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Palladium, Cologne, Germany
19th December 2009
New Model Army, Laibach, Juno Reactor

Perfectly punctual at 6 PM, I was standing in front of the Palladium concert hall in Cologne. But sadly for all the photographers and writers the guest list was missing, so we had to stand and wait some time until the admission procedure started and we could finally get into the warmth of the venue, get the equipment ready and take our positions.


Juno Reactor

Originally, JUNO REACTOR was formed as an art project in 1990. Its mastermind Ben Watkins has a lot of experience with all kinds of musicians from across the world. A lot of musical soundtracks contain his music like e.g. ‘The Matrix Reloaded’, or ‘Once Upon A Time in Mexico / Lost in Space’. From 1993 to 2008 the project produced 8 albums and several singles. http://www.myspace.com/juno_reactor



Music & Performance
At 7 PM, JUNO REACTOR entered the stage. They are a music and performance act, known for the cinematic fusion of electronics with orchestral and world music influences. Actually, their music could be described better with “Ethno Goa”. JUNO REACTOR is a fantastic band if you like this style of music, but it met with only moderate appreciation from the audience. Watching the band members acting on stage felt like taking part in a voodoo ritual. Very interesting but it also takes getting used to, because one song frequently played 10 minutes which, on the other hand, seemed quite normal for that kind of experimental music. The performance ended after 40 minutes.

Rating
Music: 9
Performance: 9
Sound: 9
Light: 8
Total: 8.9 / 10




Laibach

From the very beginning of the Slovenian collective LAIBACH in June 1980, there was controversy; controversy revolving around their use of uniforms and totalitarian-style aesthetics and they were also accused of being members of the neo-nationalism movement. Confronted with those they just said "We are fascists as much as Hitler was a painter". The first album release was named ‘ŠKUC Ropot’ came out in April 1985 on a native label in Ljubljana followed by ‘Rekapitulacija 1980-1984’ on a Hamburg-based label.



LAIBACH’s musical work, however, isn’t exclusively limited to writing and producing normal. For instance in 1987, they’ve been invited by Deutsches Schauspielhaus in Hamburg to contribute the score to Shakespeare’s ‘Macbeth’, released on CD in 1990 or a re-interpretations of Bach’s ‘Kunst der Fuge’ many years later in 2006, which was also the year of ‘Volk’, an album seeing LAIBACH interpreting various national anthems. For the album, the band collaborates with SILENCE from Ljubljana. Their latest release came out with ‘Laibachkunstderfuge’ in 2008. http://www.laibach.nsk.si/ / http://www.myspace.com/laibach



Music & Performance
This performance turned out being very obscure. On two large screens, some old war movies were shown. A lot of fans of the art collective were in attendance, perfectly standing out of the rest of the audience because of their military outfits. The performance started very calm but continuously increased towards the end. With ‘Alle Gegen Alle’ sounding from the stage, there was finally something going on in the crowd. All in all, LAIBACH seemed to be a bit too tough to digest for most of the NEW MODEL ARMY fans, because like JUNO REACTOR they’re really a class of their own. I was very impressed and would absolutely love to see another show of this formation!

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




New Model Army

The English rock band NEW MODEL ARNY, established in 1980 named itself after the English revolutionary army of Oliver Cromwell. On their first album ‘Vengeance - The Independent Story’ (1984) the material could more or less be defined as modern Punk rock with a healthy dose of melody and a great emphasis on the rhythmic section what makes them stand out of the crowd of other genre bands. However, in the course of their meanwhile over 25 years spanning career, they’ve experimented with various styles and drawn their inspiration from many different sources, but the core virtues of their sound, being intense, angry, and powerful remained intact, albeit their repertoire includes quieter, more emotive and softer material as well. In 2009, they released their eleventh studio album ‘Today Is A Good Day’. The current line-up is as follows: Justin Sullivan (vocals, guitar), Marshall Gill (guitar), Peter Nice (bass), Dean White (keys) and Michael Dean (drums). http://www.newmodelarmy.org/ / http://www.myspace.com/newmodelarmymyspace



Music & Performance
At 9:50 PM, the heroes of my youth, NEW MODEL ARMY, finally appeared. They started with something off their new long player ‘Today is a good Day’ – and it‘s been one indeed! Justin Sullivan rocked the house even better than he did last year. In the further course of the set, they played a great mixture out of their large repertoire with hits such as ‘Get me out’, ‘White Coats’, ‘High’, or ‘Vagabonds’, coming up with a great guitar solo of Marshall Gill. Also ‘War’, ‘Wired’ and ‘Today is a Good Day’ really carried us away. Right in the middle of the crowd, some fans were sitting on the backs of others, swinging their arms to the songs. It was an incredible atmosphere and also the band was in a really good mood and visibly enjoyed the evening! The first encore was ‘No Rest and Space’, topped by the second with the songs ‘51st State’, ‘Green and Grey’ and last but not least ‘I love the World, which was the perfect ending of a fantastic evening!

Rating
Music: 10
Performance: 10
Sound: 10
Light: 8
Total: 9.7 / 10





All pictures by Marcus Nathofer
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