20th November 2008
The Subways, Blackmarket, Trip Fontaine
Very happy-go-lucky, THE SUBWAYS present garage rock in its best. After the album ‘Young for Eternity’, the band lately released a second album ‘All or Nothing’. After I had seen the band at Area4 festival in summer and was totally impressed by the power three people brought to the big stage, one thing was sure: I would see them again in the clubs. On 20th November it was my time, when THE SUBWAYS played in my town, supported by BLACKMARKET and TRIP FONTAINE.
This five-piece consisting of Alex, Basti, Flo, Klaus and Timo comes from south Germany and as they describe themselves, they are “Trip Fontaine are Dudenhofen’s most respected and influential acoustic punk quintet” and “an iconic, five man strike force on twenty-first century apathy, undoubtedly”. Mainly inspired by dance music in the beginning, they released a first demo in 2002. The band name was taken from a character in Jeffrey Eugenide’s novel ‚ The Virgin Suicides’. Since March 2005, the band consists of the above mentioned freaks. After three demos, the first studio album ‘Lilith’ was released in 2005. The second, and recent, real album ‘Dinosaurs in Rocketships’ was released in March 2008. TRIP FONTAINE are Timo Dries (guitar), Alexander Wilz (drums, vocals, guitar), Klaus Herrmann (guitar, vocals), Florian Petzinger (bass, vocals, lyrics) and Sebastian Wirth (synthesizer, drums, guitar). http://www.tripfontaine.de/ / http://www.myspace.com/triptripfontaine
Music & Performance
When those five guys entered the smoky stage tinted in blue lights at about 20 past eight, I was very curious what shall come up now; so far this band was dark horse for me. One thing became clear very fast: this band was something special. I was impressed by the musical abilities of all five guys. They all did not only handle one instrument… both drummers constantly changed. Besides drumming they handled guitar or synth as well and also took over some vocals... while vocals duties for that matter were taken over by all five guys - with smaller or bigger shares. The music itself was calmer and at times very experimental with a lot more and longer instrumental parts than vocal ones and creating very strange sounds with their guitars. The music consists of elements out off Indie-, Math- and Punk rock combined with a synthesizer and several percussion instruments. Hard riffs alternate with melodic Indie rock parts. Contrary to the music, the band acted occasionally very wild, jumping across the stage or hitting with one of the drum set’s high hats on the floor. The sound was pretty good from the very beginning. It was just a little sad that the whole light design only knew red and blue and was pretty dark as well so you at times could not see the action on stage. In other moments the “mystic” mood worked pretty well anyway.
Total: 7.4 / 10
This young band from Lake Havasu City, Arizona, United States was coming up next. Their biography is not very different of many other bands: Four guys forming a band to make music for themselves and anyone else who wanna hear it. Their first self-titled EP was released in June 2008. Afterwards, the band performed at Japan’s Fuji Rock Festival. The first full-time album ‘The Elephant in the Room’ followed in November 2008 as well as the recent tour with THE SUBWAYS. BLACKMARKET usually consists of Daryl Lamont (vocals, guitar), Jason Brindis (guitar, keyboards), Mikey Emerson (bass) and Langdon Chieffo (drums). During the show in Münster, Jason was missing. http://www.myspace.com/blackmarketaz
Music & Performance
In very bright light, three youngsters entered the stage… presenting music with guitar, bass and drums just like THE SUBWAYS would do later. I just wondered what happened with band member number four. Anyway, also three men can make up for a very energetic performance. And that’s what we got. Full power on stage combined with catchy guitar sounds, empathic lyrics and memorable melodies. All songs are very unique, some raw and stripped down, some with sleazy blues riffs or dominant guitars and bass, always with a clear drum line too. In best mood the trio integrated the audience into the performance as well, animating them to clap along; to cheer for THE SUBWAYS as well as for themselves and soon, people were infected and celebrated along with the band.
Loud cheers out off the audience demanded some beer. In a funny way this was answered by Mikey who spread the content of his bottle into the audience. When the same guy later demanded “Give me your water!” Mikey just answered “Do people around you want water too?” and then rain came over the crowd. All in all I really liked the show of those Americans and I will follow their career for sure.
Total: 8.1 / 10
All the band members grew up together and already started playing at an early age. Before they changed the name to THE SUBWAYS, they had names such as MUSTARDSEES and PLATPYRUS. One day the band sent off a CD to promoter Michael Eavis, who ran an unsigned band competition; and what they didn’t expect happened they won and played a gig in Glastonbury. From there on it only got better. The band signed to City Pavement & Infectious Records in late 2004 and released their first album ‘Young for Eternity’ in July 2005. The debut single reached number 25 in the UK music chart. They songs meanwhile have appeared in TV series and movies and they not only toured in Europe but also through North America. The sophomore album ‘All or Nothing’ was released in June 2008 and presents a much heavier sound than their debut. Now the band is on the road again to bring its fresh music onto the club stages of the world. THE SUBWAYS are Billy Lunn (guitar, vocals), Charlotte Cooper (bass, vocals) and Josh Morgan (drums). http://www.thesubways.net/ / http://www.myspace.com/thesubways
Music & Performance
If BLACKMARKET brought power and energy on stage, then it became total madness when the British threesome entered a brightly illuminated stage with constantly flickering lights, as fast, as the movements on stage were. Perfect match! All three lads freaked out from the very beginning. Already for the first song ‘Kalifornia’ the audience went mad as well. People were jumping and screaming loudly, singing along, clapping or just reaching out the hands towards the stage. And THE SUBWAYS really blew your brains clear leaving your body flopping around. You could not stand still for a second. You just had to move along songs out off both albums, like ‘Oh Yeah’, ‘Shake, Shake’ or at the very end to the biggest hit of the band ‘Rock & Roll Queen’.
Already in summer on the big Area4 stage, the performance was very impressive, but now in a club where you could sense the tension, on a smaller stage and a great light show and, most important, with much closer contact to the fans, it was simply amazing. Breathtaking! I was once more specially impressed by Charlotte who was bathed in sweat very soon. No wonder was she constantly jumping across the stage just to hold on a little time for some vocal parts and then starting anew while shaking her blonde hair. Billy for that matter was not much less vivid, coming close to the audience as well, or just jumping from the bass drum. Strange enough t hat drummer Josh seemed to be the least vivid person on stage. Great show and a very welcome stress reliever after a hard day at the office!
02. Young for Infinity
03. Oh yeah
04. All or Nothing
07. Always Tomorrow
08. Shake Shake
09. I won’t let you down
10. I want to hear what you have got to say
12. With you
13. This is the Club
14. Strawberry Blonde
15. Girls & Boys
16. Rock & Roll Queen
Total: 8.7 / 10
All pictures by Daniela Vorndran (http://www.vorndranphotography.com/ / http://www.black-cat-net.de/ / www.myspace.com/vorndranphotography)