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Bela B. Listening Session

Stadt / City Berlin 
Land / Country Germany 
Web www.bela-b.de
Bela´s Tourbus 
Datum / Date16 Mar 2006 

Bela B. – Wenn der Tourbus während einer Listening Session bei Curry 36 vorfährt…

Mr. Felsenheimer, better known as sexy Punk, Porno Boy, the Count or simply Bela B., is Comic- and Horror fan, actor, Amercia-lover and Bush-hater and also one of the most charismatic rock stars that come from this country Germany. In his function as drummer, singer and songwriter for the band Die Ärzte he has constantly been exceeding records and successes for about 20 years. Following Farin also Bela B. took the chance to do a solo album released in May 2006. With his band "Los Helmstedt" he will be on tour, too. Before that Bela B. invited to a listening session in his tour bus through Berlin, so that we could check out those nine songs of “Bingo” (including the first single "Tag mit Schutzumschlag") for you.

A few years ago the star of this evening started showing his talent and knowledge in other artistic areas. Besides acting and lending his voice for audio books he published as editor for
Extrem Erfolgreich Enterprises (EEE) many pearls in the Horrorcomic-Genre.
Bela B., born as Dirk Felsenheimer December 14, 1962, in Berlin-Spandau, lives now in Hamburg. 1979 he founded his first band „Soilent Grün“. Until their split in 1982 „Soilent Grün“, later also joined by Belas Die Ärzte-compagnion Farin Urlaub, gained their reputation in Berlin´s Punkscene and released an EP. Soon afterwards the steady and still continuing rise of started, the rest is legend.

Photo: Jim Rakete

The small selection of journalists was gathered at Bahnhof Zoo by a totally inconspicuous Nightliner (well, you cannot possibly put bigger announcements on a bus) to enjoy the first clip to the single with the first beer. Bela B. acts as a kind of Johnny-Depp-rip-off from “Charly and the Chocolate-factory” with vampire-like flair in the final part, where his faible for B-movies and horror could easily been noticed. (Btw. the first acting steps by Mr. Felsenheimer in the 80´s happened in several movies by the legendary Splatter-director Jörg Buttgereit, e.g. „Manne – the muvie“, „Captain Berlin“ and „Der Todesking“)

Photo: Jim Rakete

Travelling in the bus through Berlin by night became cosy when the crowd gathered in the back to check out the nine songs in advance. Producer for the solo-debut „Bingo“ are Olsen Involtini, Wayne Jackson (who was there like the artist, to check out first reactions to the album) and Bela B. And indeed: the production sounds powerful and transparent, and Bela B. did a good pick with those producers and himself a big favour.

The album opener named „Fuge“ starts with a children and monk choir which gives a sacral touch to the song. And as soon as it starts it´s over. Cool introduction.

„Gitarre runter“
„Gitarre runter“is a typical Die Ärzte-song by Felsenheimer´s creative shop. „Mach die Gitarre runter, wir wollen Deinen Sack nicht sehen“ (put down your guitar, we don´t want to see your balls) as main message indicates the focus of that song: propagate fun in four minutes. That works out fine with this extremely melodic and catchy up tempo song, the chorus with several voices and the dramatic final.

"Tag mit Schutzumschlag"
A rock song without compromises that fulfils your expectations of B-Movie-inspirations. Gothic-keys and the charismatic (distorted) voice analyse the recent social situation („Kindersex im Internet, live im Kannibalenchat, die NPD wirbt um unser Vertrauen“: children sex on the internet, live in a cannibal chat, German neo-Nazi try to gain our trust). A very catchy song with fast and deep-voiced lyrics that stays in your head after hearing it only three times.

This song is bass-dominated, moderate and has swing-rhythms. A „Kill Bill“-like tune gives the basis for an amusing text about the protagonist´s failed attempts to get laid. Finally Charlotte Roache sings with Bela a duet.

„Letzter Tag“
„Letzter Tag“ (final day) starts like Ennio Morricone with gloomy Westernguitars. The sophisticated text about death and goodbyes is emphasized by violins and a distorted solo.

„Traumfrau“ (dream girl) is up-tempo, cheerful and an unforgettable tune. The chorus has again just violins and no guitar sound, but then it takes off full-speed and ends with brass entries.

During „Irgendwas“ Bela also prefers violins to guitars. Midtempo and atmospheric Astral-Solo, this very emotional song culminates in a female-voice-finale.

„Sie“ is a very calm song containing just a few power chords. After the line „Sie ist gegangen, denn sie hat etwas vermisst“ (she left because she missed something) the song takes off and becomes more powerful. Good soundtrack for breaking up relationships.

This track strongly reminds of Buddy Holly, an Hommage with live atmosphere, acoustic guitar, 50´s flair and a lot of humour. Good song.

Finally 15 songs made it to the album, they say while the nightliner cruises through Berlin and, suitable for the occasion, stops at the city´s most famous snackbar, „Curry 36“, where Bela then re-enters the bus with about two dozen of those special dishes with French fries.
„The other songs are about different topics, some fun-songs and some ballads. And we also have vampire-themes”, said Wayne Jackson. A special moment happened in the studio with TV host Charlotte Roache.
„Charlotte had never sang before, therefore she was very nervous“, so the producer. And about the acting talents of his musician in the video clip: „Bela is much better than Johnny!“

Finally it cannot be denied that „Bingo“ is a very good Rock album, perhaps no big derivation from the classic Ärzte-style, and perhaps less morbid horror themes than expected. Instead there are big emotions, interesting instrumentation and lots of humour.

Ingo Gießmann, translation: Klaudia Weber

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