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Palladium, Cologne, Germany
12th October 2007
Wir sind Helden, One-Two

Since their song ‘Denkmal’ has been released, WIR SIND HELDEN are known all over Germany and other parts of mid-Europe. Then, they started playing big shows all over the country, and now, they are back with their new tour. Judith’s vocals you notice out of a couple of hundred and so, every concert of the so-called “Helden” will be an experience on its own. Also the show in the sold-out Palladium in Cologne on 12th October was. The evening was opened by ONE TWO.


ONE-TWO, that’s Paris base musicians Frédéric Beucher and Séverin Tézemas de Montcel, completed on stage by Mathias, Sebastien and one more musician. So far, the EP ‘Oh Yeah, Alright’ followed recently by the album ‘Love again’ released on the Fine Music label. /

But what does ONE-TWO present musically? Their website says "Powerpop up to the top". I would not only categorize it as Pop but also as some kind of Indie Rock. In fact, the songs reminded me a lot of THE BRAVERY from USA who opened for DEPECHE MODE during their last tour. Having just released one album so far, the band of course presented several songs out off it containing i.e. the bleepy 60s pop song ‘Oh Yeah, Alright’ among several others. The songs are marked by bass drum beats and analogue Synth sounds mixed up with guitars.

It was quite obvious that both musicians like 60s pop music like THE BEATLE or THE BEACH BOYS but also modern electro-rock a la LCD SOUNDSYSTEM or SOULWAX. Also characteristic for most of the songs is the chant presented by two voices, namely the ones of Frédéric and Séverin. Definitely, the music is of high recall value due to the musical references of the past and present. The electronically based sound is quite catchy and full of energy. For me, it was surely quite a nice start into the evening.

The instruments for that five-piece were built up more to the front of the stage. And so, the band was occupying the space there. Frédéric and Séverin shared the vocal duty and also the guitar parts while one of them also was playing some keys additionally to one of the live musicians. Already for the support act, the lights were quite well adjusted and put anyone on stage into the right light. Even though there was not the big “Rock-Pop-Show” on stage, the performance was really pleasing and so thought also big parts of the crowd who welcomed the band with more than honest applause and some dancing too.

Music: 8
Performance: 6
Sound: 8
Light: 7
Total: 7.3

Wir sind Helden

German band WIR SIND HELDEN, founded in 2001, (German for “We are heroes”) is difficult to categorise; the group's style has often been considered similar to that of the Neue Deutsche Welle or Rio Reiser and the music of the “Hamburger Schule”. Songs such as 'Denkmal' bear resemblance to NIRVANA, whilst others such as 'Nur ein Wort' evoke NEW ORDER. Also, the band is famous for its videos; so i.e. the video for 'Nur ein Wort' was an imitation of BOB DYLAN's famous 60s 'Subterranean Homesick Blues' "video". The sense of humour evident in many WIR SIND HELDEN lyrics and videos sets them apart from the more earnest end of Indie music, however. After Judith’s baby break, the band was back with a new album: ‘Soundso’  (‘Thingamabob’), a clear and direct album, released in May 2007. And now, the band presents the new songs finally live on tour! WIR SIND HELDEN are Judith Holofernes (vocals, guitar), Mark Tavassol (bass), Pola Roy (drums) and Jean-Michel Tourrette (keyboards, guitar). /   

After Judith worked as a solo musician and released two CDs, she was looking for male musicians to form a band and soon after, the heroes were born. She described the music as “Synthie-Punk-Pop” being 28% Synthie, 34% Punk and 38% Pop. WIR SIND HELDEN became known within a wider audience with the single release ‘Guten Tag’ in 2003 followed soon after by the MCD ‘Müssen nur wollen’ and the album ‘Die Reklamation’. The portfolio of the band grasps uncomplicated direct songs as well as sensitive ballads, all impressing with good lyrics and felicitous melodies. Especially with their lyrics the band proves that they can handle the German language very well.

As the band released a new album (‘Soundso’) in spring 2007 it was just for sure that several songs out of it were presented live on stage, just starting with ‘Ode an die Arbeit’ and the first single release of the album ‘Endlich ein Grund zur Panik’. Several more songs out off the album, like the title track ‘Soundso’ or ‘Kaputt’ followed within the set. The recent album is full of different facets, containing sweet pop melodies besides some rougher songs like the already mentioned ‘Endlich ein Grund zur Panik’. The record contains also some saxophone solos. For the live show, such solos were brought on stage by three additional live musicians playing saxophone, trumpet or keyboards. With the new album the band criticises society more than on the previous ones. I.e. ‘Die Konkurrenz’ is a pushing but also catchy song with critics towards today’s “Elbow Society” offering no room for individuality. Also ‘The Geek’ is pointing into the same direction.

But of course not only the current album ‘Soundso’ had room in the live performance. Several of the band’s big hits were presented and celebrated by the audience. So we all enjoyed songs like ‘Von hier an blind’, ‘Heldenzeit’, ‘Müssen nur wollen’, ‘Guten Tag’ or the break-through hit ‘Denkmal’ which found its place within the encores. Within the set, there was also a little surprise for some fans as WSH played ‘Ruiniert’ by DIE STERNE. The sound in the Palladium was perfect as so often when I attended this venue, the additional live musicians added a lot to the sound and Judith’s voice was just perfect.

During the intro, one after another entered the stage in a very good mood as it seemed. Especially Judith was talking a lot to the audience, telling some funny stories, i.e. about the crazy hair cuts they had in the youth. WSH had three additional musicians for several songs with them on stage who added an extra pinch of dynamics to the songs. But not only the band on stage was in very good mood, also people on the floor and on the gallery wanted to celebrate. They were singing and dancing with the band, what was honoured by Judith with the words “You are a highly qualified audience” and with the band surfing the crowd. Especially ‘Denkmal’ within the encored was again one of the audience’s favourites and was accompanied with loud singing. Also the piano version of ‘Ein Elefant für Dich’ surely found a lot of lovers. With ‘Bist Du nicht müde’, the show finally found its end. I just want to mention the great light show as well supported by several videos and live impressions projected to the screen in the back of stage.

01. Intro / Ode an die Arbeit
02. Endlich ein Grund zur Panik
03. Von hier an blind
04. Heldenzeit
05. Gekommen um zu bleiben
06. Soundso
07. The Geek
08. Außer Dir
09. Wenn es passiert
10. Ruiniert (Die Sterne)
11. Kaputt
12. Echolot
13. Ist das so?
14. Müssen nur wollen
15. Die Konkurrenz
16. Guten Tag
17. Aurélie / Why Can’t I Be You
18. Nur ein Wort
19. Blow Him Back Into My Arms (Moneybrother)
20. Ein Elefant für Dich (Piano Unplugged Version)
21. Denkmal
22. Bis du nicht müde

Music: 9
Performance: 9
Sound: 9
Light: 10
Total: 9.2

All pictures by Daniela Vorndran ( / /

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