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Passionskirche, Berlin, Germany
22nd December 2008
Corvus Corax

The venue has to be one of the prettiest I have ever attended, set as it is in Marheinekeplatz, a small square in Kreutzberg, Berlin, where there was an evening Christmas Market going on to start the excellent atmosphere of the night off. Crowds of all ages milled happily about looking at the stalls and drinking Glühwein as they waited for the doors to open.

The venue itself has an interesting history for a church, being damaged heavily in 1944 and slowly restored until in 1992 it was fitted with lighting, speakers and soundproofed to produce one of the most atmospheric and interesting venues I’ve ever been to. CORVUS CORAX chose this I imagine because of its gothic and intimate feel, and were forced to do three gigs overall to accommodate all of the people who wanted to see them as the venue has a capacity of only about 1,000 people.

There was much activity there as they were filming their new DVD there and eventually after a lengthy and beautiful organ overture the band appeared. They call themselves the Kings of Minstrels, and in this setting it was easy to be transported back to a time when that name would indeed have held true as they struck up and started the first song.

Music & Performance
The audience was all here because they are fans of both the band and the medieval period and many of them were in authentic medieval dresses, including a number of children who the band kindly interacted with throughout the performance. The lighting and sound were both above adequate for such a small venue and the effect was a very pleasing one. There was nothing elaborate about either but it was not lacking in any way and as the band ran through song after song, such as ‘Dulcissima’, ‘Palastinalied’ and the awesomely received ‘Venus Vina Musica’, some lyrical, many purely instrumental, the lighting changed to reflect the mood of each individual piece.

The audience was more than appreciative and the band took time to laugh and joke, rifling through one woman’s handbag and stealing her cigarettes to the amusement of everybody there. After 22 songs, all equally well performed and with dramatic yellow light in place they played their encore. It’s fair to say that the band was nothing short of excellent, tight, together and above all clearly having fun and the audience responded to that the way you would expect, with rapturous appreciation.

Afterwards the band mingled happily in the church with those audience members that remained chatting and signing autographs and posing for pictures and that was what made this gig special. They were not simply a band that came performed and then went home, they included their audience from beginning to end and never once put themselves apart as some artists do. It was a great gig, atmospheric and accomplished by a band that has been going for many years and hopefully will continue just as long.

Music: 9
Performance: 9
Sound: 8
Light: 8
Total: 8.7 / 10

All pictures by Maddi Isaacs

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