27th December 2019
Coppelius & Support: Feline & Strange
“In fernes Grau entführte uns das Spiel
In Wolken, aus den Fesseln der Gedanken.” – Coppelius
When in the 20s “The Great And Terrible” Bertolt Brecht started to search the actors for the first of his plays, he failed. For others he was a complicated and dangerous man with too daring ideas, so none were willing to risk and deal with him. The very thought the performance can be more expressive than it “should be” made the theatres (even the audience) prejudiced against it. The things have changed in our days: good example the COPPELIUS show in Columbia Theatre Berlin on December 27th. This evening was the crazy mix of music, acting, and drive. Here even the absurdist Brecht could find everything - the actors, the orchestra and the auditory. How is it possible? Well, let’s lift a cover of mystery.
Feline & Strange
Two lonely people on stage it’s already enough to make you listen. Despite sometimes it’s hard to captivate the audience, FELINE & STRANGE made the people keep staring at them. Feline was changing every moment - at first, this little woman became a singing warrior, the next she looked like an elegant butterfly. Mysterious wings of the finest silk give to her figure the view of the fairy creature searching for its place. The music had special sound - wild a bit, with sadness and protest. In conclusion, the performance of FELINE & STRANGE is shamelessly frank behaviour bordered on the confession of a deeply wounded soul.
In the very beginning, you can’t be sure about what will you see now. Not because the musicians look like they don’t know what to do, but because the stage isn’t a place for the regular show at the COPPELIUS concert. It’s rather the theatrical one: everything was covered by the curtain, there were almost no light and the lonely cello had a bit tragic look through the red mist. Everything was drowning in the silence that made you feel pain on the edge of your seat. Finally, Bastille appeared on stage, he sat down on the little chair with the air like: “I’ll tell you a secret and you’ll take it to your grave!” But he just presents the other gentlemen to start rocking.
To see COPPELIUS on stage is to eat a devilishly beautiful creme cake with using no spoon. The musicians were dressed in costumes, with gothic makeup on their faces - something like if Grieg were KISS. The band has rather hard songs but plays it in a very elegant manner. In the gestures and the voices not seen a single drop of hypocrisy, the musicians make you believe in every story they tell you. Certainly, the live show is always a connection with the public when the audience not only sees the performance but also share feelings with actors. In the specific case of COPPELIUS has its world - as well, understandable for those who don’t know the band good enough. It’s masterly built on the catchy tunes, creepy stories and acting charisma.
The setlist consisted of the well-known tracks and the new ones, from the new album ‘Kammerarchiv’. This band hasn’t such a front man - everyone does everything. They are singing during playing, jumping while screaming, acting and intriguing public. COPPELIUS is that kind of unique art where every prince can be a king. Melodious alchemy culminated in ‘Operation’ and ‘Gumbagubanga’ when musicians were mostly close to the audience. Caspar went to play clarinet among the audience and Bastille even started to jump with the people. I think he would stay with fans to see COPPELIUS on stage but, unfortunately, he had to come back to his colleagues, because he’s actually, a part of the band. All the atmosphere recalled the old cabaret show when you’re seduced and amused.
By the way, to win over the public helped the most lyric songs like ‘1916’ and ‘Welthentrubel (Selten genug)’. Terribly honest, they weren’t just singing, the voices barely touched you with lyrics. In an instant, the colour of the spotlights painted the scene in black and white. It made the momentarily frozen musicians looked like a huge breathing photo. Perhaps, this particular moment has remained the most beautiful thing of is evening in the memory of the audience. When the concert is over there’s a strange feeling inside of you. You have to ask yourself if it were the real musicians on stage or you saw just the shadows of the past dancing on the wall? Columbia Theatre became just an ordinary club and everything around tells you: “Come on, you’re an adult person - stop dreaming. Better go to the garderobe!” But even it’s over and you’re going home under the hundred eyes of the shining stars - your lips are already silent, but your heart still sings.
All Pictures by Gert “Olle Icke” Schober