Country Christmas 2008, St. Matthäus Church Basle
with Heinz Flueckiger & his Easy Skiffle Group
(Report: DP, Heinz Flueckiger Fan-Club Member)
Finally! We had been waiting for a long time to hear Heinz Flueckiger and his Easy Skiffle Group playing their wonderful Christmas programme in a church. Thanks to René Fasnacht’s initiative, member of the fan club, it finally became true. And this performance was even a charity event. The benefit was meant for the traditional Christmas celebration offered to socially deprived persons.
Half an hour before the concert started many fans were already in the church. But also many new faces. More and more joined. When René Fasnacht finally opened the concert at 8 o’clock, the church was almost full. He explained the origin of this special charity Christmas celebration and that it has been celebrated in Basel for 110 years already. With such an increasing success that the organizing team (YMCA and the Seniors’ Organisation 60+) was reaching its limits of capacity.
Then, finally, they started. Heinz and his Skifflers went on stage and were welcomed with a big applause. The tension was high! But then they began with the song "Mansion over the hilltop" and animated the audience right from the beginning. So they went on, song after song. Well-known and unknown songs alternated. The Easy Skiffle-Group played wonderfully and very varied. Heinz with his unique and incomparable voice fascinated; but also Claudia, his wife, had a wonderful voice, no matter whether she accompanied Heinz with a second voice or whether she was singing alone. And Heinz played virtuously guitar as always.
Then suddenly - a big surprise. The „Örgeli-Vreni“ was announced…. – Örgeli (hurdy-gurdy) ? – Christmas songs? How can it be? – Vreni Rebmann entered the stage and removed the towel from the hidden hurdy-gurdy. And it really sounded wonderful. During the song "Jingle Bells" Vreni Rebmann had to turn the crank handle like mad – but it was a unique way of making music.
We were surprised how nice the programme turned out to be. No „hokey“ songs you can hear in every shopping mall. They played only wonderful Christmas songs. Some of them more rocking, some of them melancholic or touching – like “o Holy Night” and “Dear Father” with Lin Becker’s accompaniement on the Piano. When Heinz intoned the song "Silent Night" the whole church sang the 3rd verse. Fantastic!
Sigrid Schaffhauser played over 10 different rhythmical instruments, Franz Nebel mouth organ and skiffle board and Peter Urech changed between accordion, cajun, guitar, skiffle board and piano. Only Ralph Schaffhauser had no „instrument changing stress“ on stage. He played convincingly bass – but on what? On an old washing trough (it is said that he was sitting in it as a child … - unbelievable, when you look at the two-meter-man!!). A cord is spanned over the washing trough which is fixed to an old scrubber! Amazing that one can play bass on such a construction! But it works! Believe me!
After two hours the concert was (unfortunately) over. The audience was frantic and requested an encore. So Heinz sang his touching "Amazing Grace". Many people were moved and had tears in their eyes! What a concert!
René Fasnacht informed us in the end that over 4000 Swiss Francs had been collected for the charity Christmas celebration.
We thank the Easy Skiffle Group and the organizers of the charity Christmas celebration that they made it possible for us to spend such a wonderful evening.
The concert was recorded by amateurs and put on youtube.com - Simply click on the Link beside and you can get to have Christmas all year round!
Telebasel was also present – but unfortunately filmed only a small part.