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