Guildo Horn at the Hessentag

Wednesday night was Guildo Horn night at the hr-Treff – the local public service broadcaster’s stage.

To many readers outside Germany, Guildo Horn is probably best remembered for representing the country at the Eurovision Song Contest in Birmingham in 1998, where he climbed part of the scaffolding at the side of the stage during his act.

Guildo Horn & die Orthopädischen Strümpfe

Guildo Horn & die Orthopädischen Strümpfe at the hr-Treff during the Hessentag in Oberursel

He appeared with his band, the Orthpädische Strümpfe (literally the “orthopaedic stockings”), and the tent was filled with several hundred fans.

Presenting himself as “Elvis Presly, only in German”, his style is maybe more reminiscent of Bill Bailey, which perhaps is not surprising considering they both have musical training.

In Guildo’s case, he is able to take over the drum kit half-way through a song, but is also just as happy going amongst the audience and even up on the tables without warning.

Guildo Horn performing on a table at the Hessentag in Oberursel

Up on a table during "Azuro"

I assume that Hessischer Rundfunk were aware of this when they planned the camera arrangements for the evening: 3 floor cameras, 2 hand-held ones and a crane, with the hand-held operators in particular kept very busy.

With the temperature rising in the tent, Guildo started referring to it as “Oberursel’s Sauna”, as his shirt became ever more drenched in sweat.  Even the towels provided could not solve that problem, and in the end he went back-stage to change.

The songs were mainly German Schlager such as “Ti amo” and  “Tanze Samba mit mir”, but there were also some English hits such as “Delilah”.

Guildo Horn plays the cowbells during the Hessentag in Oberursel

Playing the cowbells

A particular highlight was when he played “Er gehört zu mir” (He belongs to me) on a set of cowbells and these made a re-appearance for the encore of “Guildo hat Euch Lieb” – the Eurovision Song Contest entry, which was suitably introduced by the band playing the EBU theme.

The crowd had a great time and were singing and clapping along to every song.  Guildo Horn proved that he can both sing to and entertain an audience, whilst also understanding the intricacies of how his band and their instruments work.  Something other Schlager stars would be well advised to take note of.

The concert was recorded and is due to be broadcast at some future date, however at the time of the concert this information was not available.


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About Graham

Graham Tappenden is a British ex-pat who first came to Germany as a placement student in 1993, returning in 1995 to live there permanently. He has been writing for since 2006. When not writing blog posts or freelancing for the Oberurseler Woche and other publications he works as a self-employed IT consultant solving computer problems and designing websites. In 2016 he gained German citizenship.


  1. Highlights of the concert will be broadcast on hr-Fernsehen in the early hours of New Year’s Day at 4.40am.

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