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daf5Matrix, Bochum, Germany
25th October 2013

In 1978 the band DAF (Deutsch Amerikanische Freundschaft = German American Friendship) was founded in Düsseldorf, Germany by Robert Goerl (drums, electronics), Gabriel “Gabi” Delgado-López (vocals), Kurt “Pyrolator” Dahlke (electronics), Michael Kemner (bass) and Wolfgang Spelmanns (guitar). Chrislo Haas (electronics, bass, saxophone) replaced in 1979 Kurt Dahlke but after their tour in the UK in 1981 DAF was reduced to Robert Goerl and Gabi Delgado- López.

They changed the image and concept of the band and with it and became commercially successful. Acclaimed to be pioneers and an inspiration for the genre Electro Punk, EBM and Techno, the years 1980 – 1982 were the peak level with their albums ‘Die Kleinen und die Bösen’ (The petite and the evil) and ‘Alles ist gut’ (Everything is good). For the latter album they received the German Record Award. DAF was the first band to use the Korg, ARP and Oberheim System Synthesizers contrary to the manual in order to create tweeting bass lines and became a role model for the following Acid- house movement. With their martial appearance due to their hairdo and provocative lyrics, ‘Der Mussolini’ – Tanz den Mussolini (Dance the Mussolini) and ‘Der Räuber und der Prinz’ (The robber and the prince) to name just a few, they were controversially discussed and being suspected to have a fascistic tendency. Using these discussions as a kind of promotion they never really took a firm stand. Between the years 1986 and 2007 they had some separations and reunions until they decided in 2008 to work together again on occasion of their 30th band anniversary. / /


Music & Performance
The support act, whoever that was, was cancelled on short term. Nevertheless doors were at 7.00 pm but the main act started at 9.00 pm. As most of the people arrived quite early it meant a long waiting. A CD player, a drum set and a microphone tripod in front of the stage is all that you will find when you go to see DAF. And then Robert Goerl appeared on stage, put a CD in the player and took his seat behind his drum kit. There is some humour in this action by not hiring a band for live shows in order to pretend playing completely live although actually it is playback for the electronics and only the drums are played live by Robert. A moment later Gabi appeared on stage and the show started with ‘Verschwende Deine Jugend’ (Waste your youth) and the crowd immediately began to pogo. With round about 750 people the venue was quite filled but there was still enough space for the wild dancing. Due to the long history of this band the audience was a good mixture of generations. But nevertheless Gabi addressed to us as “boys and girls”. He permanently moved on stage while singing, showing a great stage presence and after each song he drank some water and took a shower with the rest of the bottle. As this reminded me of the movie ‘The big fish’ I was contemplating if he needs permanent watering to be able to perform.


For me this concert was a kind of time travel, throwing me back in the early 80’s when I was a teenager and danced in the disco of the youth centre to ‘Der Mussolini’. What KRAFTWERK started in the late 70’ was consequently executed by DAF and other bands of the Electro Punk and New Wave bands in the 80’s. They formed a counterpart to the music that has its roots from Rock’n’Roll and Soul by using synthesizer and keyboards and cutting down melodies and lyrics to its minimum. Their cold sound reflected the atmosphere of the era where new technologies and computers became part of peoples live. This kind of music created new prospects and although many people thought that it was only a kind of ugly fashion, we now know better as this minimalistic sound can be named as root for lots of musical genres nowadays. But even the original songs are still working great at concerts and on the dance floors. Thus the crowd celebrated the heroes of former days. And Gabi and Robert proved that they are still able to get the people going.


After the show they did two further encores and as Robert puts for each encore a CD in the player, I asked myself amused if the CDs are marked with “Encore 1” and “Encore 2”. The concert was really fun and we all – the older and the younger ones – enjoyed it very much.

01. Verschwende Deine Jugend
02. Ich und die Wirklichkeit
03. Mussolini
04. Ich will
06. Die Lippe
07. Mein Herz macht bum
08. Algorithmus
09. Verehrt Euren Haarschnitt
10. Liebeszimmer (Opium Mix)
11. Sato- Sato
12. Alle gegen alle
13. Nachtarbeit
14. Rote Lippen
15. Der Scheriff
16. Die Lüge
17. Als wär’s das letzte Mal
18. Der Räuber und der Prinz
19. Kebab Träume
20. Alles ist gut

Music: 8
Performance: 8
Sound: 9
Light: 6.5
Total: 8.5 / 10


All pictures by Daniela Vorndran ( / /

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