The streetview of the (former) Basement, © Tourismus NRW e.V.

EX-Base­ment


A club be­neath a church

In times when performances for music groups were usually only possible in youth centers far on the outskirts of Cologne's city center, a club opened downtown. Basement started 1979 in the Herwarthstraße in a basement vault and quickly became a central institution of the Cologne music scene. Between 1979 and 1981 in particular, national and international artists and bands appeared in this cellar club, situated right under an evangelical church. Many of the artists playing later became stars, like Trio ("Da Da Da") for example. Also Dick & Alex, The Tourists (with Dave Stewart and Annie Lennox!) or Don Dokken played here. Concert history was written in the Basement with the first Germany appearance of Joy Division just a few weeks before Ian Curtis death. In addition, the Basement contributed to the founding legend of Cologne's most famous (at least nationally) band BAP: Here (on the toilet) singer Wolfgang Niedecken met guitar player Klaus "Major" Heuser for the first time. Over the years, the club has become an influential showcase for the Cologne pop music scene.

During the 90s, the Basement increasingly lost its status for the young music scene in the city. In autumn 2013, it finally had to close its doors. One of the reasons: The congregation wanted to use the premises from now on for themselves. Protests by residents and other citizens were unsuccessful. Today, especially the new luxury apartments are noticable, which were built wall by wall to the church building.

Further information:
Dorothee-Sölle-Platz 1, 50672 Cologne

www.musikarchiv-nrw.de/sammlungen

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