Early in the morning, the first fans apparently had arrived at the site and waited for entrance. As we walked down the street towards the festival grounds, we heard from afar the first sounds and voices of the family band. Despite warm temperatures this gave a little goose bumps. I immediately remembered Winterthur in 1997, when I was running towards the stadium and hearing Patricia sing. That must have been the last Kelly Family openair here in Switzerland. And although I saw the Kelly Family on their comeback tour last year and now last in March at Hallenstadion, the excitement and anticipation immediately increased. After their comeback shows in Dortmund and the successful, mostly completely sold-out arena tour, they now stopped off in beautiful Murten and celebrated with the fans at Stars Of Sounds. What a great surprise this announcement was.
Admittedly in the full anticipation of the Irish family, one could have almost forget that there were other bands performing. While the hard-core fans had secured their spots, most of the concert visitor strolled slowly to the grounds, had a meal or covered themselves with merchandise and dangled their legs into the lake first. For the two support acts it was perhaps not the easiest task to prove themselves to the die-hard Kelly fans.
Did we get soaking wet before doors opened, luckily the dark clouds had disappeared shortly thereafter and it developed into a pleasant, mild summer evening.
Solothurn band kicked off festival in Murten
The five members Solothurn band around the duo Sandy and Joey kicked off the Stars Of Sounds in Murten. They fired up the audience with a mix of rock, folk and punk as well as the powerful rock voice of singer Sandy. Their current single “Haunted Girl” could already be heard in advance on Radio 32.
you can find more pictures of The San Jose here Photo gallery: The San Joes at Stars Of Sounds Murten
Eliane enchanted Murten
After a short break Eliane followed. The “die grössten Schweizer Talente” winner of the 2012 season remembered how she used to sing the songs of the Kellys herself. What great feeling it must have been for her to perform at such a beautiful festival in front of the famous Kelly Family?!
After a short intro Eliane and her band started the 45-minute concert with “Flawless”. Currently with her new 4th album “Slow Motion” on tour, she not only presented her new songs like “I got it all”, “Bittersweet” or “Suddenly breathing”. Of course, one or the other older song like “Like The Water” from her debut was not missing.
At her first festival show Eliane floated over the runway in a light, red summer dress and thrilled the Murten audience with her enchanting voice. Radiant, she accompanied herself on the piano or proudly introduced her guitarist Walter. With him she sang “Breath and let it go” in a great duet.
You can find more photos of Eliane here Photo gallery: Eliane at Stars Of Sounds Murten
Long-awaited Swiss Openair
Shortly before the concert I had met SRF3 charts moderator Michel Birri. As a self-confessed Kelly Family fan, he was of course not missing. Through him, the band was also announced. He thanked his mom for taking him and his sister to the Kelly concerts back then.
Finally, finally at 9 pm it did thunder and flash on stage. The intro started. Angelo sat behind the drums. The remaining siblings and the additional musicians got themselves ready. While Patricia danced across the stage, Jimmy started with the rousing “Thunder”. Oh my, how long had I not heard this song live? Great! Another setlist, as they played during the arena tour, became apparent. Cheers went through the audience, hands were thrown in the air. Flags and light sticks were waved. The longtime fans sang, of course, after all these years right back word for word.
The vibes at the 1st Stars Of Sounds Festival day in Murten was relaxed, but still frisky. One could allegedly even get hold of a place in the front rows shortly before the show started. Due to the many happy smiling faces, which could be found in the audience with old and young, the one or the other became sometimes quite emotional. Parents who were teenagers at the time had come to the concert with their own kids. Grandma and Grandpa were there too. Fans from here and abroad had arrived. Many had waited years to finally see their favorite band back together on stage.
Hit after hit
A newspaper title page appeared on the giant screen in the background and Patricia came to the front to perform her “No Lies”. She was lit and cheered in her pretty plaid dress and pink floral wreath as she walked up and down the runway. At the end of the song she left the stage to her youngest brother Angelo. The now fivefold family man went on with the self-written Kelly hit “I can not help myself” from 1996. There was so much nostalgia right away.
The great thing after the Dortmund concerts and Zurich in March: Already after the first songs I was sure, that the sound quality of this open air was good. There were no cracking boxes and no echoing or overturning. Clearly I could hear the voices and understand the lyrics. Only once Kathy’s microphone had quickly to be changed at lightning speed. But that was hardly worth mentioning.
The oldest Kelly sister was stepping forward in her flowing, purple dress, playing her “Comeback to me” on the accordion. Then Joey grabbed the micro stand, positioned himself at the edge of the stage, grabbed neatly into the strings and properly rocked to “Why Why Why”. Joey has always been the rocker of the family and the fans love him for that. In the front rows, it became always pretty hot due to the fountains firing up into the air. The heat was even felt pretty far back. Even if he always modestly dismisses it: You can see that Joey likes to rock it hard. “Joey thinks he’s AC/DC” even his brother Jimmy was laughing at some point during the concert.
It was John’s turn to step on the runway to play “Imagine” on the guitar and with a basket hat on. He liked to encourage the fans to sing along with him before with Patricia’s “First Time” another Kelly hit was followed. What beautiful weather, she gushed, enjoying the view of the lake and let her emotions free to the gentle sounds of the whistle.
We Got Love
The first guitar riffs sounded and my heart beat a bit faster. “Key To My Heart” followed. Knowing the song back then with the lead vocals of teen idol Paddy, who like Maite is not part of the comeback tour, Joey got another chance to rock the stage. The rock song was followed by the 1996 hit “Fell in Love with an alien”, of which the vocal parts were also newly given to different siblings. Even the Swiss public still knows when it should throw up their arms and clap their hands.
After Kathy’s Spanish-inspired “Fahter’s Nose,” a song that she had written for her son, John walked to the end of the runway. Uncertain, in which language he should speak best in Switzerland, he simply addressed his thanks to the audience in English. John thanked for coming. It was an honor for them to play and yet a miracle that they are still there. By saying that basically we are all the same in our hearts and it is possible that we are “one”, he started the beautiful ballad “Red Shoes”.
His brother Jimmy appealed to love and let the camera show the audience during “We Got Love”. If you discovered yourself on the screen, you should give away some love – whether you knew the person next to you or not. It went a bit crazy and you could almost forget that the Kellys were still there. So concentrated you were on the screen and the people who were shown on it. Some reacted shyly and held back. Some were surprised and the others happy and exuberant. There was always something to smile about during the song.
Keep on singing
The audience also laughed heartily in the following part of the concert. Paul started the street set with a hurdy-gurdy solo. In the meantime, the siblings lined up side by side. While they all played together old songs like “The Rose”, “Let My People Go” and “Let It Be”, the camera captured a little girl, who grinned insecurely into the camera and waved. Simply cute the reaction of the little one! There were so many children present. Some sat high on the shoulders of their parents. The others peered curiously over the barrier.
About halfway through the concert, I wondered if the Kellys, unlike at the arena tour, would not take a break here. The band started a little fiesta with “When The Boys Come Into Town” and there seemed to be no break in sight. Even the spectators danced along on the seated grandstand. There came the moment when Kathy’s micro had to be replaced. But the audience simply took over her part.
“Keep On Singing” – continue singing – is the motto of the Kelly Family, that Angelo has contributed for the new album “We Got Love”. The promise to their mother they have kept and after many solo concerts, now after years they even have found together as a family again. Shortly before the end of the song Angelo sat down again behind his drums and went into his wild solo. First he encouraged the audience to join. Then he went wild again – with flying hair and a flame / pyro inferno at the end.
For a moment, it was quiet again, as Patricia and Jimmy danced together on the runway to “Please Do not Go” in a duet. But it did not last long, as immediately after Joey howled to “The Wolf” and his fans did the same. It got really hot when in the end flames shot up again.
Jimmy finally walked down the runway again with guitar and probably many were already expecting his “Cover The Road”. However, due to current events, he dedicated the Irish folk song “Lassie go” to longtime fan, friend and multiple family man Ulli. He had died recently. Jimmy has this special, empathetic way of telling such experiences and incidents in an incredibly touching way.
The Kelly fever continues
The audience cheered as the Kellys began their uber-hit “An Angel”. Some of them brought out lighters and made their mobile phone lights swing. Lightly flickering in the wind, the lighters also lit up while Kathy played the Irish folk song “Only Our Rivers Run Free” on the accordion. It became really Irish, however, with the “Irish Jig”, to which Patricia and Joey danced together. With “Wearing Of The Green” I also put down my bag to move freely and friskily to their music.
All hands automatically shot up then to each “Woah” from the following “Good Neighbor”. The audience laughed and danced before the already 2.5 hours long concert with Jimmy’s hit “Nanana” came to an end. But the Kellys would not be the Kellys, would they not add enough encores. So everyone took their hands and swayed their arms to “Take My Hand.”
John then walked down the runway again and with “Who’ll come with me” one of the very first hits of the former Kelly Kids followed. From back when mom and dad were on tour with them. Johnny was shown on the screen as a teen star, as well as pictures of the parents who had died much too early. With Patricia’s “Brothers and Sisters”, a song that summarizes the history of the Kelly Family over all these years, the band finally said goodbye. The sweaty Angelo even jumped down into the pit and gratefully hugged his fans in the front row. Patricia and Joey joined him, shaking hands, hugging everyone and took one or two quick selfies.
Well, whether that was the very last Kelly Family concert in Switzerland? One does not know. The festival tour will last until August. Then the Kellys celebrate their tourfinal with two concerts and a long-awaited dream will come true not only for me: The Kelly Family live at Loreley. If the siblings only will play solo shows or at some point will come together again, maybe they even don’t know themselves yet.
But if you don’t want to do without the Kellys, Angelo will come to Switzerland in December with his own little family for two concerts. In addition, Paddy and Maite, who are missing on the comeback tour, each will be here for solo concerts at Summerstage Basel or Flumserberg Openair and Schupfart Festival.
The Kelly fever will continue – either way 🙂
You can find information about the festival at www.starsofsounds.ch
Info about the bands: