19th November 2017
The Beauty of Gemina
On occasion of the “Minor sun acoustic tour 2017”, the band made a stop in the heart of the Ruhr area and performed in the Matrix Bochum. But not only the fans living in this region came to see the band as you could see from the parking cars that lots of them travelled from afar. And this is actually no surprise as the band doesn’t do lots of acoustic shows. So this is really a special event you don’t want to miss.
When thinking of Switzerland you rather have high mountains, expensive skiing holidays, banks, cheese fondue, chocolate and probably DJ BOBO in mind. But surely you neither expect interesting bands nor even a Synth-Rock / Dark Wave / Alternative Rock band. Founded in 2006 by the multi-instrumentalist Michael Sele, after disbanding his former Wave project NUUK, the band soon draw the attention within the Gothic scene and their song ‘Suicide landscape’ was N° 1 at the World Gothic Charts.
The video for this song was frequently aired on the Swiss TV and even on the music TV station VIVA. It was supporting act for THE SMASHING PUMPKINS, DAF, ASP, RAMMSTEIN, HURTS and UNHEILIG and also appeared on big festivals like the Wave Gotik Treffen, the M’era Luna and Blackfield Festival. The musical style of THE BEAUTY OF GEMINA is a blend of Synth Rock, Dark Rock, Dark Wave, Goth Rock, Post Punk, with influences of Techno / Trance and classical elements. The composition of the songs are quite unusual for not having the classical structure of stanza and refrain. Up to now 7 studio albums, 3 compilations / live albums and 3 DVDs are released. Additionally a book with all the lyrics from 2007 to 2014 was released by Michael Sele in 2015 (already as second edition). http://www.thebeautyofgemina.com / https://www.facebook.com/TheBeautyOfGemina
Music & Performance
To my surprise I found out, when I arrived, that this is a seated show which is quite unusual for this venue. The seats were benches like we all know from the gyms at schools. Quickly the benches were occupied and the rest of the audience were standing at the space that was left around, as well as on the stairs and the gallery. The show started with Michael playing an intro on his beautiful guitar, white with a graphic peacock on it, before most of the band entered the stage and took its position as there were Mac Vinzens on drums, Ariel Rossi on guitar, Andi Zuber on bass guitar / contrabass. For the third song Andi switched from the bass guitar to the contrabass which gave the audience a first acoustical impression that also classical elements and instruments are involved in this show. Have the first songs been slower the tempo went up with the next song where Raphael Zweifel joined in with his cello. The small stage was quite packed when Eva Wey on her violin and Eyjólfur Porleifsson with his saxophone entered the stage while Michael switched over to his keyboard for the song ‘Suicidal landscape’. Then it was time for a Michael to mention that Bochum is a place for his “heart concert” as it is quite special for him and he sees a lot of well-known faces in the crowd who follow the band already for many years.
You might think that an acoustic show is a more sedated one but for some songs you find that the band really rocks even in the stripped down version and despite the calm and unexcited singing of Michael. And so it was no surprise to find the people in the audience moving and dancing along to the songs. Not only Michael showed up to have excellent live singing qualities but the complete band proved to be skilled musicians with a great live presence. No wonder that each song was rewarded with a great applause. The setlist was a felicitous mixture of old songs and the one from the latest album as well as two cover songs. Everyone visiting live performances knows that usually solos are introduced and played by the different musicians during certain songs. On this evening it was a bit different as for the drum solo at ‚The lonesome death of a Goth DJ’ the rest of the band including the mastermind stepped aside and the spotlight was on Mac while he played his part in a fulminant way. And of course his skilful playing was rewarded with an extra applause before the band stepped in again.
This performance was commentated by Michael in a humorous way “And they say that the Swiss people are slow!” After all Michael Sele proved to have a dry sense of humour when another little speech, before the third encore was held, as he mentioned again that Bochum is so special for him but he will tell things like that also in Switzerland, too. Furthermore he invited the audience to visit the merchandise stand after the show and buy stuff as Christmas is coming and the band is excellent but expensive, except the saxophone player who is Icelandic but therefor he is drinking more than anyone in the band can compete with. We also learned that Raphael also performed at the acoustic tour of DIE TOTEN HOSEN. Surely we would have loved to hear even more songs from the band but eventually after the third encore the concert ended. But the fans had the opportunity to meet and chat with the band at the merchandise stand a bit later. And so the weekend was finished with a wonderful concert experience.
03. Another death
04. Crossroads (CALVIN RUSSELL cover)
05. Suicide Landscape
06. Into Black
08. Down by the Horses
11. In Silence
12. Silent Land
13. Personal Jesus (DEPECHE MODE cover)
14. The lonesome Death of a Goth DJ
15. Seven-Day Wonder
16. Down on the Lane
19. Dark Rain
20. Dark Revolution
21. Endless Time to See
22. Listening Wind (TALKING HEADS cover)
Total: 9 / 10
All Pictures by LAy