12th April 2018
In The Nursery & Spherical Disrupted
IN THE NURSERY live is a pretty rare thing these days. After only three gigs in 2017, the Sheffield based band around twin brothers Klive and Nigel Humberstone perform a short series of shows this spring before they will come back for a couple of festival shows this summer. We checked their gig at one of today's best live clubs in Germany, the Kulttempel in the city of Oberhausen.
Before IN THE NURSERY entered the stage, local act SPHERICAL DISRUPTED set the tone for the evening. The mind behind this project is Mirko Hentrich, also resident DJ under the moniker PARADROID at the Kulttempel, head of the Audiophob label and a jack-of-all-trades with numerous other projects such as SICK EN FOR and M-SIGMA, playing live shows and DJ gigs in the Netherlands, Belgium, Poland, Russia, Czech Republic, and, of course, all over Germany. While as a DJ goes for EBM, Hentrich’s SPHERICAL DISRUPTED opts for dark ambient soundscapes he teases out of his electronic gear. Disrupted atmospheres, so to speak! https://www.facebook.com/sphericaldisrupted/
Music & Performance
The first think which was striking about the gig of SPHERICAL DISRUPTED didn’t have anything to do with the performance or music in the strict sense. The Kulttempel got a brand new digital PA, and while the sound at the club was always pretty good the new PA sounds like a blast! And it is perfect for electronic music like SPHERICAL DISRUPTED, which had a loud and clear sound from the beginning. Knowing that one man behind a desk toying with knobs and faders is probably not the most exciting view for half an hour, Hentrich had some concomitant video footage on a big screen behind him. The visuals, which had a certain retro-feel and were certainly rather dark and disturbing, supported the atmosphere of the dark ambient music quite nicely. Modulating and starting samples and sequences, the only non-electronic device was a clay singing bowl which Hentrich used for eerie, somewhat oriental sounds he filtered through his electronic gear. An interesting gig, and SPHERICAL DISRUPTED sure enough attuned everybody for the neoclassical and often soundtrack-ish Dark Wave of IN THE NURSERY.
02. Com Verbot
03. Orbital Eccentricity
04. Eta Carinae Outburst
06. Through Homunculus Nebula
Total: 8.2 / 10
In The Nursery
Klive and Nigel Humberstone look back of 37 years of IN THE NURSERY and quite a variety of style which still are always unmistakably IN THE NURSERY. Inspired by the Punk aftermath, bands like JOY DIVISION and the very early UK Industrial scene, they released the first full-length album with the obvious title ‘Twins’ in 1986 but with the second album ‘Stormhorse’ and the addition of military drummer Q and singer Dolores Marguerite C. IN THE NURSERY established many of their trademark characteristics. Orchestral, percussion-heavy, elegiac and often very cinematic, their following albums like ‘Köda’ (1988) and ‘Duality’ (1992) were a success in the Independent music scene, and it only made sense that IN THE NURSERY subsequently did an actual soundtrack, for 1993’s psychological drama movie ‘An Ambush of Ghosts’, to be precise. Their music was also featured in ‘Interview with the Vampire’, ‘Street Fighter II’ and ‘The Rainmaker’. In the late 90s the band was asked to provide new scores for some silent film classics such as ‘The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari’. The more recent soundtrack works were ‘The Fall of the House of Usher’ in 2015, and older IN THE NURSERY material was even used in the mega-popular TV show ‘Game Of Thrones’.
The Humberstone twins and their band mates have never forgotten to produce original IN THE NURSERY material outside the movie world, and their latest output is the album ‘1961’, released in November 2017. http://www.inthenursery.com / http://www.facebook.com/INTHENURSERY
Music & Performance
After a short instrumental from tape, Klive and Nigel Humberstone and their band mates enter the stage to start the show with ‘Until Before After’ from the new album ‘1961’. IN THE NURSERY’s latest full-length is a concept album, as 1961 is not only the year the Humberstone twins were born, the songs specifically deal with an event or invention particular to that year such as the foundation of Amnesty International in this very year. An interesting concept, and I was curious to see how many of the nine new songs would make it into the setlist. In the end it was only three songs besides the opener also ‘Prisoner Of Conscience’, which seemed a bit meagre. After a relatively guitar-heavy start with the Humberstone twins on bass and e-guitar the second song, ‘Crepuscule’ from the 2011 ‘Blind Sound’ album, introduced the trademark orchestral IN THE NURSERY sound and singer Dolores Marguerite C. appeared on stage. As symphonic and bombastic the music is, there was still something missing and it didn’t really click yet.
Apparently there were some technical issues on stage, and the long breaks between songs felt a little awkward and made it hard to get into the right mood. The band seemed to be insecure, and probably it showed a little that IN THE NURSERY’s last gig is quite a while ago, and last year they performed only three live shows, as well. Luckily the band warmed up and came out of their shell during the course of their best of set and were all smiles in the end, and the audience were ready for it anyway. After a little more than an hour everything was over already - almost! IN THE NURSERY came back for an unplanned encore song, and since it felt as it would only begin another encore would have been really nice. However, it was a good show which on the other hand couldn't meet all hopes. It didn't have the same mystical magic as back in the day but there's hope that IN THE NURSERY might find the magic again if they would play live just a little more often than they actually do.
01. Until Before After
07. Prisoner Of Conscience
09. Stone Souls
10. A Rebours (Against Nature)
Total: 8.3 / 10
All pictures by Daniela Vorndran (http://www.vorndranphotography.com / http://www.facebook.com/blackcatnet)