The Fleece, Bristol, UK
8th March 2015
Covenant, Analog Angel, Naked Lunch & Sinestar
And so we were heading to the UK in order to see our favourite band COVENANT… As things didn’t work out the way it was planned I was not really keen to write a review. But then I would do the bands that came and did their best to entertain the people, do injustice. Thus I made up my mind and here is my very late review.
The concerts took place at the venerable The Fleece - a venue where many great bands/ musicians of all kind of genres from Ska, Punk Rock, and Alternative Rock to Electronic music showed up. And of course Bristol’s finest like PORTISHEAD and MASSIVE ATTACK performed there, too. Unfortunately this history- charged club is endangered to vanish due to the newly rebuild office houses into posh apartments. Unfortunately the light equipment of the venue was quite meagre so that even the most ambitious light engineer couldn't make much of it.
Here we have another local band which proves that Bristol is still a place where great music is created. Formed in 2012 it is actually a quite young band but some of the members had already profound live experience by playing with by the disbanded band JAGGED. Melting the sound of the Synth- Pop sound of the 80’s with dance grooves and guitar riffs SINESTAR gives its music a fresh appearance. Besides two EPs the first album was released in 2013.
Although the venue was only half filled the band started to party with the present guests which culminates with their single ‘I am the rain’, a song that was also remixed by MESH. Actually the performance was so good that we found it quite a pity that the band was just the opener of the concert evening when not so many people were already there. http://www.sinestar.co.uk / https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sinestar/310216912403126
Total: 7.5 / 10
As there is also another band with the same name but originated in Austria, I have to mention that on this evening it was the British NAKED LUNCH. The band has already a long history starting in 1979, formed by Tony Mayo and Gary Shepherd under the name SONS OF PERDITION. After their first gig the guys changed the name into NAKED LUNCH. The changeful band history included concerts alongside with names like DAF, B MOVIE, FAD GADGET, CABARET VOLTAIRE to mention only a few but also personal changes throughout the years. In 1981 the band separated but in 2010 Tony Mayo linked up with the former members and started to work on new material.
The first show after 30 years took place in 2012 at the BAS II and together with Mark Irvine the original line- up was complete. Jet Noir joined the band in 2013.The sound can be described as Dark Electronic music. With this historical background it was quite clear that the music is very much 80’s but surely in a good way. The audience definitely liked the performance. But somehow by ill luck you hardly could hear Jet Noir as background singer. It seemed to me that someone forgot to put her microphone on. http://nakedlunch.org.uk / https://www.facebook.com/pages/Naked-Lunch/566142303432743
Total: 7 / 10
Before the main act started the band from Glasgow, Scotland, appeared on stage. Actually I had in mind that the band consists of three guys but now they have Tracy J. Cox on board as backing vocals singer and playing the electric drums every now and then. The band was founded in the early 90’s, disbanded and got together in 2008 again. Since then the band is busily performing and some of their songs are frequently aired at the Dave Charles show on Harborough FM, UK. Throughout the last years ANALOG ANGEL gathered a loyal fan base, especially in the UK. The band makes Synth Pop music that invites you to dance. When the band appeared on stage they were greeted loudly by their fans and soon lots of people were dancing. Actually the songs are quite catchy and the singer shows up with good vocal qualities. On the other hand the voice of Tracy showed up with some weaknesses.
Another thing I found quite disturbing was the complete appearance of the band. While Tracy wore a fetish like latex outfit, the guys appeared in every day clothes. My friend and I had the impression that the band was playing the “sex sells” card. Don’t get me wrong, I have no objections to fetish outfits but it should fit to the concept of the whole band. And Tracy is really a sweet, lovely lady so this is not meant as a reflection on her. But more annoying for me was to see that the band members were more occupied with themselves instead of interacting with the audience. Please work on that guys as you are surely a good band. https://analog-angel.bandcamp.com / https://www.facebook.com/pages/Analog-Angel/78071440078
Total: 6.5 / 10
I think I don’t need many words of introduction of one of the finest Swedish Electro bands. Since 1986 the trio entertains the friends of Electro/ Synth Pop/ Future Pop with music of a very high standard. Although there were always some personal changes the only constant is the singer Eskil Simonsson. His partners in crime for live appearances are currently Daniel Jonasson and Andreas Catjar while co- founder Joakim Montelius is busy in the background for the studio work of COVENANT. Like the Sleeping Beauty the usually more reserved British audience awoke and started to party hard and so we left Babylon on the ship of fools (Figurehead), experienced ignorance and bliss and of course we made ritual noise with some real disturbing noises before it faded into like tears in the rain.
As COVENANT plays the German version (Der Leiermann) when performing in Germany, it was a strange sensation to hear it live in English. Anyway Eskil, Andreas and Daniel were in an excellent mood and the interaction with the crowd was great. And Eskil was not getting tired to thank the audience for coming and to celebrate with them, especially as for COVENANT it was the first time to perform in Bristol. With his enthusiasm Eskil carried the crowd away. Surely it was regrettable that the show was not sold out but the undeniable advantage was that we had just more space to dance. Of course the band performed many more songs than those I have mentioned. Nevertheless, even with the encores, the time just flew away and a stunning concert evening ended.
Total: 9 / 10
Not only did we enjoy the shows but also meeting (old) friends, finally meeting people in real life you only knew from the social networks and naturally making new friends. And so, we can conclude that it was really worth it to plan a trip to Bristol though not only for the concerts self-evidently.
Pictures of Covenant, Sinestar and Analog Angel by Iris Waga, pictures of Naked Lunch by James Bailey (http://www.jamesbaileyphotography.co.uk)