One town, 17 locations with 17 bands, but only one admission paid – this was Honky Tonk Festival in Thun. The festival did exist already years ago and now got revived again.
Well, how did Tobey Lucas say: “For someonel ike you this is probably the killer?!” Yes, got to say, with every further band announced for the festival, it became harder for me to decide, who to go listening to. What to do, when you are totally unable to cope with the festival programme? And too many bands I’d like to listen to?
Honky Tonk Festival
I’ve read the festival exists also in St. Gallen as well as Luzern. The concept is generally really great: You pay one admission, in this case CHF 20 in presale or CHF 25 at the box office. So almost for free. You get a festival wristband and so your off from location to location to see all the bands live playing at the festival that evening. Phew, I realized I have no clue about the Thun bars. Where are all these locations suddendly coming from? On the programme there were next to many others Tobey Lucas, Red Shoes, Chubby Buddy, Major B or Another Me. Each band played 4 sets à 45mins – Bruce Springsteen-like 3 hours as Tobey Lucas mentioned during one of his sets. A real concert marathon, that was quite though for the bands.
Inbetween the sets there were 15min breaks, during which the festival visitors could relatively easy and quickly change the locations. Thun’s town knowingly isn’t that big. Many of the participating locations are in striking distance to each other. So generally you could see on this evening sets of four different bands. Probably if you would have listened to 1-2 songs a band, you could have listened to every one. THAT would have been the killer though.
I didn’t feel like stressing. Well, I could have picked four bands, I have seen the least or not at all. But when favourite bands are playing, at least I don’t want it like that. Hehe. And technically speaking I didn’t know that band, only its members. So I set tight priorities and limited myself to exactly two bands. That actually happened in the moment, when I got to know, that behind Ocean Orchestra indeed the band members were, I guessed. Heard actually, that one of my fave bands is having a double band life and founded this coverband. So it was easy for me to make a choice in the programme. Tobey Lucas was clear from the beginning and so Ocean Orchestra was added. Everything else was canceled.
Unsere Freunde vom Ocean Orchestra spielen Heute Abend im Anthra am Honky Tonk Festival in Thun. Start 20.00 kommt Alle!!!
So I started the evening at Anthra with the first two sets of Ocean Orchestra. The band members I originally know as The Souls. But they played as cover band at Honky Tonk festival on this evening. In 70s outfits with colorful bell-bottoms. And who knows The Souls, knew, that was going to be good. So word seemed to get around quickly and with each set, no even with every played song, the location got more crowded. Not only the audience had a lot of fun with songs as „Something Good“ by Ryan Adams, „Maria“ by Blondie, „She’s got it“ (you know this song from Gilette tv add) or „ Maniac“ [Video here] from Flashdance movie, but also the band seemed to have lots of fun.
Inbetween I changed quickly the location, went over to Altes Keller-Theater, where Tobey Lucas played in duo with Chris Filter. Because of him I heard about this Honky Tonk festival, before anything else was known at all. Great that they know could play in Thun and I didn’t have to go to Zurich. And in the streets of Thun was a lot going on. The festival seemed well visited.
Tobey Lucas also had played already two sets and with the third the bar was crowded again. Obvioulsy even with a complete new audience. So exactly what the concept meant it to be. It was more quite with them, the atmosphere in the basement bar and with dimmed light super nice and cosy though. If there wasn’t any free spot on the benches or seats anymore, the young ones simply sat down on the ground in front of the stage. But the audience wasn’t just sitting there and listening to their songs as “Peggy Sue”, “Don’t Let Them Take Your Heart”, “Up On The Mountain” or new, never heard titles, they sang along nicely.
After about 1,5 sets of Tobey Lucas I said goodbye again and went back to Anthra, where at Ocean Orchestra’s the tables and chairs had been moved already and with the huge crowd you barely got into the location, without squeezing through. The party was going strong. They sang along loudly and were dancing. And whilste at some Honky Tonk locations aftershow parties took palce, also at Anthra visitors kept talking, singing and laughing, before some went on or off home with the first Moonliner buses.
A really great evening in Thun. Our town isn’t so lame as it sometimes seems after all. A super festival, a great concert night, that will hopefully continue here in Thun for many years.
Great festival photos you can find at www.liveit.ch