Seeing as notes are generally the best way of putting music on paper, this publication, celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Bad Bonn music venue in Fribourg, takes the form of a song book. Then again, since hardly any of the bands that play there actually notate their music, it’s an unusual song book that’s likely to appeal to laymen as well.
For two and a half years, artists performing at the Bad Bonn were asked to put their songs on paper. The results proved as diverse as their musical styles and personalities, including everything from sheet music and lyrics with guitar tabs to photos and drawings, it’s all there. The contributions show a side of the musicians’ creativity that doesn’t show on stage or on their recordings.
Café Bad Bonn in Düdingen, a small town in the Fribourg canton of Switzerland, was once a health resort and spa, but for nearly 25 years now it’s been a magnet for mobile music lovers by the lake Schiffenensee. Where Bonnstrasse comes to an end in the middle of nowhere stands a building. Behind its modest, almost staid, exterior is a venue with a surprisingly diverse lineup of artists you might see billed in London, Berlin or Paris. Whether metal, anti-folk, country, electronica, indie or hip hop, there’s room here for every niche and fringe in the popular music scene.
Some 2500 bands have played this little stage since 1991, including big names like My Bloody Valentine, Bonnie Prince Billy, The Prodigy, Queens of the Stone Age, Ministry, Cat Power, The Young Gods and plenty of other international and local bands. Its club concerts aside, the highlight of the year is Bad Bonn’s annual Kilbi Festival. Acclaimed “Switzerland’s best festival” by renowned music critics and cultural journalists, the event has become a permanent fixture of the nation’s performing arts program.
With texts by Conrad Lambert, Chan Marshall, Benedikt Sartorius and Christophe Schenk in English, French and German. - Editions Patrick Frey