who he doesn't know in folk music and the songs that he doesn't know, are frankly not really worth knowing. 

You can read more about him here on his Wikipedia page:

Quite a remarkable man. After many decades as a successful folk singer/songwriter mainly playing the guitar and the mandolin, but indeed able to play most instruments known to man and a mean Blues harp player too. An author, a comedian and a rambler through the dales of northern England. Later on he took a job with the BBC Radio 2 and ran his own weekly half hour radio show there, "The Mike Harding Show", but in 2012 after 15 succesful years as a disc jockey, in a remarkable naive case of ageism somebody at the BBC noticed that he hadn't retired at the customary age of 65 years and had well overshot the mark, even though Mike wasn't complaining in the slightest. So, they decided to unceremoniously "put Mike out to grass".  Mike though, in classical renegade style, had noticed that technology had sufficiently shifted the old tectonic plates of the radio music world to such an extent that a somewhat slightly angry and determined older man could now significantly take on a long established traditional institution such as the behemoth that is the national radio broadcaster in the UK, ever since radio was invented, an even win! Mike Harding speedily set up his own "new radio" show as an internet podcast as a new two hour show, and literally ran rings around them and duly left them standing! What a wonderful story of a folky "David and Goliath!" Mike started the weekly show from January 2012 just after folk club Bonn started in 2010. By doing weekly shows as opposed to our monthly reality German folk music shows, it wasn't very long until he overtook our numbers. Finally in 2017 it finally dawned on Mike that the BBC might have had a point after all, and perhaps it was a good idea if he slowed down a little, so he took a short break, but before long he started up again, but this time on a more reasonable leisurly monthly rather than a weekly basis.You can now listen to show number #285, as usual a wonderful diverse platter of the very best, both old and new, folk, roots and acoustic music. Please enjoy! If you enjoy it, do feel free to contribute "a few Bob" or whatever you can spare, as Mike has licencing fees to pay in order to continue doing what he does so well. All previous 284 shows are also available for your perusal and enjoyment. If you look on this site under "Folk Clubs and Sessions" and look under the searchable site and insert "Germany" you will also find "Folk Club Bonn" there.

For mor information on Mike Harding you can visit his regular web page here:

A man who ticks all of the folk music boxes, with a vengance, and then some!

Keep up the great work Mike and never cease to let us hear the best music ever to come out of a stone Yorkshire shed. There really are some incredible people in the world, who keep the music flowing, sometimes against all the odds, especially in these most difficult Coronavirus COVID-19 times, that seems to have stopped so many wonderful musical events dead in their tracks, with hardly any current reprieve.

Here are over two hours of Mike Harding's most recent show:

Click below on the orange arrow to listen, or find the podcast on iTunes.

I can certainly recommend it. Do try it and let us know in the comments below what you think of it.

Many thanks in advance.


Podcast #285





Intro – Temperance Reel / Shenandoah Falls – Strings & Things – Shady Grove  


01 Ocourenta & Cadillac – Teres Aoutes String Band – Courenta Cadillac
02 Three Little Birds – Kate Rusby – Hand Me Down
03 One More Lockdown Day –Robb Johnson and The Irregulars – Pandemic Songs 
04 Poolbeg Chimneys / The Ivy Leaf – Patricia Walsh – Simply Whistle
05 Maid On The Mountain – McGoldrick McCusker Doyle – The Reed That Bends In The Storm
06 When I Was A Cowboy – Happy Traum – Buckets Of Song
07 The Recesses – Jenny Sturgeon – The Living Mountain
08 Hion Daila Horo Ri Ho Hion Daila Là – Garefowl – Cliffs
09 Love Of The Common People – Kate Rusby – Hand Me Down
10 Joan Of The Greenwood – Joshua Burnell – Flowers Where The Horses Sleep
11 Wild Sparrow – John Blakey – The Legend Of Icarus O’Toole
12 Honky Tonk Woman  – John Blakey – The Legend Of Icarus O’Toole
13 Union Jack House – Virginia Kettle – No Place Like Tomorrow
14 Air And Light – Jenny Sturgeon – The Living Mountain
15 Knocking On Your Door Again – Hank Wangford – Holey Holey
16 Hare Spell – Fay Hield – Wrackline
17 Sweet William’s Ghost – Fay Hield – Wrackline
18 Stringybark Creek – John Campbell Munro – The Kelly Collection
19 The Ballad Of Ned Kelly – Fotheringay – Fotheringay
20 A’ Fàgail Hiort – Garefowl – Cliffs
21 Across The Western Ocean (Single) – Jenna Moynihan
22 Claudia’s Waltz – Patricia  Walsh –  Simply Whistle 
23 Gentleman Jack – O’Hooley & Tidow – Live At St Georges
24 Mrs Macintosh Of Raigmore – Lauren MacColl – Landskein
25 The President Sang Amazing Grace – The Kronos Quartet – Long Time Passing


Donnerstag, 8. Oktober 2020

 If anyone ever tells you something, always remember to take it with at least a small pinch of salt!

Mittwoch, 7. Oktober 2020

Friday 09.10.2020 at 20:00 hrs in Bonn. Meeting place Rheingasse, on the corner of Brassertufer

The safest place is still OUTSIDE, but it is as well to be INSIDE the old city walls of 1644. Come and take a stroll with me through the beautiful city of Bonn in the year 1698.

The Night watchman in Bonn

Fr. 13.03.2020 18:00
Fr. 08.05.2020 20:00
Fr. 12.06.2020 21:00
Fr. 09.10.2020 20:00

Fr. 13.11.2020 19:00
Fr. 11.12.2020 19:00
Fr. 08.01.2021 19:00

The Nightwatchman

Night watchman John

Travel with the night watchman through Bonn.

A walk through the darker, wilder sides of the city.

These were dangerous times and the tasks which faced the night watchman meant that it was certainly not an easy job. Apart from dealing with the normal rabble and riff-raff in and around the city, the electoral capital of Bonn was threatened in the 17th century by war, fire and pestilence with the bubonic plague.

A hardened man, tough and well experienced, who could deal with any situation which might crop up, was required in order to watch over the city at night and ensure the safety of its citizens.

He's certainly many's a tale to tell about his often challenging job: How the Dutch invading forces entrenched themselves on the Parson's cap in the Rhine before finally retreating, to be replaced by Spanish                                                                     forces.

As the international battles in Europe seemingly lasted for perpetuity, Bonn, although luckily spared the brunt of the wars, was worried because its old medieval city walls were in urgent need of an upgrade, in order to cope and offer defence in such troubled times.

The night watchman's passion was not only guarding the walls and closing the city gates, the vineyards also had to be protected from thieves and sinners. In order that the black death did not spread further than necessary, the Cologne fisherwomen had to be prevented from offering rotten or adulterated fish for sale. Or, worse still would be if the many crooks, witches and blasphemers were allowed to wreak havoc with their vile, nefarious villainy in Bonn.

However, with the Wolf's tower and the Maar tower and the "Pranger", the pillory, the night watchman had sufficient weapons in his arsenal to adequately deal with any threats to law and order within the city.

A Mirror

 A Mirror

never call a mirror sad
call a mirror many things
reflections of
enjoyments had

but never, ever
a mirror sad

call it true
call it blue
call it frank

forgetting never
this steady friend
who reports 
truly you

equally both
glad and bad

call a mirror many things
but never, ever
a mirror sad

John Harrison

This is a poem that I originally wrote many years ago but I still think it is worth dedicating today to the many people who really do try to "square the circle" and do the impossible at Folk Club Bonn and capture a live musical event on what used to be called celluloid, but what is now only a few extra bites on your smartphone, tab or laptop, Perhaps not only humans but photographer's photographs are no longer developing in the same way that they were once used to!?!

Whatever, many thanks indeed to John Hurd, Sabine, Detlef and Barry and all the other contributors for the many mirror-like images and photographs that have made this particular blog a mirror-like reflection of a most wonderful unique monthly musical celebration of life that was, and still is, Folk Club Bonn. It has now over a decade of wonderful history. 

John Hurd has even produced a photographic history which the "Geiz ist doch Geil" minorities in the FCB can win at the next raffle. More concerning folk historians can ask John Hurd for a copy through the more normal channels. It is a photographic "work of art", I have personally attended and moderated and played at all of those folk club Bonn evenings and I can verify that the music provided by all of the wonderful contributing performers on each evening was not bad either!

Thanks to all of you extremely good people who continue to make Folk Club Bonn happen, even in such inclement times in which we currently live. 

We really heed and need a little more  "HOPE" now so much more than ever


John Harrison