Spotlight On The World: Hello Piedpiper
If you are living in a busy German metropolis like Cologne, it is nice to escape reality from time to time. Cozy theatres that host live music gigs are surely the best place to calm down a stressed urban dweller. Especially, if Hello Piedpiper is on the line up!
Hello Piedpiper, aka Fabio Bacchet, is a singer/songwriter from Cologne, whose dreamy and catchy folk tunes wow people in Germany and beyond.
Having started off as a side project of Fabio´s band Stereo Inn, Hello Piedpiper has become a success story in itself, touring the continent and the British Isles alongside Anti Flag's front-man Justin Sane, Billy Bragg, Audra Mae and The Lake Poets.
A sound like never ending landscapes and a deep empathy with the world
Hello Piedpiper’s folk tunes are infused with rhythmic guitar riffs, pedals and echoing vocals which create a magically wide soundscape and evoke pictures of vast never ending landscapes.
In order to create such a diverse sound, Fabio recorded his most recent album ‘The Raucous Tide’ (2017) together with his band. The album is a collection of groovy and epic folk tunes, which sound like a blend of Simon&Garfunkel and Midlake.
The epic sound of ‘Hunter’ and ‘Shadows’ can easily serve as a soundtrack for an adventure film set in the Canadian wilderness. The single ‘Ask For Them’ is a beautiful piece of art, which proves Fabio’s talent as a live musician. Made up of multiple loops, this song does not need a studio to sound rich, wide and beautiful.
Having visited one of his shows, I can tell you with confidence that Hello Piedpiper’s music does not disappoint in a live setting but sounds surprisingly full and rich.
In addition to the instrumental aspects of his music, Fabio’s lyrics are deep, sensitive and personal, telling stories of traumatized and exploited soldiers (‘Ask For Them’), or young refugees that are rejected by the world around them (‘Lampedusa’).
‘Lampedusa’ in particular has a very sensitive tone, as it evokes a well known picture that filled the German news a couple of years ago; a picture of anxious and traumatized refugees arriving in a country that promised a better life but soon began to dissociate from those in need.
As the son of a former guest worker in Germany, ‘Lampedusa’ might also tell the story of Fabio’s father, who experienced this contradiction of welcome and exclusion first hand.
Inspired by the city and the world around him, Hello Piedpiper seems to absorb everything and translates it into reverberating, rich sounds, which seem to echo into the vastness of the open and raucous sea, conveying a message of deep empathy with the world.
Becoming a songwriter by accident
Although, Fabio started as a bassist in a punk band at the age of fourteen, it was not until his mid-twenties, that he became serious about songwriting. Thanks to an accident, involving a broken leg and a skateboard, Fabio started playing his guitar more often. This soon developed into an “urge”, as Fabio calls it, which “tells” him to write and “to create music, lyrics and rhythms” and has now become “something very natural” to him.
North East devotee
After releasing his first studio album 'Birdsongs=Warsounds' (2012), a collection of DIY folk songs in which Fabio played most of the instruments himself, Hello Piedpiper played more than 200 festivals in Germany and on the European continent.
This year however, the musician has played his first UK shows, including The Great Escape Festival in Brighton and a gig at the Sage Gateshead, in which he opened the stage for The Lake Poets.
And it seems like the latter has made an impression on Fabio...
During his November gig in Cologne, Fabio raved about Newcastle, its people and the “beautiful concert”, warmly urging his German audience to come visit the North East one day.
It really seems like the North East has got a new devotee! So we can hope to have him back here soon for some lush gigs.
Definitely keep your eyes peeled for this musical talent from Germany!
Photography by Stephan Sprache