©
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

All Pop-Spots of Co­logne