Baloise Session 2014 – Storytellers: Music Lasts Forever

Amy Macdonald, Baloise Session, Basel, James Gruntz, Live, Music, Switzerland

My Sundays usually are the same: it’s probably the only day of the whole week where I absolutely do nothing. I’ll might cook but that’s it. Last Sunday was gig day, the second time in a row, which gave me a great feeling actually, since I had something to look forward to that wasn’t the screen of my TV or my pijama.

I was more than honoured to dress up for one of the most famous Fall events here in Switzerland: the 29. edition of  Baloise Session, former AVO Session Basel, Boutique music festival taking place in a very chic venue, located in central Basel. This event has already got on stage several big stars of the music scene, like Miles Davis, P!nk, Eric Clapton or Morcheeba. Every concert is streamed live on Swiss televison and, in Addition, in 140 different countries in the world. The atmosphere is certainly something totally different than any usual concert. Guests and fans are seated by a table, can enjoy the music, sharing a bottle of wine and some candlelight. The average age is also a bit higher even if the musicians are in their 20s, because the whole line up is carefully picked for a crowd that is able to appreciate some good Music.

Photo Credit: Baloise Session

In my case, I couldn’t be happier to attend the (sold out) Storytellers night: starring Swiss uprising jazz star James Gruntz and Scottish Songwriter Amy Macdonald.
James Gruntz was a pleasant surprise for my ears, he has a refreshing touch into his lyrics and could become an Evergreen into the Swiss Music Scene. I think jazzy Pop could or should be something in everybody’s personal collection at home: there’s nothing better than jazz, blues or soul while enjoying an evening home while the first leaves are falling and the air becomes chilly outside. It’s all about the mood.

Photo Credit: Baloise Session

It was my first Amy Macdonald concert that I’ve ever attended as a press member. I actually don’t remember how many times I’ve seen her live already, but I know they were a few. At least five or six, I guess. So it was a quite particular moment for me, to stand pretty close to her with my camera in my hands. I think I can put this amazing lady’s music into my personal Top 10, when it comes to songwriters. Since I heard the first song back in 2008, I became a fan instantly. She has a very relaxing and positive way to tell stories, doesen’t really matter how slow or guitar riffed her Songs are. And I think I’m not just speaking for myself: Switzerland is famous for loving Scottish artists, and Amy is the living proof, almost every Show is sold out. Her tracks are timeless, not going with any actual trendy Music flow, it’s just how Amy sounds. Just take “This is the Life” for example: as I said, it’s timeless.

Photo Credit: Baloise Session

The first moments of Amy Macdonald’s concert opening were kind of insecure. Not because of her, she came on stage, wearing all black like a rockstar and played amazingly! It was actually because of the crowd: it was too quiet. I mean, I was more singing along than taking photographs, but it was not suprising.
“I played a private gig in here last night, where people are usually supposed to be your fans, but they were actually enjoying themselves more than you guys. You’re welcome to stand up and dance.You should have a good time”, came out from a smiling Amy, and she was so right! Her irony paid off, than the front of the stage filled up with a dancing crowd within three minutes. From my point of view, that was the instant when the evening was really beginning. So, after I made sure to have one or two useable photographs for this post, I ran back to my table, left my stuff there, grabbed my friend Paulo and got lost into the crowd in the front row.

Her major hits like “Mr. Rock’n’Roll”, “L.A.” or “Spark” weren’t missing. Amy managed to be very entertaining and ironic in between the single tracks, telling some anecdotes about her daily life. How she supports the Scottish Football Team for example, or how passionate she is about her country. You actually could see her love for Scotland also on her microphone: blue and white crystals were forming the Scottish flag on it. Her song about Caledonia, “Pride”, couldn’t miss on the setlist at this point.

After an unexpected, calm start, the Storytellers’ concert turned into a party. Maybe it was Amy’s little reproach, maybe it was the wine. I was happy to see the audience giving her a Standing Ovation at the end of the night. The show made mine and everybody else’s Sunday ending perfectly. The ride to Basel is totally worth it, even if you’re stuck in traffic for more than one hour. Yes, it happened to me, but it was totally forgotten on my way home.

After seeing artists as talented as James Gruntz and Amy Macdonald, giving you this inebriating, light feeling after their gig, I have the confirmation that good music is something that last forever. No matter what Generation you’re in.

Find more out about Baloise session here:

Baloise Session is running until November 12th, 2014 featuring the following artists:
Cee Lo Green & The Asteroids Galaxy Tour
Bryan Ferry & Schiller
Morrisey & Beth Hart
Wyclef Jean & Charles Bradley and his Extraordinaires
Foreigner & Krokus
Leona Lewis & Pegasus
Fatoumata Diawara, Roberto Fonseca, Omara Portuondo & Mayra Andrade
Dr. John’s “Spirit of Satch” & Monty Alexander’s “My Roots to Jazz”
Thank you to the Baloise Session Team for having me

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