Festival / Rockjazz legend "KRAAN" at the Donau festival (11/7-2000)

Noggers Marterhorn

For 19 years Kraan haven't been on stage in their original lineup, but the tunes really didn't sound dusty at the open air concert, which took place during the international Donau festival.

Udo Eberl

ULM: At the beginning of the KRAAN concert some musical transition was a little wobbling. Bass-legend Hellmut Hattler, grinning roguish, called these little start problems a "cold start". Although they had been practicing hard for the gig, it was no surprise, that not everything immediately worked perfectly. The tunes are not easy to play, and when Kraan after some lineup changes had their last gig nine years ago, they had completely different material in their tour-luggage. The original lineup, which also recorded the mature album "Wiederhören", even had it's last gig in 1981. So of course you could hear nearly all songs of this record and some KRAAN standards in Ulm.

Soon they warmed up during their nightride and surprisingly it didn't rain.
The concert took place at a nearly historical place, the meadow between the old city-wall of Ulm and the river Donau, meeting point of the Hippies when KRAAN was young.
It's true, the tunes were no longer inhalated by the 1200 mostly elderly listeners, but they certainly enjoyed nearly every single note.
Even for the hardest nostalgicians there were nearly no wishes left at the rebirth of the quartet. As the second tune already, the smart "Andy Nogger" came perfectly sounding out of the loudspeakers. And like in the old days the musicians brought power out of their abilities.
Hellmut Hattler, still hyperactive live working during all that years with Tab Two and new projects, grounded with his distinctive, no longer that angular bass, and Jan Fride on drums perfectly added the beats on the point - allways straight on, vollgas ahoi, directly and without any gimmicks.

While keyboarder Ingo Bischof, like once in the past, after sax-player Alto Pappert had left the band in the mid seventies, substituted the wind instrument in the real old tunes with his smooth synthie-sound, Peter Wolbrandt coaxed splendid floating harmonies and slightly jazzified hit tune melodies out of his guitar. It even didn't matter, that in the beginning, you could not hear that great magic of the early years from the string-individualist. Wolbrandt, also the singer of the band, proved instead in "Yaqui Yagua", that funk, even 20 years ago wasn't only the domain of the black musicians.
The music aimed straight to your legs, like "Let's take a Ride" later on too.
Tunes, wich showed that KRAAN still is quite sprightly, or in Hellmut Hattlers directly formulated words: "The best thing during the rehearsals was, that we recognized the music is not shit."

No, it really wasn't, because no one else has ever copied this sound of the "cranes", grown at that time by a musical commune in Wintrup far out in the Teutoburger Forrest.
This mixture of Rockjazz, home made Funk, the inclination to oriental and snuggling warm melodies is very special and fresh.
With a "Dinner For Three" without drums there was even a technical highlight added.

Made of one casting
And when KRAAN, nearly at the end of the gig, by performing "Holiday am Marterhorn" or "Jerk of Life" grasped into the drawer containing the ancient tunes, which next weekend probably will also arouse enthusiasm in the fans of Europes biggest retro - festival at Burg Herzberg, they already played like made of one casting for a long time, and Wolbrandt, contently smiling, had found his old form.
In fact some of the classics got lost in that two hours lasting gig and "Nam Nam", Hattler's rhythmic bass solo, was replaced by a more modern one. But in the end there was a tremendous applause for those, forever young, old guys. With the encore "Let it Out" they demonstrated how to renovate old tunes with love and desire, and at last "Andy Nogger", everyones darling, once again dashed off the stage.

Translated by Chrille propably not pefect - but I did my best.

Thanx to Aldi-supermarkets for selling that dictionary, 6 years ago

Photos here German version of this review here