Harmonia

Ah, 1974, the days when even eight-minute performances were considered wussy; nothing more than an opportunity for artists to banter with the crowd prior to the 28-minute drum solo. Read more

Krautpod#2 . . . Die Toten Hosen

Issue number #2 in my occasional series of podcasts is out now is out now: Krautpod#2 – Die Toten Hosen.

Special thanks to all at deutsche-in-london.net for the kind words, and especially to Frankie who bought some Helden CDs on the strength of Krautpod#1.

Krautpod#1 . . . a new era

Fire up your iPods.

My quest to bring eine kleine Bundesmusik across into the UK continues with the first in an occasional series of podcasts.

Issue number #1 is out now: Krautpod#1.

Fanta Vier in London

Uncle Pauly’s Kraut Pop guide.

Fanta Vier in London

Caught the Vier last night in Kentish town’s Forum. Despite the change of date and venue the lads were greeted by a very appreciative, largely German audience who went wild when four blokes ambled on stage with Teutonic timekeeping at 9pm on the dot . . . cue sheepish grins all round as we realised that this four weren’t the four but were the backing musicians (including one keyboard player who looked incredibly like David Mitchell from Peep show) – I blame the lighting.

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Please call us “Krauts”, not “Bratwurst”

Christiane Link guest blogging:

When Paul asked me if I could write a blog entry about the word „Krauts” I was a little bit surprised.

I’m one of them, I am one of the Krauts. I am German, has been living in London for three months. I know that some of the Brits call us “Krauts” but it doesn’t bother me. Read more

Tele

A while back I got one of Tele’s earlier hits – Es Kommt ein Schiff – off a magazine’s free CD giveaway and described it as a Westlife-type ballad with cheesy horns. I still stand by this although with the Freiburger’s new album, the horns Tele love so much have grown on me a bit more. I still think they overdo it a tad but when they get the mix right it really works – check out the playful big band on Rio De Janeiro.

b000mra4ny01_ss500_sclzzzzzzz_v46855572_.jpg3 starsWir Brauchen Nichts

(Don’t Need a Thing, 100% native)

Quality production, smooth eighties-type melodies and great lyrics. Standout tracks: ‘Rio de Janeiro’, ‘Mario’, ‘Wir Brauchen Nichts’.

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Fanta Vier in London

A rare UK appearance by Germany’s top hip-hop band, Die Fantastischen Vier. They’re coming to London on the 25th May. I’ll be there . . . .

Die Fantastischen Vier

Die Fantastischen Vier (aka Fanta 4) pretty much started the German hip-hop scene about 18 years ago in Stuttgart. Rapping in German they steer clear of all the cliches of US ‘gangstas’ such as guns n’ hos.

After starting off in the late eighties in what was then West Germany they built up a following and gained enough confidence to appear on an early compilation of emerging Kraut-hop called ‘krauts with attitude’. Around this time, according to the band’s official website, they even got a mention in a 1993 UK Guardian article about German hip-hop.

They now concentrate on German-speaking, feel-good tunes with some very Brit-like observational asides dotted about. Even when they’re self-indulgent as on ‘Hausmeister Thomas D’ (a tribute to one of the band) or Frühstück (Breakfast) they can be quite inventive.

fantavier.jpg Best Of 1990 – 2005

4 stars(100% native)

Home-grown German hip-hop of the highest quality. Standout tracks: ‘Die Da’, ‘Lass Die Sonne Rein’, ‘Hausmeister Thomas D’, ‘sie ist weg’ (She’s gone), ‘Nur In Deinem Kopf’ (Only In your Head).

The fabled German lack of humour is lacking on the album I’ve shown on the right too: my special edition of the album comes with — shock — a cassette helpfully labelled ‘Alter Scheiss’. It contains discarded tracks from the late eighties (incl. early stuff in English) and I’ve been unable to listen to it as I no longer posess the technology. Still it may come in handy for those annoying moments when you rent a van from some dodgy small-ad and instead of a CD player there’s an ageing, music-destroying, tape-deck in it.

I’ve come to them late but the best-of on the right is a double album and a pretty comprehensive intro to one of Germany’s best-loved bands.

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