14th September 2017
She Past Away, Holygram
Last time I saw SHE PAST AWAY live, and actually my first time, was at the M’era Luna festival in Hildesheim, Germany, in front of a huge audience. Maybe 1,500 to 2,000 people, perhaps even more. Just a few weeks later SHE PAST AWAY made a stop on their ongoing European tour in my home town Münster and played the Gleis 22, a critically acclaimed live venue which is basically down the street for me. Nice!
Support acts are a great way to learn about new bands, so I’ll never understand why certain people deliberately come late to a gig as they "aren’t interested in the support anyway". However, everyone who came too late for this one will regret it as HOLYGRAM was just awesome! The young band from Cologne combines the drive of Post-Punk with the hypnotic melancholy of early 1990s Shoegaze bands such as RIDE or MY BLOODY VALENTINE with a hint of Krautrock and a nod to Gothic Rock godfathers such as THE CURE. Granted, they are not the only up and coming band who plays such a kind of music but HOLYGRAM have a catchy and driving sound which lets them stand out.
What sounds good on record (or their YouTube channel, just check it out) becomes truly compelling live! HOLYGRAM delivered 40 intense minutes of brooding, sometimes dreamy and sometimes energetic music with enough variety and great hooks to keep your attention high. Pretty talented young band! No surprise that the CD, vinyl and cassette (yep, the cassette is coming back!) were quickly sold out after the show. http://holygram.band / http://www.facebook.com/holygram.official
Total: 8 / 10
She Past Away
A Goth Rock band from Turkey is pretty unusual, one which is even singing in Turkish language even more so. It’s probably safe to say that SHE PAST AWAY are the one of a kind but it is certainly not just their status of an exotic oddity which explains their big underground success. There haven’t been too many bands who fully embrace Goth Rock with all its gloom and doom and who at the same time don’t forget about an, I daresay, Pop appeal. An odd and off-key one, of course, but SHE PAST AWAY’s songs are always rather melodic and backed up with electronic, danceable beats. You will have to go back to the forefathers of the genre, such as early SISTERS OF MERCY of JOY DIVISION, when you look for such a combination and SHE PAST AWAY manage to create their very own profile. They are surely not mere copycats of old heroes, like so many other bands in this genre. http://www.facebook.com/shepastaway
Music & Performance
Flying in directly from Istanbul, the Turkish duo started their autumn tour at the Gleis 22 in Münster and which will continue until late November. The Gleis 22, a rather small club with a very small and low stage, was pleasantly crowded with mostly thirty- and forty-somethings wearing all black. Smaller people probably had a hard time to spot the band at all unless they made their way to the front. SHE PAST AWAY started their performance with ‘Belirdi Gece’ and the popular club track ‘Sanrı’, with singer and guitarist Volkan Caner as usual on the left hand and producer Doruk Öztürkcan on the right hand behind his rack of synths and computers. It was quite a different experience to see them in such a small club compared to the massive crowd at the M’era Luna festival in August, and while you might expect bands to prefer the bigger audiences, Doruk Öztürkcan mentioned between two songs that they actually prefer it here, at the small club. The Münster crowd was indeed quite welcoming and appreciative but there was hardly wild dancing and loud cheering - you just don’t do that when you engulfed in monotonous, grey and morbid music like this, I guess. SHE PAST AWAY exude that weary, but still politely determined to rock, kind of vibe and made their way through their set, with their arguably most popular song ‘Ritüel’ coming relatively early.
Speaking of being monotonous, SHE PAST AWAY does have a certain monotony in their music which can be pretty hypnotic in small doses but over the time of a full-length show you start to wish for some variety sooner or later. Their songs are great, no doubt about that, but they are all pretty much in the same, grey-ish and introverted mood. One of the few exceptions is ‘Bozbulanık’, a relatively upbeat song driven by synth rhythms. More of this please! All in all SHE PAST AWAY delivered a set which is worth seeing but the true winner, for me at least, was HOLYGRAM this night.
01. Belirdi Gece
09. Kasvetli Kutlama
13. Kemir Beni
Total: 8 / 10
All pictures by Daniela Vorndran (http://www.vorndranphotography.com / http://www.facebook.com/blackcatnet)