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introE-Werk, Cologne, Germany
4th March 2015

WE love ARCHIVE and you should too. Seriously! And because we love this band, we decided to see another show of their current tour. After visiting already the concert in Dortmund at FZW, we now went to Cologne also to see ARCHIVE performing at the E-Werk. Just like in Dortmund, the venue filled up very slowly. But finally when the film was running already, people final decided to enter the venue.

The ARCHIVE project started around Darius Keeler and Danny Griffiths in 1994. Together with the female singer Roya Arab and the young rapper Rosko John, the band released their first album ‘Londinium’ on Island Records in 1996. But ARCHIVE was doomed to break up the same year due to internal problems.


The bands reformation, however, came to pass already in 1997 with an altered line-up surrounding Keeler and Griffiths with which they recorded and released the follow-up ‘Take My Head’ in 1999 which in hindsight is described by the band as their least favourite. The next three albums, released in the following years brought them back to a more progressive approach to composing their music after the poppy foray with the second album. That back to the roots attitude brought forth milestones such as ‘Noise’ and a few years later the highly regarded ‘Lights’. ‘Controlling Crowds’, released in 2009 started of a four part conceptual cycle completed within the same year. The latest album, ‘Restriction’, was released in January 2015. ARCHIVE is Darius Keeler (synths, piano), Danny Griffiths (keys, samples), Pollard Berrier (vocals, guitar), Rosko John (vocals), Dave Penney (guitar, vocals), Maria Q (vocals), Smiley (drums), Steve Harris (guitar), Steve Davis (bass), Jonathan Noyce (bass), Holly Martin (vocals) and Mickey Hurcombe (guitar, keys). / /


Music & Performance
I will skip general words about the performance itself. You can read this in detail in our Dortmund review HERE. Just like in Dortmund, I first thought there won’t show so many people up. Until eight, when ‘Axiom’ was starting, only a few people were standing in the hall. But all of a sudden, the venue filled up and at the end, it was very well crowded. I would guess around 1,500 fans were enjoying the show. The film, which was developed in cooperation with the Spanish film collective NYSU, started at eight presenting ARCHIVE’s verbal and visual excellence. Sadly, many people decided to chat loudly instead of watching the film. Maybe because the sound level was much lower than in Dortmund and so people saw it as little background music to their chats. Finally at nine, the concert started and what I realised from the start was that also during the concert the sound level was lower than in Dortmund. Otherwise I had the impression that the light show was little brighter and especially the artist’s faces were illuminated a little more. Nice to see more of the facial expressions, especially when watching Pollard, who had his hair tied together this time.


Another little change compared to Dortmund was the setlist. It was not much but something. Instead of ‘Nothing Else’ from the 1996 debut ‘Londinium’, ARCHIVE played ‘Sleep’ from the ‘Noise’ album. Towards the end of the set, were got furthermore one more song than in Dortmund, to be exact it was ‘Ride in Squares’ that was played additionally. What was a little downer in Cologne – and that had nothing to do with the band’s performance – was the huge “traffic” in the hall. People were constantly running around, going out, chatting loudly and were not really following the concert. Really incomprehensible to me. But still I could enjoy the show and the band was great once more, even though I think they were a little more enthusiastic in Dortmund. Once more, the highlight came at the very end as encore, when a wonderful, more than ten minutes lasting, version of ‘Lights’ was performed. Nearly 120 minutes had passed when ARCHIVE finally left the stage after a few words and a bow. ARCHIVE are really a band being worth seeing live several times.


-Axiom (Film)-
01. Distorted Angels
02. Axiom
03. Baptism
04. Transmission Data Terminate
05. The Noise of Flames Crashing
06. Shiver
07. Axiom (Reprise)
01. Feel It
02. Kid Corner
03. You Make Me Feel
04. Dangervisit
05. Black And Blue
06. Sleep
07. Blood in Numbers
08. Bullets
09. Ruination
10. Crushed
11. Conflict
12. Violently
13. End of Our Days
14. Third Quarter Storm
15. Ride in Squares
16. Bridge Scene
17. Ladders
18. Numb
19. Lights

Music: 10
Performance: 9
Sound: 8
Light: 8
Total: 9 / 10


All pictures by Daniela Vorndran ( /

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