On guys watching, gamblers and letters from Dora

Johna / Sihna Maagé – The Shakespeare, Herdecke; September 1st, 2018

It was almost exactly three ears ago that I first saw Johna and Sihna play, that time in concert with Marina V. Ever since, they were on my list of people to see again, but it had never worked out until now. Thus, I found myself at a small pub in Herdecke where they served cider and chips with vinegar before the concert. It was a lovely evening with lovely music that reminded my why I had wanted to see them again in the first place. I was happy that I’d gotten my lazy butt up off my sofa and took the trip to Herdecke. It was time well spent.

With Herdecke being close to Dortmund I didn’t have to leave early and arrived in good time before the concert. Said hello to the ladies, had some food and chatted with G., who sat next to me and knows Sihna from university. A few more people showed up, some to see the concert, some just to hang around and talk. The atmosphere was generally nice if a bit loud for a concert.

Around 8, they took their places on stage and just started playing without further ado with Johna on guitar and Sihna on the piano. The people who actually wanted to listen immediately turned and focussed their attention to the stage. sadle, some were more interested in continuing their conversations. ‘Gray’ was a good start and lead to some laughter when Sihna announced “The next song is ‘Gray'” and Johna pointed out that that was the one they had just played. 😀 Next was actually ‘Black Tiger’ one more of Sihna’s own. I loved how, during the evening, they switched between their material and accompanied each other.

Johna explained how they sometimes tour together, but are actually two separate Singer/Songwriters. This Setup works well. Their voices really compliment each other and they both have bautiful songs that I enjoy. Johna played ‘Will I ever’ and ‘Your Love’ from her last full album ‘The Long Way home’. By then I was really into listening and remembered why I had wanted to hear her live again. 🙂 Sihna explain how she has been writing German songs for a few months and wanted to introduce us to some of them. the first was ‘Higher’ a catchy pop-song with a touch of soul. For ‘Straßenblues’ she invited us to clap along, but people didn’t really engage. The song was fun, a dedication to a guy standing around checking her out but not dring to come and talk to her.

It was Johna’s turn again and she told us about her aunt who lives in Australia and who she’d been writing letters to since she was ten and whom she’d finally visited. The song ‘Letters from Dora’ is inspiered by her aunt’s life and judging by the lyrics she must be and amazing woman. She sure sounded like someone I would enjoy meeting. The next story was about being at a concert and a man who stood there the entire gig with flowers for the singer and only had eyes for her, but in the end he didn’t dare giving her the flowers. She had to start a few times, because she got distracted while describing the scene. 😉 It was a lovely story, even though the song did make me think about too many men who behave in creepy ways towards female singers, especially when engaging with them online. So it definitely had a dark undertone for me. Finally, people were clapping along too.

The last song in the first set was ‘Mountains’, the title song of Johna’s new CD. Before the song she explained how they both make music for a living and it would be nice if we threw some money in their hat. Sure thing. Sadly some people were laugjhing so loudly in the background some of he words and the song got lost. 🙁 Really, people, can’t you be just a little respectful? The song was beautiful and made me look forward to the upcoming CD.

They took a short break whih I use dto buy Sihna’s CD. Soon they were back on stage and Sihna anounced ‘Chains’. It was faster paced than the ones before and had some of the audience was clapping along. Meanwhile the loud talkers had relocated outside which made the concert a lot more enjoyable. Johna told us a story about making a small tour on the west coast of he USA and meeting a guy who had come to Vegas 16 years previously, gambled awayy all his money and was since trying to gather enough money while living on the street to return to his old life. It was a lovely ballad that made me imagine the gambler waiting for a break.

Next was a song that Johna would have iked to write, but didn’t. It is a Country song about a murder in a small village where the people don’t want the police there. It was Carrie Underwood’s ‘Chocktaw County Affair’. The lyrics were really amusing. 🙂 ‘Angel undercover’ followed, Johna’s favorite song of her last albuum as she said. I remembered that one from three years ago and found myself swaying along.

Sihna played a cover of Martin Solveig’s ‘Places’ saying she was not a person who listenes to the radio much, but fell in love with this song. I had had no idea who originally sang it but it did sound familiar. 🙂 ‘Summerlove’ was one of her own again and she told us how the siingle was released in witer and they rented a cabrio to create some summer feeling in the music video, but it was cold and she’d never froze as much in her life. The song is great though.

The last song in the set was the lovely ‘One Step’ and Sihna asked us to sing along. Some of us even did and it sounded quite nice. A few had left meanwhile, while others had just arrived and seemed a little disappointed that it was almost oer already. The sing along even worked out OK after a few tries. 😉 It was a good last song, but of Course we wanted an encore clapped enough to get them back to the stage.

Sihna asked if we really wanted an encore and joked that “the guy with the hat” had not sung along. She spoke about going to a concert by The Pretty Reckless and wanted to hear one specific song they never played, called ‘Zombie’. Thus they decided they should play it. 😀 It was a great song. Another band I should check out for sure. It ended the concert on a high note. Perfect. I stuck around for a while and chatted with them until it was time for my Train. It was a lovely evening. I hope we get to repeat that soon.

pictures of this concert


Gray – Sihna
Black Tiger – Sihna
Will I ever – Johna
Your Love _ Johna
Higher – Sihna
Straßenblues – Sihna
Letters from Dora – Johna
Look in my Eyes – Johna
Mountains – Johna

Chains – Sihna
Ballad of the Gambler – Johna
Chocktaw County Affair (Carrie Underwood cover)
Angel Undercover – Johna
Places (Martin Solveig cover)
Summerlove – Sihna
One Step – Sihna

Zombie (The Pretty Reckless cover)

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