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Colos-Saal, Aschaffenburg, Germany
4th December 2009
Chapeau Claque

I arrived way too early at the venue on this wet and quite cold Friday. While I was warming up myself in the foyer, I read a note providing the information that there would be a half-hour delay as the band had stuck in traffic jams. Therefore, I firstly had a cup of coffee at the Jazzküche which is a bistro right next to the Colos-Saal. When I went back to the Colos-Saal’s foyer, I noticed a small group of people waiting outside. After the admission had taken place, I got to know that it should become an intimate concert experience with not that many listeners. Nevertheless, the audience was in a good temper. There were families with kids as well as young couples and thirty-somethings who gathered in front of the stage which had already been decorated with animal masks. Furthermore, I noticed a cello which made me curious as I really appreciate classical instruments involved in pop concerts.

However, I soon should found out that CHAPEAU CLAQUE isn’t an ordinary pop formation. Vocalist and songwriter Maria Antonia Schmidt started writing songs at a very young age. Together with Juli Holz, she formed the cello duo VANILLA CINNAMON which mainly performed at Thuringian cafés. After attaining the attention of the label 1st decade records, Maria firstly became part of the project ZWEIEKKENKREIS and then founded CHAPEAU CLAQUE. The band was on tour with NORTHERN LITE and had an appearance representing the federal state of Thuringia at the German Bundesvision Song Contest and finished sixth. In spring 2007, CHAPEAU CLAQUE delivered its debut studio album `Hand aufs Herz´ followed up by `Fabelweiss´ (2008) and `Fabelweiss Extra Edition´ (2009). Besides that, the five-piece consisting of Maria, Jörg Wähner (drums), Peer Kleinschmidt (keys), Timo Klöckner (guitar) and Tim Schäfer (bass) released several EPs and singles, for example `Marienkäfer im Nacken´ (2006), `Pandora Kiss Miss Tragedy´ (2008) and the most recent `Unsere Liebe - Ein Storch´ (2009). /

Music & Performance
According to the announcement, CHAPEAU CLAQUE went on stage at half past 9 pm. There wasn’t any supporting act and the band started performing without further ado. Besides the obligatory five band members, a female cellist was on board too. At first, the small crowd of listeners was pretty quiet and restrained, but after some songs, the people became more and more relaxed. As I read on the internet, the musical style of the formation is described by the term “electro pop” again and again. I think that this description doesn’t do them justice, as the pieces are extremely varied and often come up with chanson-influences. Looked at individually, you will find small poetic works of art such as `Reykjavik´ and `Unsere Liebe - Ein Storch´ dealing with human everyday life in a figurative manner. Sometimes gentle and fragile, sometimes powerful, the astonishingly wise German language lyrics from the pen of Maria perfectly fitted to the playful pop style that involves classical and experimental characteristics as well.

Dancing barefoot and wearing Pippi Longstocking-like tights, the ethereal and petite front woman presented the songs in a very cheerful and charming way. Moreover, Maria’s body language contributed to the delightful performance: Moving like a graceful ballerina, she attracted a lot of attention in particular besides her emotive vocals that are able to cover a wide range and to express very different feelings. Furthermore, she communicated with her listeners in a warm and friendly way. The performed songs were mostly mid-tempo pieces, but CHAPEAU CLAQUE also delivered more forceful stuff such as the furious `Rot´. After two hours, the band members received frenetic applause for a stunning concert full of poesy and I’m sure that I will see them live on stage again.

01. Was nicht passt
02. 3x Schnee
03. Rot
04. Reykjavik
05. Zum Tanz
06. Spatz
07. Milchschaum der Musik
08. Weißer Zimt auf goldene Vögel
09. In deinem Garten
10. 25° C im November
11. Tag davor
12. Unloyal
13. Pale blue
14. Vagabund
15. Metamor
16. Pandora Kiss Miss Tragedy
17. Unsere Liebe - Ein Storch
18. Froschtod
19. Blütenstaubromanze
20. Spieldosenprinzessin

Music: 9
Performance: 8
Sound: 9
Light: 8
Total: 8.6 / 10

All pictures by Katrin Renner (

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