Legendary Gipsy Kings and one of Germany’s biggest potential drivers of country music, More Than Words – I felt really thankful to have the opportunity reporting from this concert in my home town Cologne. On 11th August 2022, the two acts met at one of Cologne’s nicest open air spaces, the Tanzbrunnen. Here is my review
The Tanzbrunnen in Cologne is an open air space, close to the trade fair area. The 48,500 square meter space can hold up to 12,500 spectators. For the Gipsy Kings show, the venue used seating in the central area, though. A special feature of the Tanzbrunnen is that parts of the ground are covered with tent-alike constructions. Thus, they are weather proof. You typically travel to the venue by using the Cologne Trade Fair / Deutz train station or its public transport connections.
Gipsy Kings & More Than Words – About The Artists
The roots of the Gipsy Kings are already back in the 1970’s, when the band Jose Reyes and Los Reyes formed. Interestingly, most band members are sons of the flamenco singer Jose Reyes. One of the founding members was also his son-in-law Chico Bouchiki. However, he is no longer part of the band. The band nowadays consists of eight members. Apart from their ethnic music style, one of the key features of the bands is that there are so many vocalists and guitar players in parallel. The Gipsy Kings were especially successful in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, when three albums, Gipsy Kings (1988), Mosaique (1989) and Este Mundo (1991) gathered golden and platinum records in several markets, including, France, the United Kingdom, the USA or Germany.
More Than Words is a very interesting family trio band. I recently introduced them to you when I reviewed – and enjoyed – their July 2022 album release Today (Make Today Be the Best Day of Your Life). You will find some more bio information in that posting. The most prominent band member in Germany is definitely Stefanie Hertel, who was very successful in traditional folk music (Volksmusik). The other band members are her husband Lanny Lanner and her daughter Johanna Mross.
Gipsy Kings & More Than Words – The Show
There was a bit of confusion when the concert would finally start, as the social media information did not match the ticket. Finally, More Than Words stepped on stage right in time at 19:30 hrs. The start was a bit of slow, but the identification of the audience with the “warm-up act” (or: “We are here to warm you up mentally and physically for the Gipsy Kings”, as Lanny described their role) significantly increased when the band introduced themsevels. Stefanie Hertel is simply a name people still know in Germany. Especially in the last ten, fifteen minutes of the set, the warming up thing worked perfectly, when the country music act made Cologne move with a medley of country and non-country classics. The trio could even close their set with an original, nice.
After the family band’s some 30 minute set, it took some twenty minutes until the Gipsy Kings and their orchestra (so many musicians, hard to just call that band) stepped on stage of the Tanzbrunnen. Under the Cologne summer heat, they got their fans from the very first moment. Thereby, they had two key success factors: their ultimate joy to present their music as well as their musical skill. That setup is simply unique – and it did not need the Gipsy Kings’ classics to make the some 2,500 people dance. However, when the main act presented one of their big ones, Baila Me, as the sixth track, it was hard to spot people still sitting in their chairs. The last four song were a treat of music history. Bamboleo, Vamos a bailar, Volare (Nel blu di pinto di blu) and A mi manera– that’s a nice way to say “Adios” to the crowds.
Gipsy Kings & More Than Words (11th August 2022, Cologne) – The Gallery
Here are 215 major size pictures of the show. They are located in the concert gallery:
Gipsy Kings & More Than Words (11th August 2022, Cologne) – My View
Unfortunately, the promoter of this show just allowed to take pictures from few spots in the audience and the very edges of stage – I am thus very sorry for the low level of picture quality and diversity. Apart from these technical issues, the show was really cool. More Than Words showed that they have a nice touch for the people and can persuade and catch them. The Gipsy Kings are a very unique combo with a high level of musical excellence. The people in Cologne loved this show, despite of the quite warm weather conditions.