Artist: Waiting For Words
Title: Live In Oberhausen
Genre: Synth-Pop, Pop
Release Date: 25th January 2013
Label: Foundry Records
Funny though when I reviewed the studio album ‘Follow The Signs’ by the French act WAITING FOR WORDS, I thought it was a real shame this band was not playing in Germany... And a couple of weeks later, the “We Love Synthpop Festival” that was hosted in Oberhausen on January 19th was announced with the duo on the bill! It seems things are going well for the band as they have been invited by OMD to be their support act in Paris in May, they are also going to perform for the 3rd time in Paris with DE/VISION in March (for the last date of the Rocket & Swords Tour) and they have many live dates coming in France. This live album is a recording from their performance in Oberhausen, mostly for their fans as it's not (yet?) available on the usual digital stores, only on Bandcamp, and the CD is a CD-R sold directly on the band website.
I must confess... I'm getting more and more fan of this band! The live sound is powerful, the voices are pure and clear and the setlist is awesome. Soe is also singing on all tracks which gives a great added value to the songs she was not singing on the album. The live CD starts with a remixed version of ‘Please’ (close to the ‘80's Extended Mix’ released recently on the ‘Pain EP’) with a stronger kick drum and emphasized bass. Followed by the powerful ‘Message’ and the new single ‘Pain’, played in the ‘NY Experience Edit’ version. A very, very strong live track! The first surprise comes next with an outstanding cover of SIMPLE MINDS cult track ‘Someone, Somewhere in Summertime’. Soe and ZeN shares vocal parts and the result is a superb Synth-Pop song. A stings of their hits follows with ‘The Curve’, ‘Miles Away’ and their hymn ‘Cause I Do Believe’. The latest is an hybrid version with elements of the ‘Beyond Mix’ and the ‘Creature Remix’ added to their own production. The result is an incredible version mixing New Wave hymn style with pure Synth-Pop style.
Another surprise comes next with a cover of AND ONE's ‘Military Fashion Show’... With talent, they manage to make it sounds close to the original... but different enough to be worth it. No doubt the band did want to impress the German audience and have a strong up-tempo set with the tracks that follows: ‘Follow My Voice’ (the awesome People Theatre's re-recorded version ‘Arrow 2012 Version’) followed by their 2006 hit ‘Travelling Man’ (performed as the ‘Rings The Phone’ Remix), then ‘By Your Side’, and another cover of a German Synth-Pop act, ‘We Are Lovers’. This one being a new version of the remix they did for CAMOUFLAGE (but unfortunately never released), a powerful Synth version with strong bass line and beats with great vocals from Soe on vocoded choruses.
As a bonus track, we have a PSYCHE (who shared the bill that night and tour with WAITING FOR WORDS since last year) vs. WFW performance, a YAZOO cover of ‘Bring Your Love Down’... ZeN and Darrin voices mixes very well and it's very surprising to hear ZeN's in this kind of powerful soul range. To conclude, a great live album, released without any pretention, just to please their fans... and they do. Obviously, the German audience really liked the show as we can hear screams here and there (especially on ‘The Curve’, ‘Miles Away’ and a couple of others) which means a loud volume as we generally don't hear the audience well on those soundboard recordings. This live album proves the band is not only one of the most creative band in studio, but also a very strong live band and I'm definitely checking best prices to go and see them in Paris with DE/VISION in March!
05. Someone, Somewhere in a Summertime
06. The Curve
07. Miles Away
08. Cause I Do Believe
09. Military Fashion Show
10. Follow My Voice (Arrow Version)
11. Travelling Man (Rings The Phone Version)
12. By Your Side
13. We Are Lovers
14. Bonus Track : Bring Your Love Down (Psyche & Waiting For Words)
ZeN – Vocals
Soe – Keyboards and Vocals
Special Guest on 14: Psyche (Darrin Huss – Vocals, Stefan Rabura – Keyboards)
Available at: http://www.weezevent.com/waiting-for-words-fr (CDR) and http://waitingforwords.bandcamp.com (Digital)
Total: 9 / 10