Bongo Bongo Sun Splash in Hachenburg 8-6-2001
It's been some months ago since I saw my last Earth Band gig. It was in England. Together with Reinhard, Erika and Uschi I would go to the Bongo Bongo gig in Hachenburg. I also tried to convince Thomas to come to the gig but I got no email from him. I went to Reinhard's place (sorry I was too late) and the three of us (Reinhard, Erika and myself) we drove south direction Hachenburg. In Hachenburg we picked up Uschi and went to the castle where Uschi lived for half a year some centuries ago. After that visit we got us a real German snitzel in the lovely centre of the little town. Every time I go to Germany the cities I visit are so nice looking. And then on the way to the "Gasthaus" and back to the festival site.
A three-day festival in the middle of nowhere (Germany),or to be more exact a one and a half hour drive from Reinhard's place. On Friday the festival started with the Manfred Mann's Earth band after two supporting acts. The other days it was more reggae music but that part weskipped. Back to Friday. The first supporting act I have forgotten, the second, called Sheela, was a group from Germany playing symphonic Rock music like Saga. They were good. But of course we all waited for the gig to come. And there was Thomas, nice to meet you again. It was 22.30 hrs and Ian introduced the Earth Band. It was a could evening, Manfred wearing a jacket and Noel had his coloured shirt on since long (am I right Uschi?). Even Steve had his buttons closed from his shirt (what a pity for the women).
Of course the gig started with Manfred on the keyboards and after the intro Shelter from the storm, as usual the last years, the first song on the setlist.
Castles is the next one on the list and it's really one of the best live songs. With Mick's solo on the guitar and after that Manfred on the keyboards, it's a song you don't want to miss. Then came my favorite live song, Martha's madman. The solo from Manfred in this song is never the same and it's allways too short, you know it when Manfred points up his finger it's finished. As we all know Manfred wants perfection,and there was the first technical check. When Noel asked Manfred if everything was ok, Manfred made a disapproving gesture with his arm. With Steve on the base the next song was coming up, Don't kill it Carol. Noel's voice was deformed at the start and that gave a special effect. Then again a technical check ending with Manfred saying "Technical check finished".
And now the new song would come, anxious to hear it. The first words were different , Noel singing "Technical bull shit, technical, technical". Two songs strangled together in one beautiful song. Noel singing the Dancing in the dark part, Mick House of the rising sun. And then Noel is singing House of the rising sun, perfect. Then Manfred on the keyboards (da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da, the rhythm Reinhard,Erika) Steve again in the spotlight and Noel with a base voice and "dancing in sunsplash". If it's like this please give us more new songs Manfred. The other change in the program "Spirits in the night" with a little bit "Father". This songs gives Mick still the possibility to show what he can do with a guitar and with his voice. I specifically like the part between Mick's and Manfred's solo. After the duet between Mick and Manfred the song finishes with Father and Mick on his knees. I don't have a problem with this version at all, and watching Manfred and Mick they enjoyed it as well. It was time for Noel to come back on stage, with a cigaret in his mouth and the Demolition man. Noel moves his hands like Joe Cocker used to do. Richard's drive is best heared in this song and the rock an roll part from Mick is very nice.
Then comes Blinded and a dream away part from Manfred as intro.
End of the gig, und dann kommen die Zugaben. A little reggae talk of Noel introduces Redemption song. Mick, Noel and Manfred in a perfect combination, wonderful song with the audience singing the last part of it. Davy's on the road again with Manfred in a jazzy role and Mick pointing to Reinhard he had forgotten to shout. Und jetzt die zweite zugabe. Of course Mighty mighty mighty quinn. Richard hitting the drums, Manfred adding the keyboards and then "We have not seen something like the MMEB''. Smoke on the water Mick and jump for joy L, the gig is over.
Thanks again Richard, Steve, Noel, Mick and Manfred. It took me four hours to get there but I enjoyed it a lot. Thanks Thomas,Uschi, Erika and Reinhard for joining me.