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diorama8Matrix, Bochum, Germany
8th March 2013
Diorama, Slave Republic

Finally, I was seeing DIORAMA live again and was curious how the new songs would be doing live. Arriving at the venue I was wondering why there was actually no queue awaiting me. Well, maybe the people would be turning up later...

Slave Republic

The seeds of what would be growing up to the duo SLAVE REPUBLIC in the end have been sown many years ago as a four-piece centring on New Wave music. The next thing heard is that the quarter has become a duo and now is focusing on what they're calling Alternative Pop. This is a stylistic description obviously making some people at the Accession Records office prick up their ears. The end of the story we now have with SLAVE REPUBLIC being the newest signing to the label and that they released the duo's debut album 'Electric One' on 12th March 2010. The band consisting of Alec Fu & Alex Alice has just opened the second chapter with 'Quest For Love', being released in February 2013. / /


Music & Performance
The motto for the warm-up to the main show was pop until you drop with the guys of SLAVE REPUBLIC. Apparently, Daniel Myer was part of the shows during the tour so far. This was the only gig he wasn't present since he had a long-booked DJ appointment on this evening. So, no additional drums ladies and gentlemen... But the duo did fine without Myer and started out with 'Paint M Heart Black' off the new album followed by a mixed bag of songs from both of their releases, having the main focus on the current one though. It's only natural that you can't have the same live effect with a duo in comparison with a full band. This was the actual downside of the gig and made obvious the guys need to put some work into their performance. Subjective, I know. Well, the audience got all into celebration mood and both guys had to sign shirts among other things after the show was over.


01. Paint My Heart Black
02. Walking Ghost
03. Lashes Kiss
04. Emptiness
05. The Driver
06. Less Of Me
07. Lovers Suicide
08. Primärreiz
09. Promises And Broken Hearts

Music: 7
Performance: 6
Sound: 7
Light: 7
Total: 6.9 / 10



DIORAMA was founded by Torben Wendt between 1994 and 1996. His long-time friend Felix Marc soon joined him as a co-producer and keyboard player. Sometime later, bass player Bernard le Sigue and guitarist Sash Fiddler, who were fellow students of Torben and Felix, gradually grew into the line-up and last but not least drummer Marquess became a member of the band. Unfortunately, Bernard le Sigue left the Band in October 2006. In 2007, the band released their fifth album ‘A Different Life’, preceded by the single ‘Synthesize me’. The band played some extremely energetic and compelling festival shows to present the album and kept playing various shows in the following time. Eventually in February 2010 the silence was broken with the release of the single 'Child of Entertainment', being the offspring of the long-awaited album 'Cubed', released in March 2010. ‘Even The Devil Doesn't Care' (released in January 2013) is the newest album's title and a big progression for the band. DIORAMA is Torben Wendt (words and music, vocals, keys, percussion), Felix Marc (co-production, keys, vocals), Sash Fiddler (guitars) and Marquess (drums). / /


Music & Performance
So, everything was ready for the main event and I was curious how the new songs would be sounding live. Right with the entrance sequence of 'Maison Du Tigre' sounded, I was going to find out, and instead of drum sounds we got crystal clear real drums and guitar sounds to back up the vocals and synths. Now we're talking. This is exactly what was bound to happen to make the new songs work live properly. A sheer stream of energy generated on stage and spread through the rows in front of it. 'Expatriate' fires a bunch of straight beats into the crowd who pick up their energy right away. Just there you felt the largely organic sound was truly natural. Now you get the complete band feeling just as you did while listening to the album. 'Exit The Grey' was up next and everyone, either on or off stage, joined in with the beat right away. If you were watching the action on stage on the side, you could notice that everyone had grown even more confident being on stage and acted accordingly. Nothing felt staged or anything. Time to get back to “old” times with 'Erase Me' (underlined with thought provoking video against animal testing) and 'Ignite' after which Torben sat down at the piano to present the sole German song on the new album 'Weiß und Anthrazit'.


I think that one day this one is going to become a favourite to sing along, at least for some parts of it. Now we were in for a real treat. Particularly a “Special acoustic rendition thingy” of 'Das Meer' as Torben put it so nicely. Most beautiful part of the show for me. Still sitting at the piano, he announced that we would now go from the depths of the sea to the highest highs of a mountain top with 'Summit'. From high back to low with 'Someone Dies' and on to the song with the cup - 'The Scale' - the band kept challenging you musically time and again, and put you through rapid changes of the mood. Conveniently it was 'Over’ to end the set and it fully convinced live like the others. Obviously, there was still time for an encore, there always is, and so we were going into round two with a ferocious presentation of ‘Why?', underlined with lots of pictures from the band’s history, and culminating with 'The Long Way Home From The Party'. Turns out, it became a really long way. Never thought I'd come to hate waiting on some station so much. Well, there was still something. 'Synthesize Me' to figuratively kick the crowd out with memories of a fantastic show. Besides the band’s performance I need to point you to the videos underlining the show, put together by Boris May of KLANGSTABIL and he did fantastic work!


01. Maison Du Tigre
02. Expatriate
03. Exit The Grey
04. When We Meet Again In Hell
05. Erase Me
06. Ignite
07. Weiß und Anthrazit
08. Das Meer
09. Summit
10. Someone Dies
11. The Scale
12. Child Of Entertainment
13. Hope
14. Over
15. Why?
16. Advance
17. The Long Way Home From The Party
18. Synthesize Me

Music: 9
Performance: 9
Sound: 9
Light: 7
Total: 8.8 / 10


All pictures by Daniela Vorndran ( / / /

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