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Zeche Carl, Essen, Germany
3rd April 2010
In Strict Confidence & Diorama

The end of the fabulous D-Day IV in Reutlingen marked by some rare acoustic encores on piano meant a starving time for two weeks until the next event with IN STRICT CONFIDENCE & DIORAMA was going to happen at Zeche Carl, and of course we were there.


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. Sometime 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. In 2007, the band released their fifth and newest album ‘A Different Life’, preceded by the single ‘Synthesize me’. The band played some extremely energetic and compelling festival shows to present the album and kept playing various shows in the following time. Eventually in February 2010 the silence was broken with the release of the new single 'Child of Entertainment', being the offspring of the long-awaited album 'Cubed', released in March. DIORAMA is: Torben Wendt (words and music, vocals, keys, percussion), Felix Marc (co-production, keys, vocals), Sash Fiddler (guitars) and Marquess (drums). /

Music & Performance
This time our guys made the start and took the stage 15 minutes later than planned but with the right song to get the crowd screaming already at the beginning: 'Child of Entertainment'! The lines were flooding the room and as soon as the beats kicked in the action started rolling on and off stage. The first rows danced and sang a lot, while the farther you'd go back the lesser it got, at least for the time being. But the events on stage soon took my full attention again with Torben doing expressive movements and mimics, and sometimes when you looked him in the eyes, if possible, you could see how far away he was at times.

'Record Deal', the song for Oslo, and 'Erase Me' continued. The former swept the crowd away and its powerful live delivery made it even more of a favourite of mine, while the latter always was and had Sash doing some head banging.Then after the electronically-tinged 'Exit The Grey' and the immensely electrifying 'Refugee' got the crowd heating up more, also the other rows, there came my surprise of the last concert again. 'Said But True' which, also in its updated live version, lost nothing of its affecting beauty and penetrated the soul right away. Afterwards 'Ignite' from the new album and 'The Girls' (Las Chicas) kicked some ass and it seemed as if the band had just started gearing up for the show.

Agile as ever the two centres of the show Sash and Torben roamed around, hyped up the audience and impressed with the dynamic live performance. On 'Advance', the lyrics slipped Torben's mind for a while, and at some point he simply started doing nonsense lyrics like "I'm just singing something here." Things like that happen in the heat of the battle and if they do, they always raise some laughs like here. The band took it with humour and moved on. 'Synthesize Me' was meant to be the ending. But as you can imagine we wouldn't let them off the hook just now and our persistence bestowed us 'Stereotype' which is getting better and better live and had that swaying dance performance by Torben and Sash again, and the "Stadion anthem" 'Why' with proper company by the crowd. A wicked performance but I guess nothing can top the Reutlingen show for me.

01. Child of Entertainment
02. Record Deal
03. Erase Me
04. Exit The Grey
05. Refugee
06. Said But True
07. Ignite
08. The Girls
09. Acid Trip
10. Advance
11. Synthesize Me
12. Stereotype
13. Why

Music: 9
Performance: 9
Sound: 9
Light: 7
Total: 8.7 / 10

In Strict Confidence

IN STRICT CONFIDENCE is surely not a new name in the Electro/Industrial scene. Mastermind Dennis Ostermann creates his own vision of dark electronic music since the early 1990s and with various collaborators he produced massive genre hits such as ‘Zauberschloss’, ‘Kiss Your Shadow’ or ‘Englesstaub’. IN STRICT CONFIDENCE turn out to be more of a live band than one might expect from their Electro-dominated studio material. With a fully-fledged acoustic drum kit and a guitarist they sound much more organic than many of their colleagues who rely too much on pre-recorded music data. The latest release ‘Exile Paradise’ dated back to 2007.The EP 'My Despair' brought the final end of a long hibernation period, followed up by the release of the new album 'La Parade Monstrueuse' in February 2010 ISC is Dennis Ostermann (songwriting, lyrics), Jörg Schelte (songwriting, programming, keys), Steve Vesper (rhythms, programming, drums), Antje Schulz (vocals, lyrics) and Haydee Sparks (bass). /

Music & Performance
Now it was all about passing the time until the rebuilding was completed. With some chats however time flew and sooner than we knew the lights dimmed and the introduction to the new album 'La Parade Monstrueuse' announced the coming of tonight's main act IN STRICT CONFIDENCE. Everyone took their place and 'My Despair' would open the set, seeing Dennis appearing with an odd costume and rocking the stage vividly.

For the second song 'Promised Land', the band welcomed Nina di Lianin on stage, dressed in a tight red dress she was surely the second eye catcher for the guys beside guitarist Haydee Sparks. Unfortunately, her voice was subject to technical difficulties with the microphone I guess, as you could hardly hear her for large parts of the show while other times it was fine. With 'Seven Lives', one of my favourites from the 'Holy' album arose and happy as hell I started singing and moving along a little. 'This Is All' followed and unfolded its raw charm with the treated guitars, melting into synthetic choirs in the end. Through I heard the guitar sounds it looked like Haydee was hardly touching the strings.

If that's her technique it's excellent. 'Forbidden Fruit' kicked the show onwards and then it was time for 'Set Me Free' and here the technical problems with Nina's microphone became more obvious than ever. Especially with this song it would've been crucial to work flawlessly. Bu the constant swings marred the experience. One of the next songs 'Kiss Your Shadow', and a classic at that, made it up again by completing the electronic base with extremely impressing live drum fundaments, having a boosting effect on the crowd as well. Main set's closer 'Herzattacke' got the adrenaline flowing in torrents once more before the band wandered off the stage, waiting for the call to return.

Though people demanded for another song, 'Heal Me' was the one they had to go with first. I welcomed the cool down and the torch performance of Haydee created an immensely moody environment. 'Zauberschloss' then let all hesitations fall in the audience and an animation wasn't necessary anymore. 'Engelsstaub', the second and last encore, brought the show to a stirring close and even loud shouting wouldn't bring anyone except stage hands back The performance suffered from some technical difficulties but all in all was still much fun.

01. My Despair
02. Promised Land
03. Seven Lives
04. This Is All
05. Forbidden Fruit
06. Set Me Free
07. Surrender
08. Kiss Your Shadow
09. Silver Bullets
10. Closing Eyes
11. Herzattacke
12. Heal Me
13. Zauberschloss
14. Engelsstaub

Music: 9
Performance: 8
Sound: 8
Light: 7
Total: 8.3 / 10

All pictures by Silke Jochum (

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