Translation: Stephanie Litfin
Old songs, good hearts
On the NDR stage, Roger Hodgson scooped out an abundance of songs.
Kiel - He sold more than 60 million albums with his former Rock- Pop- Band Supertramp.
Not just a few of the Eight albums, he had participating in with the group are still found on the CD racks of those crowds of fans, who pilgrimaged in front of the NDR stage. Roger Hodgson, former songwriter of the British Quintet and their indispensable and unique voice, played old songs from his former band as well as new songs from his three solo albums.
From the mid 70īs on, Supertramp was a phenomenon for a whole decade, loved by the fans, criticised by others. Music magazine “Rolling Stone commented that “You want to put them in one room together with the first Beatles albums until they are convinced that in two and a half minutes you can be so dynamic and atmospheric as in five”, as they hammered the long Wurlitzer piano played songs of the British band. Well, the fans liked it, and with albums like Breakfast in America or Crime of the Century the Quintet achieved one top ten chart placing after the other. This is a long time ago, and since Roger Hodgson quit in 1983, Supertramp vainly tried to get back on the track of success, before it got quiet around the beginning of the new millennium.
Like a dignitary from the good old times Roger “The Voice” Hodgson comes on stage. The long hair has since turned a little grey as he sits down at his electric piano with a smile on his face, while the crowd cheers him loudly on songs such as “Take The Long Way Home” or “Give A Little Bit.” After the first notes played by Roger on the piano or on his guitar the songs are already recognized and celebrated by the fans. Almost everyone in the crowd, most of them over 40 years old, can sing along with the lyrics word by word.
I love to play these old songs and to bring back memories, says the 58 years old and hits the point of many attendants with this statement. Once again they want to swing along with the characteristic piano solo of “School” or the super hit “Breakfast in America.” Those times were beautiful! Without the support of the whole band, the songs are available in a pared-down version, so Aaron McDonald is on board, playing saxophone and flute and the audience politely claps to his solos. But what really counts tonight is the voice, atmosphere and the well-known melodies.
Of course he also plays new songs from his solo albums beside the old ones. “Along Came Mary” from his latest album Open the Door (2000), a folk-romantic ballad or “Lovers In The Wind” from his first solo work “In The Eye Of The Storm (1984). Hodgsonīs lyrics are characterized by his own emotions and spiritual experiences he’s made, especially after his split with Supertramp. “Good Spirits, Good Hearts,” he flattered the audience of the Kieler Woche, and they love him anyway.