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Thursday evening in Freiburg, Germany and you have to find your way to the Alte Güterbahnhofshalle [an old freight yard], not so easy but luckily posters with arrows pointed to the right direction and led us through a dark industrial area and across railway tracks. Finally at the venue, it turned out to be rather cosy but without any heating so it was up to the musicians to get the crowd all warmed up.
Smoke Stack Lightning
Smoke Stack Lightning did exactly that and kicked off their 30-minute warm up session without further ado. A little country, a bit of rock´n´roll and a lot of America – that´s the recipe of the four guys from Nuremberg, Germany who, with this mix, had the crowd on their side pretty quickly. A real treat was then the live performed cover version of one of Bela´s songs “Altes Arschloch Liebe” [Old asshole love]. Renamed to “Old Bastard Love” and newly Americanized the song got everyone ass swinging along immediately.
The not quite sold out venue was thrilled when the first notes of Bela and his band Los Helmstedt sounded from the stage despite the fact that the band leader was nowhere to be seen yet. Bela was hiding behind a transparent paper wall but broke through shortly after and strut down the stage stairway built only for him like an entertainer of old times. Frank Sinatra reincarnated! And a good show seemed to be the main priority for the band because if you only look at the songs then you notice they somehow miss a certain kind of catchiness and musical finesse. Be that as it may, it was the entertainment factor that counted tonight and the master himself, playing guitar this time, took every opportunity to overcome the admittedly enormous distance between stage and crowd, straight into the open arms of the audience who of course welcomed him enthusiastically.
And so the old freight yard quickly turned into a „haven of love”, in which all the ladies were the center of attention. Charmingly Bela schmoozed his way through the programme and with “Traumfrau” [Woman of my dreams] he grabbed a girl from the audience and danced with her through the night or at least until the end of the song. But there was also a treat for all the guys attending, namely Ina “Paule” Klink who played the keyboard and was responsible for backing vocals and duets with Bela (1.2.3.). After 2,5 hours of “sexual tension” Bela concluded the show in a glitter suit and, completely exhausted, the crowd and the bands left the icy cold venue for the a lot more cosy Freiburg night.
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