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deinelakaien by AliceEpp13Admiralspalast, Berlin, Germany
8th October 2022
Deine Lakaien

DEINE LAKAIEN, often just called colloquially “Die Lakaien”, were founded in 1985 by Alexander Veljanov (vocals) and Ernst Horn (instruments). Until today they have remained one of the most important and well-known Dark Wave bands and have a big international fan community. Both band members are responsible for the writing of the texts, which often deal with love and loss. Their new double album ‘Dual/Dual+’ came out in 2021 and contains cover versions of different artists as well as their own creations.

As it has happened several times before that DEINE LAKAIEN chose a seated venue for their concert. As one of the oldest still active German Dark Wave projects, also their audience was mostly middle-aged and older. Many of them were dressed as members of the Gothic subculture, but also a non-to-small group of people without visible signs of belonging to any dark subculture was present. The atmosphere was solemn and full of expectation. Something which I always appreciate a lot is bands who appear punctually - which was what DEINE LAKAIEN did, entering the stage at half past seven bathed in purple light.

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Music & Performance
The first song was also one of the most moving ones of all the evening: The beautiful ballad ‘Lonely’, which was sung as always with great mastery by Veljanov and raised a roaring applause by the audience. The dreamy purple light was perfect for the atmosphere of this song. I must be said that the lights, changing between red, green, blue and white, and sometimes accompanied by different square light effects in the background, matched the music very nicely, whereas there were sometimes some problems with the sound. After the third song, ‘Gone’, Veljanov greeted the public, his incredible voice a pleasure to listen to even when he is just speaking or joking. He mentioned the “beautiful start in Cologne” before and was greeted back with cheering by the public. One of my personal highlights - and, if one has to judge by the applause, not only mine - was the fourth song, the all-time favourite ‘Where You Are’.

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Before the fifth song, Veljanov said that this song was important in 2014 and is still important: He was referring to ‘Europe’ from the probably most political album published by DEINE LAKAIEN, ‘Indicator’. This song deals with the death of immigrants drowning in the sea. The eight song was another highly acclaimed classic, ‘Over and Done’, executed in a rather fast version, with a furious finale. Before the break DEINE LAKAIEN performed a Patti Smith cover song, which animated one spectator to start singing loudly himself - something slightly irritating at this type of concert, since his voice was louder than Veljanov’s at least in the back rows.

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After the break, one of the audience’s as well as one of my personal highlights was the 12th song, ‘Reincarnation’, which was performed with very expressive gestures by Veljanov, who joked: “I don’t how long I will do that - sometime it is enough“ (“Ich weiß nicht, wie lange ich das noch mit mache - irgendwann ist Schluß”), referring probably to the motif of the song, the reincarnation of the soul. Veljanov was joking quite often during the whole concert. When they performed ‘Dark Star’, he asked the public: “Back to the nineties - who was there?” and after half of the audience raised their hands, he continued: “Welcome to the retirement - are you sitting comfortably at the Palace?” („Willkommen in der Rente - sitzt es sich bequem im Palast?“). And before singing a THE CURE cover, he said that the original was from a certain Robert Schmidt, better known for THE CURE.

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After the ending of the official set, the public begun to stomp with their feet for several minutes until the band reappeared, with Veljanov saying that “it was doing good after this damned break” (“tut gut nach dieser verdammten Pause”) and greeting his guests from “far away” in several languages. And he also commented ironically that since they were “multi-faceted”, they also made “music for happy moments”, before playing ‘Happy Man’, one of their newest songs. Some spectators were dancing at the circle and Veljanov waved at them before singing ‘Return’, another all-time favourite. After disappearing and entering the stage again, the concert was closed with ‘Love me to the End’.

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It was a great concert with a very successful mixture of all-time favourites and songs from their new album of 2021. ‘Dual(+)’ is for me personally one of their most beautiful albums, above all the side with their own compositions, although of course also the cover versions are skilfully executed. Do not miss the forthcoming concerts, if you have the opportunity to attend!

01. Lonely
02. Nightfall
03. Gone
04. Where You Are
05. Europe
06. Farewell
07. Unknown Friend
08. Over And Done
09. Because the Night (Patti Smith Cover)
10. Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun (Pink Floyd Cover)
11. Because of Because
12. Reincarnation
13. Dark Star
14. Dust in the Wind (Kansas Cover)
15. Run
16. The Walk (The Cure Cover)
17. Sick Cinema
18. Happy Man
19. Return
20. Love Me to the End

Music: 10
Performance: 10
Sound: 7
Light: 9
Total: 9 / 10

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All pictures by Alice Epp
Amrei Sander

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