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white liesDie Kantine, Cologne, Germany
22nd February 2019
White Lies & Boniface

An almost still warm evening and we are initially in line with 20 other people in front of the Kantine in Cologne. Gradually, the place fills, there is a short message from the security in which queue you have to stand with which ticket and we are in. With kind of disappointment we realize that they rearranged the setting of the club a little. Seating opportunities at the sides were removed… probably they expected a packed venue at the end. And indeed the club fills up very quickly. At an unusually early time for us the opening act begins and we have forgotten that there were usually places to sit down.


Just let me quote the official biography: “Micah Visser named his band BONIFACE after the Winnipeg neighbourhood where he grew up, where he spent his childhood learning violin and saxophone, guitar, piano, computer programming, until he could no longer remember when he stopped playing other people’s songs and began writing his own. It was here too, writing alone in his bedroom, that Visser, forged a sound that would take an indie sensibility and make it glisten, that found its way to a new kind of 21st century pop. His stunning debut single, ‘I Will Not Return As A Tourist’, sets out his stall: a song that presses quiet lyrical introspection against a furious pop swell, that is at moments frayed and wild and at others immense and gleaming. New pop stars are spawned every day; focus-grouped and conveyor-belted into being; dreamed up by music industry Svengalis and unleashed on the charts. BONIFACE offer something different, something rare and bright and fine: a new pop talent that has found its way alone, undiluted, electrifying, boundless in its ambition.” /

boniface D3S1815 klein

Music & Performance
It is just 19:15 when the guys of BONIFACE enter the stage. Pretty early, but the venue is already well filled. BONIFACE make a great start of the evening. Those energetic guys know their performance and enjoy the music. Micah Visser looks cool, charming and a bit shy which makes him all the more sympathetic. Their choral singing in which the voice of the frontman does not sink, but fits perfectly, sounds very skilful. Even though the gentlemen still look very young on stage their music is mature and can certainly fill their own concert halls. They got me excited, the audience danced and the band fulfilled their task as an opener very well.

Music: 8
Performance: 8
Sound: 7
Light: 7
Total: 7.5 / 10

boniface D4S8463 klein

White Lies

For a good ten years, WHITE LIES have been playing their New Wave influenced Post-Punk. No, actually longer, because singer and guitarist Harry McVeigh - whose voice was not quite wrong compared to JOY DIVISION’s Ian Curtis - bassist Charles Cave and drummer and keyboardist Jack Lawrence-Brown know each other from school and played under the name FEAR OF FLYING. But a new musical direction called for a renaming, under the new name WHITE LIES they released their style debut album ‘To Lose My Life...’ in 2009 and reached directly the top position in the British charts. The elegiac breadth of their songs, the melancholy in Harry McVeigh’s vocals, warm melodies and icy sound become the trademarks. Three more records followed, the conceptual ‘Ritual’, the iconic ‘BigTV’ and most recently in 2016 ‘Friends’.

whitelies D4S8495 klein

This year, the trio takes the first step on its new journey to its fifth album. As always, WHITE LIES have expanded their sound space, leaving plenty of room for new addition to the proven wide-walled guitar and synth sounds. The harmony between keyboard-heavy sounds, grumpy riffs as well as strong melodies and harmonies is driven here to new, unheard-of heights. Of course, this also brings great things for the upcoming tour of the British. WHITE LIES have always been known for their intense and sprawling shows. Or as the Swiss online magazine wrote about the previous tour: “The concert of the London band WHITE LIES was deafeningly beautiful. Harry McVeigh delighted the masses with his dark-clear vocal organ beyond measure. Joy and grief, love and hate are neurologically closely entwined - the music of the WHITE LIES moves on the borders of these opposites and balances them out.” Now in February and March, WHITE LIES are presenting their new and old songs live on stage. /

whitelies D4S8520 klein

Music & Performance
The area in front of the stage is filling up fast and it soon gets very crowded. Already at 20:15, WHITE LIES start their show. The powerful voice of Harry McVeighs fills the room with ‘Time to Give’ and rises with well-known hit #Farewell to the Fairground’ and the following ‘Believe It’. The songs quickly flow past us, although we are deeply sunk into the music. WHITE LIES work very well from the first song and so from the beginning there is a great atmosphere in the audience. ‘Hold Back Your Love’ and ‘Swing’ bring me back to the scene and I can enjoy the light show on ‘Unfinished Business’ a lot. In the background are built around the 20 round LED lights that conjure up a great light show with changing colours and twists. The now sweaty crowd dances tirelessly to songs like ‘Tokyo’ and ‘To lose my life’ before the band leaves the stage for the first time. Both musically and the show-wise the evening is very successful, but the band looks a bit unsure on stage, especially just after the younger BONIFACE who have shone so much confidence on stage.

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After their return to stage, WHITE LIES play ‘Change’ as first encore which is very well chosen and hits the audience. After ‘Fire and Wings’ comes finally ‘Bigger than us’ which brings the band back to the floor and says thank you to the audience. All in all, WHITE LIES present a huge and detailed sound-like garment with booming bass, gripping guitars and electronic sounds. Everything is underpinned by the excellent clear voice. Many different elements alternate, complement each other and no part of music gets in the way of another, it just is the perfect symbiosis. Synthetic tunes simply stay in the ear and make their way into the memory. Loadbearing and dense layers give one the feeling of being in good hands and one begins to understand the message behind the superficial texts better. 80s nostalgia and newer elements are cleverly interwoven and all pushed in a more poppy direction.

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The present audience is able to enjoy the concert right down to the last row and that does not happen every day. As a spectator you are picked up, taken away and finally dropped gently again. Very nice and I look forward to the next WHITE LIES concert.

01. Time to Give
02. Farewell to the Fairground
03. Believe It
04. There Goes Our Love Again
05. Is My Love Enough
06. Hold Back Your Love
07. Unfinished Business
08. Jo?
09. Don’t Want to Feel It All
10. Take It Out on Me
11. Swing
12. Big TV
13. Never Alone
14. Kick Me
15. Death
16. Tokyo
17. To Lose My Life
18. Change
19. Fire and Wings
20. Bigger Than Us

Music: 8
Performance: 7
Sound: 8
Light: 7
Total: 7.5 / 10

whitelies D4S8551 klein

All pictures by Daniela Vorndran ( /

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