28th, 29th & 30th November 2019
The Foreign Resort - November 2019 - Special guests and co-artists - Golden Apes, [di: unru:], Then Comes Silence, Silent Runners
Taking the train from Hamburg to Oberhausen for a mini tour around North and West Germany following THE FOREIGN RESORT and their friends and colleagues GOLDEN APES, [DI: UNRU:], THEN COMES SILENCE and SILENT RUNNERS. Hamburg - Oberhausen - Hanover - Frankfurt - Hamburg - sounds like a pretty decent trip for the end of November with the most fitting soundtracks of Post Punk, Synth, Shoegaze and Goth Rock. No place for autumn depression when you can get a whole lot of great music, all the positive vibes and one or another Gin Tonic while hanging around with friends. Let’s go.
Day 1 - Kulttempel, Oberhausen, 28th November 2019
GOLDEN APES are a Goth Rock & Dark Wave band from the capital Berlin, around for over 20 years. Their latest album ‘Kasbek’ was released earlier this year and impressed a lot with the depth, darkness and emotional impact it creates on the listener. https://www.facebook.com/GoldenApes/
Music & Performance
Thursdays can be unfortunately quite tough days for concerts, so the Kulttempel was not as packed as I am used to it. But the shows I’ve been to were always weekend shows, or even indoor festivals like Pluswelt Festival a month ago.
The location itself is amazing, I love everything about Kulttempel beside the fact that it’s located in Oberhausen and this is quite a distance from Hamburg. Nevertheless the ones who made it to the show, were an amazing audience! GOLDEN APES presented nine of their songs, also a number of songs from the new album ‘Kasbek’ - ‘Oblivion’, ‘Deliverance’, ‘Voykova’, ‘Sleep’ and also the title song ‘Kasbek’. The performance was great, diving deep into the Goth Rock vibes, quite minimalistic and focuses, without much talking in between, but also very consistent, atmospheric and touching. Beautiful start into the night. The crowd was dancing and demanding more and more. Great vibes.
09. Happy Losers
Total: 7.5 / 10
The Foreign Resort
Also THE FOREIGN RESORT released a great album this year, ‘Outnumbered’, a dark and perfectly composed variation of songs that came out just on time for the dark summer 2019. With ‘Outnumbered’ THE FOREIGN RESORT released, stating it in December 2019, one of my highlights of 2019 - outstanding, strong, confident Post Punk. The show in Oberhausen was a great chance to see them playing a fulltime show and http://theforeignresort.com / https://www.facebook.com/theforeignresort
Music & Performance
First things first. The show was accompanied by visuals and fitting video clips and just to have mentioned it here the videos that THE FOREIGN RESORT have shot for their songs are very professional, aesthetic and always have a special twist. The way the visuals are flowing into each other is great and underlines their live performance perfectly without stealing the show or distract. I’ve seen them now on small and big stages and it’s not natural that a band can make it work on both - but they can and they do. While others when taken “just” three musicians might look a bit lost on a bigger stage, THE FOREIGN RESORT just make sure you to be watching them play their instruments like not many do.
Post Punk is more than alive right now. There seems to be a great choice of talented artists who breathe life into the genre and it’s amazing to hear and see what comes out. Powerful, thoughtfully composed songs, transporting a great variety of emotions that touch deep inside. It’s also rare that (almost?) every song on the setlist stands out by itself. Starting with the gloomy ‘Onto Us’ from ‘The American Dream’ EP or ‘Obsessing’ from the current release ‘Outnumbered’, the forbidden dark and sensual ‘Flushed’, the fragile, longing ‘Skyline/Decay’ or closing with the fun and spreading all the good Punk vibes - ‘Take A Walk’ - the range of emotions and moods that one can go through at a THE FOREIGN RESORT show is huge and intense.
Also it’s fun to experience Mikkel on stage as entertainer. His announcements on stage often conjure a smile into the audience’s faces. Also as mentioned below, the setlist is changed spontaneously according to the band’s and audience’s vibes. I know many bands that not only stick to the setlist but also play the same one throughout many shows which is totally okay, but also makes it stand out when a band has a number of songs in their repertoire to switch and decide spontaneously. And so was the first evening in Oberhausen - fun, refreshing, emotional and real. On to the next two.
Setlist (as previously planned, changes were made during the show)
01. Onto Us
03. Hearts Fade Out
04. Dead End Roads
05. Suburban Depression
06. She Is Lost
07. New Frontiers
11. Torch It
12. Quiet Again
13. Send Your Heart To The Riot
14. Dark White
15. Take A Walk
Total: 9 / 10
Day 2 - Hanover, 29th November 2019
After having spent the night nearby in Gelsenkirchen and spontaneously deciding to attend the global climate strike in Bochum that was a smaller one, but still better than not to go, it was about time to go to Hanover on that surprisingly sunny day in November for another, even more intense show that was packed with surprises.
[DI: UNRU:] is a Dark Sonic Tidal Wave band from Helsinki, Finland. [DI: UNRU:] are Jan Ferres (lead vocals, guitar, synths), Antti Meriläinen (drums, backing vocals) and Vesa-Matti Pekkola (bass, backing vocals). Their current album is called ‘Misophonia’ and was released on 25th November 2019 via Icy Cold Records. https://www.facebook.com/di.unru/
Music & Performance
The venue in Hanover is that kind of venues I really love and hope that they will survive forever - an alternative area with theatre, café, club - a bit hidden from the world outside close to the industrial area though not really far from the city centre of Hanover. Finding the entrance to the actual venue was not that easy, but I was lucky to be able to follow other black-dressed individuals.
Inside a cosy club there was a small stage, a bar, some open rooms with sofas or chairs to sit a bit out of the main room. Dark, but colourful light, Gin Tonics for 5 Euro and their own version of Mexicana shots. That cosy, alternative charm was spreading through the whole location - Café Glocksee, remember that name. [DI: UNRU:] played a cool, Old School Punk & Wave set and spread the right vibes all around for that night. The genre name they give themselves is “Dark Sonic Tidal Gloomy Wave’. It was definitely an energetic, fun performance, the crowd started dancing right away and the band with the Gloomy Wave paired with the catchy vocals played themselves immediately into the hearts of the audience. A cool discovery of the night. They played many songs from the new album ‘Misophonia’ as well as older ones from ‘Di Unru’, released in 2016.
02. Early Graves
06. Nichts als Schall und Rauch
08. Final Stage Of Acceptance
09. Downward Spiral
12. Kick The Habit
Total: 7.8 / 10
The Foreign Resort
Music & Performance
Hanover was indeed a really fun night with the guys of THE FOREIGN RESORT on stage. Since they were not headlining here, their setlist became shorter, but that one was on fire as well. It started with the driving ‘Obsessing’ from the current release ‘Outnumbered’ and went on with the cool ‘Hearts Fade Out’ and probably one of the most epic songs ever ‘Dead End Roads’. Mikkel introduced the band as “directly from Oberhausen” and talked about how pricey the visit at the gas station today has been. Relatable. ‘Dead End Roads’ obviously killed one of the cables which was responsible for a short break. However, though these kind of things are really annoying when playing live, I rarely have seen artists handling that kind of situations as relaxed and humorous as this band does. Chapeau.
‘Suburban Depression’ and the “Kuschelrock” (“soft rock song to cuddle”) song ‘She Is Lost’ followed. The atmosphere was great, relaxed and everyone was dancing, beside of that 1-2 guys who thought they were alone there or the dancefloor would belong just to them. Well, there is always someone. Following ‘Flushed’ and ‘Outnumbered’ - who thinks that Goths are sitting sad and depressed in the basement, has never been to a party or concert like this. ‘Flushed’ was dedicated to Mattias from THEN COMES SILENCE. Mikkel even switched from speaking (perfectly) German to English to announce that song: “I gonna say it in English because the Swedes don’t understand German. This is for you Mattias.” were Mikkel’s words. While I don’t know the reason, Mattias has probably just an excellent taste in music.
While the show itself was great, we were still waiting for the announced surprises. And here we go. Mikkel again switched from German to English to announce the next song. The surprise turned out a cover of a THEN COMES SILENCE song called ‘Mothman’. A cool and an interesting interpretation. One more song and the set was over for the night. But not the surprises as you will see.
02. Hearts Fade Out
03. Dead End Roads
04. Suburban Depression
05. She Is Lost
08. Mothman (THEN COMES SILENCE cover)
09. Dark White
Total: 8.8 / 10
Then Comes Silence
THEN COMES SILENCE from SWEDEN were completing the night in Hanover. The Stockholm based band just announced to release their new album in 2020 via SPV/ Oblivion and Metropolis Records. The first single ‘We Lose The Night’ will be released on 10th January 2020 and the album ‘Machine’ on 13th March 2020. https://www.facebook.com/thencomessilence/
Music & Performance
Tonight’s headliner THEN COMES SILENCE from Sweden rocked the stage, though it felt a bit too small for them. The 18 songs long setlist had a lot of great gems and they conquered my music heart on that night, though the sound could have been slightly better.
But that just meant to listen even more afterwards to get all the details. I knew the band and some of the songs before, but had never seen them live before. The last time I saw that they were playing in Hamburg was around/ during last M’era Luna Festival, so no luck that last time. But now was my chance to change that. Like the other bands on that weekend THEN COMES SILENCE are one of these newer bands (founded in 2012) that breathe life into the Post Punk and Dark Wave genre and make it alive and as exciting as never before. THEN COMES SILENCE started with ‘There Is A Sound’ and went from one strong song to another, spreading energy & darkness and making the crowd dance, for example with songs like ‘Flashing Pangs Of Love’, ‘The Dead Cry For No One’, ‘My Bones’ or ‘Good Friday’ from the album ‘Blood’ released in 2017.
After eight songs we finally reached the point for more surprises. Alex, the singer and frontman of THEN COMES SILENCE invited Mikkel from THE FOREIGN RESORT on stage for the following two songs, the “Danish Elvis Presley” as he called him to what Mikkel replied “Oh, all the pressure”. The vibes on stage were all good and so they started with the THEN COMES SILENCE song ‘She Lies In Wait’ which was just a lot of fun, despite the fact that Mikkel’s microphone could have been a bit louder. The second song was announced as a song from a band that the bands on stage really like, “the Canadians” and that the audience might also know - TRAITRS. According to the audience’s reaction I was for sure not the only one who knew what and who they were talking about. As song to perform was chosen ‘Thin Flesh’ and once again they performed with lots of fun, dedication and professionalism.
During the second part of the set I got some flashbacks, trying to find out what or who the songs reminded me of until I realized that especially ‘Strange Kicks’ created for me the atmosphere that LONDON AFTER MIDNIGHT, one of my all-time-favourites for more than half of my life, also always used to. It’s amazing to finally have found a band that goes in that direction and creates its very own music and songs out of it. THEN COMES SILENCE delivered a very pleasant performance that makes curious for more.
01. There Is A Sound
02. Flashing Pangs Of Love
03. Good Friday
04. The Dead Cry For No One
05. My Bones
06. We Lose The Night
07. The Rest Will Follow
09. She Lies In Wait (feat. Mikkel from THE FOREIGN RESORT)
10. Thin Flesh (TRAITRS cover, feat. Mikkel from THE FOREIGN RESORT)
11. Feed The Beast
13. Warm Like Blood
14. Strange Kicks
15. Spinning Faster
16. Slowly Dragging You Down
17. Falling Into The Void
18. Death Rides
Total: 8.5 / 10
Day 3 - Frankfurt am Main, 30th November 2019
The night in Hanover turned out pretty short as the Kabinet Konträr Party that took place after the concerts turned out great, and so did the Gin Tonics. Absolutely approved. It’s a wonder or probably just the result of being responsible and taking a painkiller before going to bed that the next morning did not turn into another “hangover in Hanover”. The next day, the next train connection waiting - this time to Frankfurt. Just 15 minutes of delay (so like nothing), spent the time until the concert by having dinner with a friend and here we go for the last show of that mini tour.
SILENT RUNNERS from the Netherlands were the chosen ones to open the evening in Frankfurt at Nachtleben. A quite cosy and alternative location as well, about two stations away from the central station and in a very vibrant area on the Saturday night. The band released their first self-titled EP ‘Silent Runners’ in 2015, followed by the debut album ‘The Directory’ in 2017. Currently SILENT RUNNERS are back in the studio working on new music. https://www.facebook.com/silentrunners
Music & Performance
I didn’t have a listen before and just let the music surprise and lead me. The outfits and glasses of the singer Dolf reminded of the early 80ies, on stage five people equipped with instruments. After the first 1-2 songs it was totally clear - what I got to see and listen to here was quite impressive. The songs themselves, the arrangements, the tunes that came out of the instruments and holy - what a voice and variety in it! Dolf was telling about the gig last night in Leipzig at the Grey Days Festival that was obviously great and stated “today will be even greater! Even the drummer is smiling and saying yes. Then it probably will be.” The audience was actively spoken to between the songs and asked to show the best dance moves they have.
The last song, ‘Through The Night’, was announced as the last song with the drummer who was currently on stage, Tim, as he stepped in for the actual drummer Frank who just became dad and so stayed at home with his new-born. Ten Synth & Post Punk songs, with lots of experimental energy and surprising vibes and turnovers, at least for me, I am very curious for the new material to come.
01. The Directory
05. Nobody Here
06. The Knife
07. Dark Mountain
10. Through The Night
Total: 8.3 / 10
The Foreign Resort
Here we go again. Last evening for me but not the last one for the band as they had one more performance this year the next day in Rotterdam. THE FOREIGN RESORT started the set tonight with ‘Orange Glow’. After that song Mikkel introduced the band (in German) with “Thank you. We are THE FOREIGN RESORT almost directly from Copenhagen. Well, actually from Hanover right now”. Some laughter in the crowd. After ‘Landslide’ that regularly is responsible for shivers on my skin - Mikkel also mentioned the support band of the evening with some great words - “We are for the first time in Frankfurt. But it was also the first time that we saw SILENT RUNNERS live. (Towards the band) I almost cried, motherfuckers!”
I cannot tell you how much I appreciate that extremely loving, sometimes a bit tough presented, honest atmosphere between the bands. Haven’t seen it that often in all the years and am just grateful to see that there are bands out there supporting each other so lovingly. ‘Dark White’ was supposed to be the last song of the night and actually THE FOREIGN RESORT were a bit late, so the Dead Kennys Party should have already started, but the guys were allowed to play two more songs. I really dig the audience that instead of shouting any variation of “More”, “Zugabe” or similar, just started singing “Einer geht noch, einer geht noch rein…” (“One more is still possible, one more can be done”) which is usually used in German in connection with one more glass of alcohol.
Well the alcohol came later, but we got to hear ‘Onto Us’ and ‘New Frontiers’ before the party really started. A great weekend with friends and music came to an end creating new memories and a special thank you here to the bands, but also the venues and organizers who made it all happen!
01. Orange Glow
02. Hearts Fade Out
03. Suburban Depression
04. She Is Lost
09. Dead End Roads
10. Dark White
11. Onto Us
Total: 8.8 / 10
Pictures from Oberhausen by Daniela Vorndran (http://www.vorndranphotography.com / http://www.facebook.com/blackcatnet) and from Hanover & Frankfurt am Main by Nastja Iz