Martin Luther stood as a defiant symbol of Dresdeners refusal to see their city disappear after the Allies’ firebombing at the end of the Second World War.
The Dresdeners rebuilt the obliterated Frauenkirche sixty years later, after they had got rid of the Communists.
Using as the plans photographs they had asked the public to send in from their weddings.
Dresden was known as the Florence of the Elbe and it is one of the great architectural stories of our age, or any age, to see how the Dresdeners have rebuilt their city to the same grandeur of its renaissance days.
Summer is drawing to a close and it needs to be marked in the ancient manner – a music festival. Daddy’s Little Girl is off with her pals again to trudge through the mud to listen to her favourite beat combo band.
Rave on as nobody other than Dancing Dads might say… here are a few random festivals…
Not your typical picnic, folding tables, stools, tuppaware and stools. This is Electric Picnic, Ireland’s answer to Glastonbury.
Of course, the festival in Stradbally Hall, Co. Laois in the middle of Ireland, is on a more intimate scale but it has that same indie vibe.
With a Body and Soul tent with the obligatory bean bags (my entire furniture in my first flat), massages and tarot cards (I still have my pack). There’s also a comedy tent.
You want to know about the music. Choose from any of these from yesteryear… Nick Cave, New Order, Bjork, Aracade Fire. The Flaming Lips and the Sex Pistols. While this year Florence & the Machine are the big draw.
One close to my heart and my work… my first writing job was just across the road.
And it was while I was there that Meatloaf had a bottle of urine thrown at him which hit him square in the face. He got off that stage like a bat out of hell but not before giving the crowd the finger.
Now play nice, boys and girls!
The Reading Festival has been built on its rock foundations but in truth it has been a magnet to all the big Festival acts.
Both British: The Rolling Stones, Fleetwood Mac, The Kinks, Pink Floyd, The Who. Genesis, The Jam and Pulp and Oasis. Heavy metal is big here with Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and Status Quo.
And international: Alice Cooper, Iggy Pop, AC/DC. Metallica. Guns n’ Roses, Foo Fighters, Green Day, Red Hot Chili Peppers. And, erm, Eminem.
Reading has just packed away last weekend where The 1975, The Foo Fighters, Post Malone and Twenty One Pilots were the headline acts. Next year will be from August 28-30. Visit http://www.readingfestival.com.
T in the Park/TRMSMT
Scotland in the Seventies was a bit of a cultural wasteland.
Sure there were the good jobbing bands like Nazareth, my first big boys’ concert and The Sensational Alex Harvey Band.
But generally Scottish music wasn’t promoted as it should have been.
Now Tennents has a lot to answer for for its fizzy electric lager but it does deserve credit for championing Scottish music and international maps and putting my wee country on the gigs map.
And of course it received the ultimate recommendation when the world’s greatest band The Killers headlined.
Now revived as TRNSMT and held on Glasgow Green http://www.trnsmtfest.com, its last iteration was from July 12-14 and was headlined by among others George Ezra and Stormzy.
The Montreaux Jazz Festival
A place of mythical proportions on account of Frank Zappa burning a mobile recording unit to the ground and Deep Purple immortalising it in Smoke on the Water.
In its 53rd year, it is held in Vevey, Switzerland, and yes, Purple in whatever line-up they are on by now, are regular visitors.
The festival includes blues, soul and rock music in addition to jazz. And as you’d expect it is quite pretty too. And Frank isn’t around anymore with a box of matches. Visit http://www.montreauxjazzfestival.com.
OK, so this is not a summer festival but it is America’s favourite, or certainly the celebs’ favourite.
So if you like a bit of a celeb spotting then the Empire Polo Club in Indio in the Coachella Valley in the Colorado Desert where Pearl Jam first played.
Over two weekends in April it is one of the most profitable music festivals in the world, but heck, that’s not what we’re interested in.
It’s all about the music. This year was the 20th anniversary with Chidish Gambino, Tame Impala and Ariana Grande all performing. Watched by a host of celebs. Visit http://www.coachella.com.