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diekammer introAlter Wartesaal, Cologne, Germany
2nd November 2012
Die Kammer

Be what you would seem to be - or, if you’d like it put more simply - Never imagine yourself not to be otherwise than what it might appear to others that what you were or might have been was not otherwise than what you had been would appeared to them to be otherwise.
-Lewis Carroll “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” (1866), 1998 full-colour edition, Macmillan, p.134-

The time was ripe…! When Marcus Testory and Matthias Ambré proclaimed last December, that they will work together again and founded their project DIE KAMMER, their fans were totally freaking out. A lot of them bought a T-Shirt to get the state of an “Early Adopter” which meant that with this purchase they were invited to one the three release-concerts in November/ December - an so did I. Looking forward to listening to this wonderful band that brought this exorbitant album and bestowed many happy hours upon me and to meeting a lot of people I’d like to get to know, I was quite excited what this evening will keep at hand. First of all, the location was dilly. Cologne’s Alter Wartesaal was the former waiting lounge of Cologne’s train station that was refurbished in 1983 by the German/ Czech entertainer, talk master and producer Alfred Biolek together with Pierluigi “Gigi” Campi, an Italian jazz-producer, architect and gastronome. A dark and dim place with an ambience of Art Nouveau, that perfectly fitted the mood of DIE KAMMER’s release…


One by one entered the place and took a seat while chatting with its neighbour. Due to the fact that both protagonists were well known in its genre, a lot of fans of their former projects merged with the audience on this special evening. It seemed like a big family and the atmosphere was quite cheerful, when the band entered the stage. While playing the first notes of ‘The Orphanage’ the audience instantly calmed down perceptible. A certain relief fulfilled the room and it was so quiet you could hear a pin drop during the whole song that ended with thundering applause. Following the tracklist of the album the band continued playing ‘Fate/Illusion’, ‘Labyrinths of Despair’ & ‘The Seeming and the Real’ always accompanied by kind words of Marcus or Matthias who tried to explain to the audience why and how the next song evolved. With ‘Riding the Crest’, there was the first “pitfall to avoid” …would the live version of this song that was “influenced by certain Grunge bands as PEARL JAM e.g.”, Marcus said, sound like a true Rock’n’Roll song… played with a tuba??? Come on, guys, are you serious? Well, I have to admit that the instrumentation was a little bit suspicious to me at first glance, but I was taught a lesson while listening to the album. The fear, that this might not work on stage was unfounded to… in fact, tuba is the most f****** rock instrument I’ve ever listened to! :D


‘A Backward Glance’ was played after that… a tender and soft song that should launch a thoughtful and very intense part of DIE KAMMER’s performance at that evening, followed by ‘Falling Slowly’ - a cover of a song that can be found on the soundtrack of the film ‘Once’. Maybe the composer and singer Glen Hansard is known for his band THE FRAMES or his role Outspan Foster in the film ‘The Commitments’. The next gem Marcus and Matthias had in store was a tremendous cover of NINE INCH NAILS song ‘Hurt’ adjusted to the version of JOHNNY CASH. Almost a sacrilege to cover that song following on this doyen, the band succeeded in mastering this magnum opus, as you can say so. From the very first note I had goose bumps almost had to shed a tear, because the atmosphere was perfectly right. ‘Tower of Strength’ was up to come and somehow seemed to be a real piece of fun to Marcus who definitely is a huge fan of THE MISSION… Retiring into the chamber (a well played pun of the band to chose DIE KAMMER as a band name according to the multiple choices of combinations), with ‘Black as Coal’, ‘Singing: Surrender’ and ‘Home in your Eyes’ the band tied up to the familial mood they created throughout the evening. The enthusiasm and delight in playing that could be seen on all of their faces but especially on those of the two protagonists Marcus & Matthias was exhilarating as well as the funny and sometimes quite bewildering announcements!


The end of the regular set was ‘Final Days (of Mankind)’, which is one of my favourite songs on ‘The Seeming and The Real’. A tune about the downfall of mankind in such a joyful and delighted way that the whole audience was singing “lalala-laaaa-lalala” while the band received standing ovation afterwards. The crowd shouted for an encore which was rewarded with ‘Grand Graveyard of Hopes’ and a cover of ‘That’s when I reach for my Revolver’ by MISSION OF BURMA. The version DIE KAMMER created definitely was a milestone of acoustic punk and left no doubt that this band is not only capable of playing the soft tunes. The band went off the stage again accompanied by standing ovation and the demand of an encore. Also that was granted with their last song ‘The Painterman’s Spell’ …a song that reminds me of the atmosphere of a Vienna coffeehouse in ancient times - I’m not quite sure if it’s the influence of Marcus that led me to the conclusion ;) but nevertheless the audience began to sway! The band bid farewell with a reprise of ‘The Orphanage’, but made the promise to come out afterwards in order to talk to the people, sign autographs or take pictures. Beleaguered by all of their fans it was quite astonishing how long they took the time to please their audience and were laughing and making jokes although they must have been tired as hell…


Carried away by this atmosphere I was almost at a loss for words to sum up this evening. Everything SEEMED to be quite right… and was it for REAL! The familial atmosphere, to become acquainted with people I only knew via Facebook i.e. …all that made the fact, that my car broke down on my way home irrelevant. I was showered with beautiful moments I live on ‘til now.  Thanks, Max, Matze, Himmi, Aline, Tabea, Dirk, Matthias & Brita…and special thanks to Daniela, Mira Tessa & Franziska for this wonderful evening!


01. The Orphanage
02. Fate/Illusion
03. Labyrinths of Despair
04. The Seeming and the Real
05. Riding the Crest
06. A Backward Glance
07. Falling Slowly (Glen Hansard/ Marketa Irglova - Cover from ‘Once’ OST)
08. Hurt (Nine Inch Nails/ Johnny Cash Cover)
09. Tower of Strength (The Mission Cover)
10. Black as Coal
11. Singing: Surrender
12. Home in your Eyes
13. Final Days (of Mankind)
14. Grand Graveyard of Hopes
15. That’s when I reach for my revolver (Mission of Burma Cover)
16. The Painterman´s Spell
17. The Orpanage - Reprise



Marcus Testory – Vocals, Guitar
Matthias Ambré – Guitar, Backing Vocals
Oliver Himmighoffen – Drums, Glockenspiel
Aline Deinert – Violin
Tabea Müller – Cello
Dirk Klinkhammer – Tuba, Irish Bouzouki
Matthias Raue – Violin




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


All pictures by Björn Butzen

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