17th June 2022
She Past Away & Deathsomnia
At this beautiful and sunny summer evening, the Astra Kulturhaus was three quarters full. Although I had expected that SHE PAST AWAY, who have become one of the most important band projects in the Dark Wave and Post Punk subculture, would attract mainly members of said subculture, I was wrong. At least at the Astra, the audience consisted of members of the Gothic and Wave community, dressed in black, as well as of people wearing bright colours and even Hip-Hop fashion. Many were talking in English, some of them also in Turkish. Most of the audience was waiting visibly excited for SHE PAST AWAY, enjoying drinks and each other’s company outside the concert hall at the beer garden of the Astra.
This band project is, as they themselves declare on their homepage (https://deathsomnia.bandcamp.com/), based in UK and Estonia, and they describe their music style as “dystopian industrial punk“. As far as I know, they have published one album, which was released in 2021. In Berlin, there were two members on the stage.
Music & Performance
The singer has a beautiful voice and manages to put a lot of melancholy into her singing, and the performance with her fair hair swaying in the blue stage light did create a certain enchanted atmosphere. But for my taste, the songs were too similar to each other and the band did not interact enough with the public. I must say that I missed the first song, so maybe they did greet the audience before starting the concert, but still, the band did not catch the public‘s attention sufficiently and nearly half of the public was waiting outside the hall for the main act. DEATHSOMNIA have potential for sure, but they could improve their stage presence and should bring a little more variety into their music.
Total: 6.8 / 10
She Past Away
SHE PAST AWAY were founded in 2006 by Volkan Caner and İdris Akbulut in Bursa (Turkey). Akbulut left the band after some years and was replaced by the keyboarder Doruk Öztürkcan. Their debut album was ‘Belirdi Gece’, and their latest one is ‘X’. Their music is clearly influenced by Post Punk and Dark Wave and their musical signature is Caner‘s low-pitched voice, the Turkish lyrics and their melancholic melodies. Their hits like ‘Kasvetli Kutlama’ or ‘Ritüel’ made them famous in the dark music scene, and they are now highly acclaimed guests at dark music festivals all over the world - people have compared them already to BAUHAUS.
Music & Performance
When they started to play at 9.14 p.m., people rushed inside and began to dance. SHE PAST AWAY entered the stage with spots illuminating it and with a big ovation, performing ‘Durdu Dünya’ from their 2019 album ‘Disko Anksiyete’. The lights changed a lot during the concert, turning from red to pink to blue and green and again changing to white and red, which created beautiful effects. The screen on the background showed the band’s logotype first and later also some other motives like dark clouds.
Caner‘s voice was as outstanding as ever, he is one of these artists where you barely notice a difference between the recorded and the live singing, and he and Öztürkcan are a perfect team. Both spoke alternately to the public, and they did so several times, even speaking some words in German, which was rewarded with cheering. At the sixth song, the famous ‘Ritüel’, Caner not only took part of his clothes off, but also the public’s enthusiasm was fully awakened and people were dancing all over the hall. The atmosphere reached its peak with the tenth song, the all-time favourite ‘Kasvetli Kutlama’.
After the eleventh song, the official set was finished, but SHE PAST AWAY reappeared soon and played their first set of encore, beginning with ‘Bozbulanık’ from their first album. The crowd started to cheer and applaud rhythmically. Also the other two encores were encountered with thunderous applause. The lights were switched on after three songs and everyone started to left the hall. The photographer and I had already fetched our bags at the cloak room, when the lights went off again and SHE PAST AWAY reappeared for the third time, playing an spontaneous encore set which nobody had expected. Thanks to an incredibly friendly crew member, I could even get the whole setlist including the two “surprise” encore songs.
The only drop of bitterness of this enchanting concert was the one I always feel when listening to SHE PAST AWAY. I really appreciate that they always remained true to themselves and sing their songs in Turkish, but I wish I spoke that language to understand their lyrics without having to search for translations! Do not miss them if you have the opportunity to attend one of their concerts - e.g. they play at the Amphi in Cologne this summer.
01. Durdu Dünya
03. Disko Anksiyete
09. Kemir Beni
10. Kasvetli Kutlama
Total: 9.5 / 10
All Pictures by Daniel Moull