Sonntag, 31. Januar 2021

Thank you Simon for such a wonderful online concert and kudos to whoever was looking after 

your sound and internet connection for a "job well done!" 

Such events do certainly not yet have a "plug-in and simply play" embodiment to them, and demand a lot of hard graft in order to make them function!

I must admit I concur with Bill Baum of Baum's Bluesbenders and owner and CEO of the music business shop  in Bonn-Bad Godesberg that "LIVE is indeed better"  but confronted with the lack of real choice currently on offer, your concert this evening was much much better than the alternative, which would have been,

 "no concert at all!"

Thanks again Simon,

Keep up the good work!

PS Anybody who enjoyed the concert and/or those who are simply curious and wish to discover more 

can, and should, satisfy their curiosity here:

All of his history and numerous CDs are available here which can be bought via PayPal and any additional donations for the concert would also be much appreciated by Simon.

Imagine if you were used to playing 150 paying gigs a year and then suddenly hit the brick wall of COVID-19 lockdown nearly a year ago! No concerts to play and literally nowhere to go.

It simply beggars belief.

It is never a negative thing to try and project oneself into another person's shoes. It projects one's Vorstellungsvermögen! 

 Dear Folkies,

there is unfortunately not a lot to look forward to at present. Food shopping is of course currently a popular form of entertainment, and if one walks or cycles to the shops it is also a necessary form of exercise.  This involves, however, despite its sense of freedom and glamour and social intercourse and wonderful normalcy, always the latent risk, however minimal when one is masked, of possibly being infected, and indeed even later dying of coronavirus-COVID-19. So there is certainly a delight but also with an intrinsic undeniable risk involved. In a way, it's a bit like the mercurial pistol in a Blues song. It lies almost unnoticed on top of the dresser in every song. It isn't always fired, (is it even loaded?) but it is always there, lurking quietly in the background. 

Even on a bicycle, one can, with suitable bicycle baskets and paniers and an eye to COVID-19 exposure risk management, easily do a week's family food shopping on two days of the week and even on one day with prudent use of the food home delivery services which are available. So what would one do on the other five or six days of the week? 

Here in Bonn all of the pubs and clubs and restaurants are currently closed, realistically until further notice. One can visit, or be visited by people from other households, but only a maximum of one at any particular time. One can walk with one other person from one other household and meet outdoors, but woe betides if one has revolutionary almost seditious ideas about holding "picnics"  (as I recently read about two ladies from Ashby-de-la-Zouch carrying coffees-to go outside on their walk with them into the adjoining county of Derbyshire! Fines of GBP 200 made it a rather expensive picnic with no food element!) and I have noticed even in Germany along the river Rhine the park benches seem to be rapidly disappearing of late (probably only for normal annual winter revarnishing and refurbishing?)  The banks of the Rhine are long and inviting but due to the recent incessant rain, even some of those are now currently flooded and impassable for normal walkers (perhaps that explains why there are now so few wooden benches? will search parties soon have to be despatched downstream in order to search citizens' cellars in the Netherlands in the vicinity of the river Rhine in order to check if German grandparents` favourite wooden public benches are not surreptitiously stowed away there after initially arriving during a Rhine flood as flotsam and jetsam?  

Some five years ago at fellow folk clubber Steve Perry's behest, I became involved in arranging with him a weekly English Conversational course/meeting. I was already involved in sufficient altruism with organising Folk Club Bonn, which is a purely voluntary, not-for-profit organisation, that I wasn't really pining at the time for a similarly lucrative "job" but Steve who was by then already doing a tremendous amount of "work" for the folk club and thus ensuring that I had more free time so that I could not reasonably refuse.  It is something that I have never regretted. We take it in turns to find and work up a topical English language text. Steve normally from The New York Times and I from The Guardian or The Economist and put our own glossaries to it containing words that we think Germans would not necessarily know or maybe possibly trapped by "false friend" words. We used to meet weekly in the bar of the BTHV ( the Bonn hockey and tennis sports club) in Dotty's Bar where the Folk Club Bonn used to meet on the first Friday of each month in what I can only refer to now as "Better Times".  We met physically as long as possible. It seems like sheer lush high pile rich carpet luxury to think that we now met then from five different households, we could have even have met inside then, but voluntarily chose to meet outdoors of our own accord and dear Roland the " Mein Host" at Dotty's Bar even provided us with the luxury of an open log fire outside on the balcony deep into the dark autumn drawing-in nights.

 Since last year the weekly English Conversationalist meetings are now convened on Skype and Detlef Staketzki has joined many other folk clubbers in this weekly meeting and convinced us that he is not only exceptionally well qualified to be one of  FCB's notorious German language scribes, but that his comprehension of English is also "Tip-Top". Only late last autumn in 2020 we were restricted in numbers to five or possibly one or two more from the same households, but now as we have been permanently on Skype "the world is literally our oyster"! Steve and I try to point out that we both have the same Queen (Steve is also a Canadian citizen) but also that we are one or two or three countries actually separated, rather than united,  by the same language. (Please do not confront us with the differences between turtles and tortoises!)

I normally throw in the odd poem, but Steve took the biscuit last week with Amanda Gormann's inauguration poem for Joe Biden with her poem "The Hill We Climb" which caused Steve, who was born in the USA to tear-up, as it did me too. 

"Welcome back USA, we have dearly missed you over the past four years!"

So what else is available to folk clubbers by way of entertainment in these very difficult times?

Well, funny that you should ask me that because I have just the idea for you to finish off the week before the next one begins. If you are lucky you have home office, which means your rather expensive downtown office is very underutilised, your office plants are crying out unheard for water (unless the porter in your office building is not a "Jobsworth") and you personally are contributing to your work office's savings on light, heating, internet and telephone costs, but safety at work is incalculable!    Right?

Sunday evening :

from 20:00 to 21:00 hrs German time 

There is a free (kostenlos aber nicht umsonst) online concert from both your and our favourite "special guest", Mr Simon Kempston from Edinburgh in Scotland, who was born and raised in Dundee and none the worse for that. Cast him your ear and listen in and enjoy. On Sunday 31.12.20 he did his very first online concert promoting exclusively his very good new CD which you, unfortunately, did NOT hear live in FCB in 2020 "Hand On My Heart" 

On Sunday 31.12.21 dear Simon

 will be playing requested songs from his many previous albums which many of you may well already have, and songs which you should all recognise.

I can sincerely recommend it!

(otherwise, I might bump into you shopping next week!?!  who knows? rumour has it that internet shopping affords amazing social distancing possibilities!)


John Harrison

Folk Club Bonn wünscht ein frohes Neues Jahr 2021

 Dear Folkies,

you will find below a New Year's greeting which Detlef sent around to everyone on the Folk Club Bonn Gmail mailing list in early January in German. Below this is a translation in English.

If you are reading this short message for the first time here, there could be several things possibly wrong.

1) Perhaps you just follow the FCB Blog here but do not wish to receive one E-mail per month from us?

 (In which case rest easy, stand by and continue to follow us here)

2) Perhaps you are not yet on our list to receive a monthly E-mail, yet wish to be?

(In which case please send a request to folkclubbonn AT requesting to be put on the list and we will do so.)

3) Perhaps you may have applied but are still not receiving E-mails from us?  

(In this case, it might be our fault, we might have been asleep or misspelt your address, for which we humbly apologise, or you might have given us the wrong address for whatever reason, and in this case "shit sometimes happens"! Simply follow the advice in (2)

Anyway, you would have scarcely received one E-mail a month in 2020 due to coronavirus COVID-19 restrictions and this is likely to continue, at least for the first quarter of 2021. However, we are quietly confident that during 2021 as the remarkable new vaccines gradually roll out and the weather gets warmer and better, you may well be able to hear from us more frequently as 2021 progresses.

So do not be disdained if you do not hear from us immediately. Thou shalt hear more from herald before this year is over.

In the meantime stay home, tune-up, 

and if you do venture outside, mask-up, stay safe and keep well, and if you are feeling down, there's not much that a song won't help to rectify,  and we all hope to see you all soon when times are better.

There's a rumour going around, and it's probably not "rocket science" that two masks may be even better than one mask !! Furthermore, during the pandemic there has never been a better time for inconspicuous mask-wearing making potential mischief-makers anonymous to the rest of the world. I'll wager the's many a US citizen of Trumponian or Q-Anon leaning now compromised from FaceBook camera footage and selfies for storming Capitol Hill in such a seditious way on January 6th and now facing prosecution who are now kicking themselves for not attiring themselves with the above double mask disguise. The only flaw in the above disguise is one of John Hurd's distinctive and elegant 3SongsBonn emblem emblazoned exclusive hockey shirts! 

Folk Club Bonn wünscht ein frohes Neues Jahr 2021

FolkClub Bonn

Tue, 5 Jan, 10:29

Liebe Freunde des Folk Clubs Bonn,
Zum Jahreswechsel grüßt das Organisationsteam des Folk Clubs alle, 
die dem Folk Club über die vielen Jahre hinweg als Publikum oder als 
Musiker – und oftmals als Beides – die Treue gehalten haben.

Es bedarf nicht dieses Briefes, um Euch klar zu machen, dass auch 

der nächste Termin ins Wasser fällt. Das Team steht aber Gewehr 

bei Fuß, um Folk-Club-Treffen sofort wieder starten zu lassen, 

wenn es wieder erlaubt und möglich ist. Wir peilen vorläufig 

Termine im Frühjahr an, wenn das Tageslicht wieder länger zur 

Verfügung steht und die Außentemperaturen angenehmer werden. 

Dann ist es unter Umständen wieder möglich, Folk-Club-Abende im 

Freien zu veranstalten. Veranstaltungen im Saal dürften trotz der 

jetzt angelaufenen Corona-Impfungen noch eine Weile untersagt 

bleiben. Aber auch die Freiluft-Veranstaltungen bleiben vorerst 

eine schöne Hoffnung, und wir müssen abwarten, wie sich das 

Geschehen entwickelt.

Um sich ein wenig Folk-Club-Gefühl ins Haus zu holen, empfehlen 

wir die zahlreichen CDs und Internet-Angebote unserer Künstler. 

Viele von Euch haben jetzt deutlich mehr Zeit als früher, denn 

Ausgehen ist abgesagt.

Besonders empfehlen möchten wir Euch die Musik unseres treuen 

schottischen Gefolgsmannes Simon Kempston, der seit Ende 2011

 jedes Jahr im Folk Club aufgetreten ist und nur 2020 zwangsweise 

daheimbleiben musste. Er hatte es zu einer Tradition entwickelt, 

jedes Jahr ein neues Album zu erstellen, dessen Erstaufführung 

wir in jedem Dezember im Folk Club erleben durften – welch eine

Ehre. Das wunderbare neue Album „Hand On My Heart“ konnte 

Corona-bedingt nicht im Folk Club ertönen, aber ihr könnt es erwerben. 

Geht auf Simons Website 


Dort könnt ihr die neue CD bestellen und ein Lied daraus auch 

anhören. Ihr könnt dort auch ältere Alben ordern. Für Besteller aus 

der Region Bonn bietet das Folk-Club-Team sogar die Zustellung 

per reitendem Boten (der reitet auf dem Fahrrad) an.

Aber auch viele andere aus dem Folk Club bekannte Künstler bieten 

mit ihren CDs Möglichkeiten, diese Zeit mit musikalischer Unterstützung

 zu überstehen. Scrollt einmal durch den Folk-Club-Blog. Dort findet 

Ihr massenhaft Hinweise auf die Künstler, die bisher im Folk Club 

aufgetreten sind. Sehr viele von ihnen haben Musikangebote, und viele 

bieten auch CDs, online-Downloads von Musikdateien und auch 

online-Konzerte (mit der Möglichkeit Geld in einen elektronischen 

Hut zu legen) an. Insbesondere diejenigen Musiker, die als Profis 

von ihren Auftritten und Musikverkäufen leben, haben es aktuell 

außerordentlich schwer. Bei den meisten sind die Einnahmen 

nahezu auf Null heruntergestürzt und das schon seit einigen Monaten.

Wir hoffen, dass Ihr gesund bleibt und dass wir uns bald wieder 

bei den Treffen des Folk Clubs sehen.






Dear friends of the Folk Club Bonn,

At the turn of the year, the Folk Club's organising team sends its greetings to all those who have remained loyal to the Folk Club over the many years, either as audience members or as musicians - and often as both.

It doesn't take this letter to make it clear to you that the next event will also be cancelled. However, the team is ready to start Folk Club meetings again as soon as it is permitted and possible. For the time being, we are aiming for dates in spring, when daylight is available again for longer and the outside temperatures become more pleasant. Then it may be possible to hold folk club evenings outdoors again. Indoor events are likely to remain prohibited for a while, despite the Corona vaccinations now underway. But even the outdoor events remain a nice hope for the time being, and we'll have to wait and see how things develop.

To get a little folk club feeling into your house, we recommend the numerous CDs and internet offers of our artists. Many of you now have much more time than before, because going out is cancelled.

We would especially like to recommend the music of our loyal Scottish acolyte Simon Kempston, who has performed at the Folk Club every year since the end of 2011 and only had to stay home by force in 2020. He had made it a tradition to create a new album each year, the first performance of which we were privileged to experience at the Folk Club each December - what an honour. The wonderful new album "Hand On My Heart" could not be heard at the Folk Club due to Corona, but you can purchase it. Go to Simon's website ( There you can order the new CD and listen to a song from it. You can also order older albums there. For customers from the Bonn region, the Folk Club team even offers delivery by messenger on horseback (he rides a bicycle).

But also many other artists known from the Folk Club offer with their CDs ways to get through this time with musical support. Scroll through the Folk Club blog. There you will find lots of information about the artists who have performed at the Folk Club so far. A great many of them have music offers, and many also offer CDs, online downloads of music files and also online concerts (with the possibility of putting money into an electronic hat). Especially those musicians who live as professionals from their performances and music sales are currently having an extremely hard time. Most of them have seen their income plummet to almost zero and have been doing so for several months.

We hope you stay healthy and that we will see you again soon at the meetings of the Folk Club. 


Folk Club Bonn organising team