Concert hall/opera , Venue
|Category||Concert hall/opera , Venue|
In the heart of the sedate quarter of Nippes lies one of the city’s most extraordinary concert venues: the gorgeous Lutherkirche church. A neogothic place of worship dating from 1889, it still hosts a Protestant service every Sunday and serves an active community.
The Kulturkirche has functioned as a venue since 2002. Pastor Thomas Diederichs is a veritable concert organiser who takes pride in delivering fun, concise introductions to the bands that perform in his church. In organising his series of monthly readings, cabaret shows and concerts, he is ably supported by members of his congregation who are consummate hosts – and who go so far as to staff two Kölsch bars located in the naves of the church. Odd as it may feel to be in a church clutching a beer, here at Kulturkirche it’s considered normal – in fact it’s actively encouraged.
A permanently installed, state-of-the-art sound system delivers reliable acoustics in what is a challenging space for audio technicians. However, this minor drawback is more than compensated for by the church’s impressive and well-lit interior. That said, just like any other concert venue the Kulturkirche is only as good as its bookings. The organisers regularly succeed in attracting both German artists and high-profile international musicians – the less mainstream, the better. Previous Kulturkirche performances by the Editors, William Fitzsimmons and Patrick Wolf have rightly become legend. Cologne’s fairly spoilt concert-going audiences are rarely seen in a more relaxed, even euphoric mood than here. At the Kulturkirche, the spirit is uplifted in more ways than one, regardless of one’s religious beliefs or lack thereof.