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Tuesday 16 November 2010

Lots Of Bots

A few months ago Mr F and I went on a very pleasant jaunt from Antwerp to Cologne, picking up assorted bits of vinyl along the way. I finally got round to converting them to mp3 format over the weekend. To be honest, none of them are what I would call long-lost classics, but some of them are quite entertaining.

One such is "Aufstehn", the 1980 album by bots - they insisted on using lower case, no doubt for deeply symbolic reasons. That one cost me €1 in an Oxfam shop in Cologne, and was worth every cent.

What little I know about bots has been gleaned from a German language Wikipedia page, as massacred by Google Translate. They were a Dutch band who released their first album in 1975. At some point towards the end of that decade they became popular in Germany and began to release albums in German. It is not clear from the translation whether the albums were released simultaneously in both Dutch and German or exclusively in German.

The main man in bots was Hans Sanders, the singer and guitarist who also wrote the tunes and the original Dutch lyrics (the German lyrics were provided by assorted songwriters, authors and journalists and are apparently very socially aware). He died in Eindhoven in 2007. Special mention must also go to the wonderfully named Bonkie Bongaerts on piano. His current whereabouts are unknown. Are you out there, Bonkie?

Anyway, here is the title track (which translates as "Get Up") and the opener (which I guess translates as "The Man"). Apologies for the slightly ropey quality.

"Der Mann" - bots

"Aufstehn" - bots

One of those responsible for the German lyrics was Wolf Biermann, an East German singer-songwriter who had defected to the West in the mid 1970s bringing with him his step-daughter, one Nina Hagen.

1 comment:

  1. Man,I am so happy to hear these songs, I was in my teens in the 80s when I spent a couple weeks in Germany, I bought both records Entrüstung and Aufstehen, now they are sitting somewhere 3000 miles from where I live, and I miss them!
    Thank you!

    Bertrand,Buffalo, USA