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Progresja, Warsaw, Poland
19th April 2008
Diorama, Faderhead & Agonised by Love

Some might call us totally nuts for travelling about 1000 km just for one concert. Are we nuts? Yeah, I guess you must be a bit crazy to do such a trip; just fly over to Warsaw on Saturday morning and back with the first flight on Sunday morning. But anyway, any second of this trip was totally worth it!

But let’s start at the beginning… I went up at Saturday morning quite early; to be exact at half past 6, just to be really in time at the airport in Düsseldorf. Anything went smooth… well, I missed one exit at the Autobahn because I was with my thoughts already far away… and the plane started right in time. Sitting there, closed my eyes and listened to Diorama on my MP3 player… I was so much looking forward the show, you cannot imagine. I arrived short past 12 and had to wait for a friend from Munich who arrived half an hour later. Together we had some coffee and a nice chat so that the remaining hour we had to wait for our two other friends was passing very quickly. Finally all four friends together we took a cab into the city.

Still we had a lot of time and walked through the rainy streets. At least we wanted to see a little of the city. Soon it was time for some food. So, we entered a nice Polish restaurant to try some pierogies which were absolutely great… especially together with the Polish beer. The afternoon coffee we had in a very stylish café that looked more like an old one in Vienna. Also very, very nice. At the early evening we took a cab to the club where the concert was scheduled. The ride there with a taxi driver speaking only Polish was a little adventure but we arrived anyway. Though there was still a lot of time until the opening, we entered the “bar” nearby to have some more beer in a surrounding spreading… hm… socialist charm. Finally at eight, the doors of the club opened, we had some more drinks and chat with friends. Not too many people arrived already to see the show of the first band, AGONISED BY LOVE.

Agonised by Love

ABL are so to say the local heroes. The band issigned to Alfa Matrix and is now going to release the album ‘Lovesick Society’. After signing there, the band’s musical skills have developed. ‘Lovesick Society’ is the second album of the band after ‘All Of White Horizons’ and it marks a change more or less. It all started with a line-up change as musician Mariusz Gryciuk departed from the group. And this split seemed to push charismatic lead-singer Rafal Tomaszczuk into exploring new grounds and emotions. ABL are Rafal Tomaszczuk (vocals), Bartosz H_12 Hervy (keyboards, e-drums, effects and samples) and Wojciech Pawlowski (guitars). /

Music & Performance
It was the first time I have seen this band. I must admit that I was not too convinced by the performance. I missed some energy on stage, energy I saw later in high doses. But let’s stick to that show first. Not only the band line-up changed, but also (when I judge by earlier pics I have seen) the look of singer Rafal changed. In the past with blonde hair it is now black. That was the obvious change. But also the sound seemed to be different. While the first album - several songs out off it have been played - was dealing more with themes like rejected love, hopes and dreams the new one turns towards a new twisted dimension, a sick world full of despair, insanity and nightmares… The show in Progresja started not with Rafal on vocals but with Bartosz presenting the song ‘Ultraviolet Duna’. The setlist presented - besides one older song (‘Little Ghosts’) - only new ones from the upcoming album, like ‘Brothers’ or the first single ‘Southern Sun’. The cold electronics, the music is based on, was enriched with guitar lines what gave a more organic feeling to the songs. The sounds was pretty good, the light show pretty dark but with an appropriate mood. Just people were not as enthusiastic as I would have thought of, especially when remembering the fact that you got a local band here on stage.

01. Ultraviolet Duna
02. Brothers
03. Magnolia
04. Alienation, Fear, Despair
05. Southern Sun
06. The hottest Summer in the History
07. Little Ghost

Music: 7
Performance: 6
Sound: 8
Light: 7
Total: 7


After FADERHEAD from Hamburg/Germany was making music for about 17 years, he finally released his debut album ‘FH1’ on the Accession Records label in 2006. His musical influences are spread widely - OASIS, MARILYN MANSON, ICE CUBE, SLAYER, THE PRODIGY, PET SHOP BOYS and many others - over different genres. According to his own statements, he did not grow up influenced by the typical electronic bands (i.e. DEPECHE MODE or KRAFTWERK) and had very few electronic influences. He just likes “synthesizers and fat drumbeats”. The second album ‘FH2’ was released in April 2007. FADERHEAD live are Sami (song writing, production, vocals, guitars), Alex Montana (live drums) and the new member Chandler XL (live keyboards/sampler/computers). /

Music & Performance
Well, there were some technical problems several times during the show or just started a different song than it was supposed to. But that all did not matter because the whole show was very good and all technical problems were made jokes about. Funny for all and no one in the audience did complain. While Alex and Chandler were a bit more in the back, focus of course was laying on front man Sami who did a great show, not only in singing but also with chatting to the audience. It was just entertaining and made people moving their asses, screaming or jumping. All of a sudden, people seemed to wake up and the party could get started with all those danceable, dynamic melodies and lyrics always playing with sexual content - just remember songs like ‘Electrosluts extraordinaire’ or ‘Dirtygrrrls / Dirtybois’. Screams out off the audience for playing latter one were commented by Sami that this song is “too dirty” to get played. But well… he did it anyway.

When I compare the FADERHEAD show I had seen before, it was during the ACCESSION FESTIVAL in December 2006, there were some differences. Not only that the band got a new live keyboarder, also this time Sami did not play any guitar and all songs were totally electronic, of course mostly presented just from the laptop. The organic touch was brought into the songs with the live drums perfectly played by Alex Montana who is, in my opinion, a great drummer. As for the set, songs from both albums and some compilations were perfectly mixed together. Right from the first song ‘Girly Show’ there was just a big party going on. Now finally the crowd… which became finally bigger than during the beginning… was warmed up for the headliner.

01. Girly Show
02. Break Apart Again
03. Protagonist
04. O/H Scavenger
05. Vanish
06. Electrosluts Extraordinaire
07. Storm Sparks Structure
08. Bassgod
09. Burning / Dancing
10. Noisebastardz
11. Dirtygrrrls / Dirtybois

Music: 8
Performance: 8
Sound: 8
Light: 8
Total: 8


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. Some time 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. The latest album ‘A different life’ was released in March 2007 sadly not followed by a real tour. There were too little concerts and so, we had to travel even to Warsaw to see perform DIORAMA live. Today’s line-up is Torben Wendt (words and music, vocals, keys, percussion), Felix Marc (Co-production, keys, vocals), Sash Fiddler (guitars) and Marquess (drums). /

Music & Performance
I cannot find enough superlatives to describe this show. There are no words to tell you about all those emotions and feelings coming up during that performance. But I’ll try anyway. Please forgive me when I cannot stay objective. I had planned this trip so long ago and I was totally overwhelmed by what the four guys brought onto stage. From the first second you could feel lots of energy floating though the venue. Not only the band was perfect, also the audience knew how to party and celebrate the heroes on stage who exactly knew how to build up the atmosphere. There were so many emotions on stage, so much power and heartfelt music… it is hard to describe. I had the impression that the band again became much better in transporting their music to the audience.

Torben and Sash were real maniacs on stage. Not only that they were both crawling in the floor singing or playing their instrument, they were also making faces, standing half on stage and half on the fence to you feared they would fall and break their bones, Torben also was jumping into the pit and lying half in the arms of his fans. Magical moments! There was no distance between band and fans, they were just partying altogether. Sash was even handing down some cigarettes or beer to some fans. Stars and fans? No, just all friends, at least so was the impression. Towards the end, Torben just grabbed the camera from one fan to film the whole scenery. Also some humour had place in the show… Torben just asked if they should play some VNV NATION covers or just better do some older songs of the band. Of course finally they did latter one.

What leads us just to the setlist. It was perfect! Songs from all periods of the band history were chosen, starting with ‘Last minute’ and going on with two newer songs, ‘Erase me’ and ‘Exit the grey’. Some special songs for me followed: ‘Howland Road’, ‘Said but true’ and ‘Leaving Hollywood’. For last one I was just holding the hands of some friends… it did not feel like leaving but like finally being home, it was “all that matters”. Nothing can be worthier than experiencing such moments. ‘Das Meer’ followed presented as an acoustic version just accompanied by Torben on piano and very gentle drum beats. The show went on with more aggressive and heavier tunes like ‘Why’, ‘Definition Power’ or ‘Synthesize me’ and ended… at least for the main set… with ‘Advance’. When the first encore ‘HLA’ started, the word samples were screamed out by a lot of fans. This song was followed by the gentle ‘Light’ before the band left the stage again just to return for the final ‘Kein Mord’.

I still have not enough words to sum up this show. As some friend wrote… it was just collective madness called DIORAMA. The applause the band got was just incredible. Following this fantastic show was an after party. And of course the band came out to talk to fans, give autographs, and be there for pics. It is not common nowadays that a band is so close to their fans, but DIORAMA still are and they even seem to love it. Please guys, stay as you are.

01. Last Minute
02. Erase me
03. Exit the Grey
04. Wingless
05. Howland Road
06. The Girls
07. Said but true
08. Leaving Hollywood
09. Das Meer
10. E-Minor
11. Why
12. Definition Power
13. Synthesize Me
14. Advance
15. HLA
16. Light
17. Kein Mord

Music: 10
Performance: 10
Sound: 9
Light: 9
Total: 9.8

We stayed at the after party until the club closed at around four in the morning. Than we called a cab to go back to the airport where we were waiting for departure in company of some good coffee. Back home at late morning I tried to sleep a few hours but still, all the experiences were too close and kept me awake… DIORAMA, friends, you offered everything you have, but I still want more…

All pictures by Daniela Vorndran ( / /

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