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introTivoli, Bremen, Germany
18th November 2015
Diary of Dreams & The Beauty of Gemina

End of last year DIARY OF DREAMS promised to be back at the Tivoli in Bremen for their current “Grau im Licht” tour and of course they've kept their word. Adrian Hates (vocals), Gaun:A (guitar/ bass/ keys), Flex (guitar) and Dejan (drums) obviously made a great impression playing here for the first time in 2014 and so, bit by bit, the former ballroom filled up again with folks in black. All in all, I would claim that far more people could fit into the location made for around 700 people. Still, around the same amount of fans gathered this Wednesday in the small offshoot of the venerable Aladin Music-Hall as last December on a Friday. Since the Gothic heartland is certainly not in Bremen, it's nicer all the more that the band was in town for a truly intimate gig. Photographers had to do without their pit, yet one could find a nice spot for oneself without any pushing and shoving that promised a great view of the stage and offered enough room for dancing.


The Beauty of Gemina

The band, emerging from former members of the Swiss band NUUK, debuted with the album ‘Diary of a Lost’ in 2007 and received overall positive feedback from fans and press alike, followed by some very successful concerts in support of the album. Rolling on to 2008, Michael Sele and his band were not lazy as the successor, entitled ‘A Stranger to Tears’ was released in autumn 2008 and earned favourable reviews. 2010 has seen the band returning with their album ‘At The End Of The Sea’, followed by ‘Iscariot Blues’ in 2012. A year later, the band released an acoustic album called ‘The Myrrh Sessions’ after they toured with DIARY OF DREAMS in 2012 on their acoustic tour. The latest release, ‘Ghost Prayers’, was out in 2014. Next year, the band will already celebrate its 10th anniversary and to celebrate this, they released a best-of album, ‘Anthology Vol 1 (2007-2015)’. Short before their tour with DIARY OF DREAMS, the band furthermore introduced their new guitar player, Simon Ambuehl, replacing Marco Gassner. THE BEAUTY OF GEMINA is Michael Sele (words & music, vocals, guitar, keyboards), Mac Vinzens (drums), Andi Zuber (bass) and Simon Ambühl (guitar). http://www.thebeautyofgemina.com / https://www.facebook.com/TheBeautyOfGemina

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Music & Performance
The dancing part is also true for supporting act THE BEAUTY OF GEMINA who had already opened shows for DOD three years ago. On the stroke of 8pm the confederates presented a sinister start with ‘Suicide Landscape’ of their debut ‘Diary of A Lost’ from 2006 and, thereafter, booming beats in ‘The Lonesome Death of A Goth DJ’. Same as the latter track, the danceable ‘This Time’ was released on ‘A Stranger To Tears’ in 2008, whereas the rhythmic ‘Kings Men Come’ of ‘At The End of The Sea’ came into the world of record stores two years later – it was praised with friendly applause in the Hanseatic city. For ‘Kingdoms of Cancer’ and also the forceful ‘Rumours’ Michael Sele, front man, mastermind and only remaining founding member, picked up the six-string. In the following, while green light illuminated the stage, the temperamental ‘Seven-Day-Wonder’, which was released on ‘Iscariot Blues’ in 2012, provided the audience with crisply melodies. With the driving and semi-acoustic ‘Dark Rain’ the Swiss brought the genre “Gothic Blues” to life which they claim to have invented themselves. We have indeed experienced far worse Alpine exports, the crowd's singing was also fairly competent, and what is for sure is that the crowd in black didn't stint on applause in Bremen.

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Finally, there was the dark stomper ‘Last Night Home’ and the prospect of a celebration of their 10th band anniversary next year. To give us a foretaste of what is to come THE BEAUTY OF GEMINA gathered 14 classics from their seven albums and two new tracks on ‘Anthology’, which was released last Friday and is worth hearing.

Setlist
01. Suicide Landscape
02. The Lonesome Death of A Goth DJ
03. This Time
04. Kings Men Come
05. Kingdoms of Cancer
06. Rumours
07. Seven-Day-Wonder
08. Dark Rain
09. Last Night Home

Rating
Music: 8
Performance: 8
Sound: 8
Light: 7
Total: 7.8 / 10

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Diary of Dreams

Founded in 1989 by Adrian Hates, DIARY OF DREAMS are not only one of the oldest German, but also one of the most famous and beloved bands of the dark side of music. Adrian Hates is a classically trained guitarist and pianist who started out as the bass player for GARDEN OF DELIGHT. He initiated the DIARY OF DREAMS project in the late 1980s, taking the name from one of his early classical guitar compositions, ‘Tagebuch der Träume’. The first album, ‘Cholymelan’, appeared in 1994 on the Dion Fortune label. Encouraged by this success, Adrian formed his own label called Accession Records and released a series of albums over the following years building a loyal fan base each step of the way. In 26 years of service DIARY OF DREAMS created 12 studio albums and several EPs and compilations. This October, the dark rockers delighted us with ‘Grau im Licht’, after ‘Elegies In Darkness’ caused a sensation at the beginning of 2014. DIARY OF DREAMS in stage currently is Adrian Hates (vocals, guitar), Gaun:a (guitar, big bass, backing vocals, keys), Flex (guitar, cello, backing vocals) and Dejan (drums). http://www.diaryofdreams.de / https://www.facebook.com/officialdiaryofdreams

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Music & Performance
Even though the albums itself are great, the gentlemen can show their mettle best through live performances and so, during the sounds of ‘Schwarz’ a thrill of anticipation increased; on the whole, the concert evening left almost no wish unfulfilled. In the beginning though, at 9:10pm, there was a mystery to be unravelled first: What might be underneath the black curtain concealing a considerable part of the stage? Lo and behold: Dejan Nikolic working on his drumheads was sitting in a cage this year while his colleagues, one after the other, took their familiar places in front of the curved microphones. It was the powerful ‘Sinferno’ from the latest long-player though that really got things started. Then, fog fountains raised into the sky during the forceful ‘Malum’ from the previous record and ‘MenschFeind’ from the same-named EP (2005) proved its sinister disco qualities. The crowd clapped along enthusiastically by now and with ‘Psycho-Logic’, which was released 2004 on ‘Nigredo’, it was time for another classic that immediately affected our ears and legs. Recent material such as ‘Krank’ was also presented in style and was enriched by a throughout impressive light show and the already mentioned vertical fog fountains that quite literally enwrapped the musicians.

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Crashing evergreens such as ‘Butterfly:Dance!’, ‘Giftraum’, and ‘Soul Stripper’ obviously couldn't be missed either and were celebrated accordingly. They also harmonized perfectly with the new stuff as the melancholic ‘Ikarus’, during which Gaun:A pushed the keys and Adrian picked up the guitar. Steadily the song developed a lot of drive and energy; the beseeching ‘Schuldig!’ followed its lead, before Flex got an acoustic guitar for ‘Choir Hotel’. After a silent prelude the piece from the ‘If’ album (2009) gathered speed once again and led perfectly into the thrilling ‘Mythology of Violence’. For the big emotions of ‘Colors of Grey’ some assistance was needed from Würfel (in English: Dice). This gent is a master in solving the Rubik's Cube and, in addition to that, is proficient in plugging in electric pianos. And so, Mr Hates was provided with a seat as well for about five minutes. ‘Dogs of War’ got the auditorium into a clapping and dancing mood again and also the demanding ‘Grau im Licht’ made the audience shake a leg. With ‘A Dark Embrace’, DIARY OF DREAMS saved a true firecracker towards the end of the show; the location was flooded with cascades of light. Also ‘Endless Nights’ and ‘Undividable’ didn't miss out on anything. At the finishing straight it got loud once more and, fortunately, after 105 entertaining minutes, there was even another serving of the northern lights.

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With the encore including ‘The Plague’ (‘Nekrolog 43’ – 2007) and the hymn ‘King of Nowhere’ we were far from eating humble pie. Then, DOD, the old hands of the scene, presented ‘Kindrom’, in which Gaun:A raised his deep voice one last time. For the second part of the encore only Adrian and Flex remained. And let's not forget about Würfel, as the keyboard had to be brought into position once again. The occasion was an acoustic version of ‘Traumtänzer’, a track that I highly appreciate and that gave Bremen's audience another chance to prove their singing skills. In the end, Mohican Gaun:A and Dejan, who had been released in the meantime, returned to the limelight to bow and say thanks and goodbye. It was a pleasure to me seeing DOD again and I believe that the fan base in Bremen and surrounding area will keep on growing since there are only impressive things to tell about the show. Next time, there will be definitely a lot of repeaters also bringing debutants along and someday DOD might even move into the bigger Aladin...

Setlist
01. Intro: Schwarz
02. Sinferno
03. Malum
04. MenschFeind
05. Psycho-Logic
06. Krank
07. Butterfly:Dance!
08. Giftraum
09. Soul Stripper
10. Ikarus
11. Schuldig!
12. Choir Hotel
13. Mythology of Violence
14. Colors of Grey
15. Dogs of War
16. Grau im Licht
17. A Dark Embrace
18. Endless Nights
19. Undividable
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20. The Plague
21. King of Nowhere
22. Kindrom
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23. Traumtänzer

Rating
Music: 9
Performance: 9
Sound: 8
Light: 9
Total: 8.8 / 10

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All pictures by Daniela Vorndran (http://www.vorndranphotography.com / http://www.facebook.com/blackcatnet)
Written by Ulrike Meyer-Potthoff & Daniela Vorndran, translation by Layla Ayobi


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