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dod4The Purple Turtle (Camden), London, UK
3rd November 2013
Diary of Dreams & Red Sun Revival

Opposite the famous Koko theatre venue at Mornington Crescent, The Purple Turtle is an altogether different beast when it comes to live music. It has none of the grandeur of Koko, but a kind of rough and ready charm and intimacy, and tonight saw an almost full house witness England V Germany in a friendly music Battle Royale.


Red Sun Revival

The UK’s RED SUN REVIVAL are first on tonight, and open with the majestic ‘Without You’, a deep melancholy underpinning this melodic slice of gloomy gothic rock. And the first thing that becomes apparent is the new vigour to Rob Leydon’s vocals. There’s more passion than of old, and he succeeds in conveying anger, despair and hope with ease as if an additional shot of confidence has let this remarkable voice finally find itself fully. Hardly surprising. The band have toured and played alongside NFD, SKELETAL FAMILY and THE EDEN HOUSE recently, and have been steadily building up their following and honing their skills. It shows tonight, right from the off. ‘Running From The Dawn’ benefits from a wonderful, skipping violin, a feature of many of the songs, and Christina Emery gracefully brings the song to life, despite half hiding in the shadows. It’s energetic and instantly memorable, and the crowd are fully engaged.

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Always brave to play a new song early in the set, but ‘Broken’ doesn’t disappoint and it continues to refine the RSR sound. ‘Mistakes’, the second new offering is even better, a vast, roiling monster of portentous guitars and anguished vocals, the extended instrumental coda seeing all four members losing themselves willingly in the swell of the moment. There are odd moments when Mr Leydon seems uncomfortable, like he’s suddenly found himself on a stage without knowing how it happened. But no matter. Once a song begins, he’s right in there, owning it and sending it out like a gift he’s particularly proud of. ‘My Child’, as always, is one such gift, it’s a superb song and the band deliver it perfectly tonight. Thinking it’s the last, there’s grins all around when time allows for one more, and the stately ‘Last Chance’ draws everything to a close.

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With excellent sound quality throughout, an eager crowd, and a solid set of moody, broody, atmospheric Goth-Rock, this was an exceptionally good performance. Go England! http://www.redsunrevival.com / https://www.facebook.com/RedSunRevival

Setlist
01. Without You
02. Running From The Dawn
03. Broken
04. Forgive Us Now
05. Lost For Words
06. Mistakes
07. Miracles
08. Wide Awake
09. My Child
10. Last Chance

Rating
Music: 8
Sound: 9
Total: 8.5 / 10

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Diary of Dreams

Fresh from an appearance at the Whitby Goth Weekend, Germany’s DIARY OF DREAMS hit the stage to a palpable sense of expectation. It’s been some time since they last played to a London audience, and the crowd are certainly warmed up and ready for them. Spooky ‘Into X’ throbs menacingly around the venue, like the introduction to some sepia tinted horror short. It gives way to huge stompy dance-slab ‘The Wedding’ a song so big it’s fit to burst. Singer Adrian Hates commands his piece of the stage confidently, a towering frontman like a cross between the lion from ‘The Wizard Of Oz’ and a young James Hetfield. He’s highly watchable, and in good voice and good spirits throughout. The harsh, jagged beats that make up ‘Reign Of Chaos’ has the crowd swaying, and it’s another sinister and eerie song, no let-up in the overpowering sense of gloom here. Once the songs bursts fully into life, it’s apparent just what makes DIARY OF DREAMS so good at what they do.

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Masters of atmospherics, it’s knowing exactly how to juggle the light and dark, harsh and soft, that keeps many of their songs so vital. It works perfectly, again, on ‘The Plague’ and on the desperately sad ‘King Of Nowhere’. And by the time of the epic ‘The Curse’, and a successful call and response section, the band seem to have finally immersed themselves in it, and the cheers are deafening. There is one problem that runs through many of the middle section songs before this majestic end to the main set, and that’s a slight tendency towards detachment. At times things are almost too polished and professional, feeling like there needs to be something unexpected happen, something out of the ordinary, a daring move to just briefly lift the relentless and unmistakable DOD sound. When they are good, there’s no-one like them, but when they plod, they can sound very pedestrian.

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A three song encore, nonetheless, is most welcome and after ‘Undividable’ and ‘Kindrom’ are despatched with ease, it’s left to ‘False Affection, False Creation’ to round things off. A belter of a song, the crowd really go for it, the infectious beat getting everyone moving. There’s even a couple busting ‘Twist and Shout’ moves at the back of the venue, and the general feeling is of a job well done. Again the sound quality was perfect throughout, and with a good light show for such a small venue, it’s a credit to Flag Promotions for putting on such a successful night. As DIARY OF DREAMS leave the stage of The Purple Turtle to rapturous applause, it’s a 1-1 draw tonight. And that’s surely the best result all round on a night as enjoyable as this. http://www.diaryofdreams.de / https://www.facebook.com/officialdiaryofdreams

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Setlist
01. Into X
02. The Wedding
03. Butterfly:Dance!
04. Lebenslang
05. Reign Of Chaos
06. Echo In Me
07. Amok
08. Giftraum
09. The Plague
10. Hypo)cryptiK(al
11. Chemicals
12. Mein-Eid
13. MenschFeind
14. King Of Nowhere
15. The Curse
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16. Undividable
17. Kindrom
18. False Affection, False Creation

Rating
Music: 8
Sound: 9
Total: 8.5 / 10

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All pictures by Stephen Kennedy


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