This evening I could go to Bern to see the concert of Jesters Quest and Sam Gruber at Ono. Both Valais bands were at this Point rather unknown to me, especially live. I knew the videos of Jesters Quest, but Sam Gruber I didn’t know at all. I prepared for a cosy evening at the small concert location in the middle of Bern’s old town. Because I was pretty tired that evening, something quite was welcome to me. Luckily the evening didn’t end as it started.
Bern at war?
That is to say, on the way to Ono I got into a police control. I had read something about before, but somehow I didn’t realize that it was going to be in this part of the city. I also still don’t know how I could get into this group, that was put against the wall and searched from head to toe. Do I look so dangerously? Quickly I remembered the news paper article about the unauthorized Antifa demo. We also got informed that it was forbidden in the whole city to gather in groups of more than 10 people.
Apart from wondering if they were even allowed to do all this and being a little annoyed, I especially was nervous when the policewoman started to unpack my pocket cam. Careful please! I really just wanted to go to this concert.
With so much heavily armed police that was between the main station and Zytglogge on this evening, you could have thought Bern was at war. Because they neither have found anything unusual in my bags nor with the ID control (who would have though… -.-), they let me go in time for the concert. In thoughts I immediately went through the old town to figure out another way to avoid Zytglogge afterwards to get to the train station. That was somehow difficult…
Luckily I didn’t notice anything else about afterwards. At Ono it was nice and cosy. Who wants to play a small, intimate concert, is just right there.
Jesters Quest played first an 1 hour concert. Jesters Quest is a project by Valais bass player Marco Mazotti, some of you probably have seen with Halunke before. Jesters Quest is a concept story in 12 chapters, that is told by video and music. Therefor in this evening Marco played the live show as “Jesters Acoustic Quest” with Madeleine Rascher and Petra Minnig on vocals as well as Michael Kuster on guitar.
In this evening the story was shortly before releasing the 5th chapter (release: 11.10.2017). Because their own repertoire wasn’t evening filling yet, they played some of their favourite cover songs in-between. Because they place acoustic, it of course was a quieter evening. The two singers do have incredible voices and I just loved sitting there and listening to them. Even two concert visitors next to us probably would have preferred some more action 😉 Usually the songs are more rock and heavy on electro guitars.
I could imagine, that Jesters Quest might be played out live visually; with video + live band. 😉 No clue, if that is a future plan, but that would be my concept 😉 But we will see. Every few weeks/month a new song, new part of the story, will be released until it’s complete. Here You can listen to chapter 4 live at Ono.
The songs and videos you can of course find on www.jesters-quest.com
A decade of songwriting
After a short break Sam Gruber played then in a trio with bass player Sam Truffer (yes, two Sams) as well as Ephraim Salzmann on drums and dulcimer. I had read ahead, that over 10 years ago front guy Sam Gruber used to be in a band called BigFish with Stefanie Heinzmann; back then in Swiss dialect, well Valais dialect. But that Ephraim (Steffi’s cousin + Long-time member of the Fonky Fonks) as well as Marco Mazotti (Jesters Quest) were part of this band too, I found out only afterwards 😉
Sam Gruber is touring with his album “A Decade Full Of Songs”, what is including 10 years of songwriting. Thereby the set included next to others songs like “Cinnamon & Honey”, “The Earth Won’t Stop Spinning” as well as “Cherry Merry Joly Juicy”. His songs sound like pop/folk with some other genre influences. For “Since 1985” Ephraim sat down at the dulcimer [video here], Valais (!) dulcimer. Another song brought some reggae tunes with it. At the end Sam played for the encore the song “Lullaby”, he had written for his girlfriend, all by himself.
Luckily it went home mainly past the police. My concert companion was there by car and she gave me a lift to the train station then. Thanks again ♥ Well, it seems that police presence obviously was effective: Apparently there was mainly cyper war and in Bern’s streets it stayed mainly quiet.
Info about the location and the bands you can get here: