Well, everybody, winter is in full swing, isn’t it? It’s cold outside, often stormy and now the weather forecast even predicts snow. Oh, how we miss the festival season and how much we want spring and summer to return. At this uncomfortable time of year, however, it is good to know that we can count on the lovely city of Cologne bringing back what many of us long for: The joyful atmosphere of a rather intimate festival. Starting from January 14, the Cologne Music Week will certainly bring back the fever again.
Taking place until January 21, the winter edition of the beloved c/o pop Festival invites absolute newcomers, soon-to-be-known acts as well as established artists to perform at various locations such as Stadtgarten, Club Bahnhof Ehrenfeld, and Zum Scheuen Reh. In more recent years, the festival line-up included appearances of ROOSEVELT and COMA, so expect the Cologne Music Week to offer a good program in 2017, too. NOTHING BUT HOPE AND PASSION studied this year’s diverse program and recommends 5 events to you that are worth attending. So, folks, get on your winter boots and start moving!
1. Cardinal Sessions Festival IV:
Giant Rooks, Sløtface, Shame, et al.
The week starts off with a real banger, ladies and gentlemen. We all love the atmospheric live videos that the Cardinal Sessions deliver, don’t we? Even more so, Cologne appreciates the Session’s very own festival program regularly taking place in North-Rhine Westphalia and way up north in Hamburg. Now, in accordance with the Cologne Music Week, the fourth edition of the Cardinal Sessions Festival takes up residence at Gebäude 9 in Köln Deutz only to bring you some of the hottest acts of 2017. SPARKLING from Cologne will fire you up with their wordy and minimalist post punk whereas GIANT ROOKS from Hamm are expected to soften your hearts with new songs off their forthcoming New Estate EP. Right in the midst of the packed line-up, the aggro-punk fieve-piece SHAME from South London, UK, will make you sweat and dance around madly. As Ray Cokes put it at ANCHOR Award 2016: ‘They brought danger to the situation which is always fantastic’. And as we already named them ‘Sound of ’17’ on NOTHING BUT HOPE AND PASSION recently we can’t agree enough. The evening is going to end with a performance by Norwegian band SLØTFACE whose energetic pop rock will ultimately bring you in the mood for everything that is still about to come the following week.
When & Where:
Jan. 14, 6 PM, Gebäude 9
18,50 € + fees (pre-sale)
The beloved Stadtgarten is, in a way, the beating heart of the Cologne Music Week as well as the c/o pop Festival. The venue, which lies in the midst of Cologne’s nightlife area Belgisches Viertel, offers two playing opportunites, namely the beautiful and rather small Stadtgarten Restaurant and a nearby hall that allows for bigger concerts and crowds. Although BLACKBERRIES are hardly considered newcomers to the scene, the festival gives their fans the chance to experience a rather intimate gig by the four lads from Solingen who are expected to bring their melodic and 60s-inspired neo psychedelic rock to the Stadtgarten Restaurant. Check out six minutes of psychedelic joy below and get to see the band on January 16 at 10 PM.
When & Where:
Jan. 16, 10 PM, Stadtgarten Restaurant
Coming over from Austria’s beloved capital Vienna, ROBB hardly evoke any comparisons with their well-known peers BILDERBUCH or WANDA. Singer & songwriter Robert Summerfield, a native of Münster, Germany, came to Vienna as a student, where he met his four band mates at the conservatoire. His American heritage certainly bled into their music, a mixture of soul-infused rhythm and blues songs which, especially on their 2016 EP Heat, takes a turn towards 80’s-coloured electronic pop not unlike UK’s HONNE, who they’ve also supported on tour. We expect them to give Cologne Music Week‘s programme a decidedly radio-friendly twist as they present songs off their in-the-works debut album.
When & Where:
Jan. 17, 7 PM, YUCA
13 € + fees (pre-sale) / 16 € (at the door)
4. Clean Slean, Ducid, Galleur & Cochija
Elsewhere the same day, at little bar ‘Zum Scheuen Reh’, Cologne showcases its finest of up-and-coming cloud rap and trap with DUCID and CLEAN SLEAN, who is probably better known under his other moniker NILS NIPPES. CLEAN SLEAN seems to be stepping in fellow Cologne native LGOONY‘s shoes with tracks that are as much mocking of the genre’s tropes (‘Coke Light‘) as they are in touch with its aesthetics (check the excessive auto-tune on ‘Girl‘). DUCID, on the other hand, ventures into vaportrap territory when he samples ANTHONY HOPKINS – of course making sure to include marble busts and macintosh pop-ups on his artwork. However, there’s a lot of tasteful production hidden beneath. The night ends with a party with DJs GALLEUR and COCHIJA behind the turntables.
When & Where:
Jan. 17, 9 PM, Zum Scheuen Reh
5. Inclusion Infusion #3 meets popNRW Abend with
Xul Zolar, Moglebaum & Albrecht Schrader
Apart from rare live performances, for instance at Kling Klang Düsseldorf in early October 2015, where the band is also said to have recorded new material, it’s become rather quiet around the Cologne-based three-piece XUL ZOLAR throughout the past year. Now they report back just in time for this year’s Cologne Music Week. In an announcement on Facebook late last year, the purveyors of aesthetic electronic pop declare to return with ‘a pretty special sho'” that includes ‘some neat surprises’. Needless to say, we’re definitely hooked! XUL ZOLAR have already put out a debut EP called Tides in 2015. A new release is highly appreciated. NOTHING BUT HOPE AND PASSION will be present at Stadtgarten on January 21 at 9 PM and is excited to hear new and old tunes alike. The concerts taking place this evening will be accompanied by translator Schwengber who translates the lyrics into sign language.
When & Where:
Jan. 21, 9 PM, Stadtgarten