22nd to 25th May 2015
Wave Gotik Treffen 2015 Day 4: Dr. Mark Benecke, Spiral 69, Sea+Air, Terrolokaust, Die Kammer, Nachtmahr, The Exploding Boy, Soko Friedhof, Mila Mar, Diorama, Party Hopping
General opinion ''All bands are playing at once!'' We were also on the road for you on the festival's last day. And even after three days of partying, we were astoundingly fit. We were queuing at the Schauspielhaus for you today in order to get one of the desired seats at Mark Benecke's, we were in the Agra for TERROLOKAUS and MACHTMAHR, experienced MILA at the Heidnisches Dorf, had a glimpse of the shows at the Landratsamt and enjoyed SOKO FRIEDHOF and DIORAMA finally.
Josie and Linda Jane painted the Täubchenthal and MB (Moritzbastei) red. One could also count the shows of COMBICHRIST in the Agra and ESCAPE WITH ROMEO in the Landratsamt as further highlights. Performances by SEA+AIR and DIE KAMMER in the Schauspielhaus were definitely worth a visit as well. As on the previous days, few people could be spotted on the streets. Whether this was due to the sudden, harsh rainfall in the afternoon or other reasons couldn't be answered. Consequently, you can read our concert and party impressions. [Susann Lucas]
Dr. Mark Benecke – Schauspielhaus (Josie Leopold)
Queuing in time is a duty when Mark Benecke appears on the programme's list. Even though the entry to his WGT lectures are always half an hour before the beginning of the actual lecture, appearing shortly before entry is quite deadly when one wants to attend the event. Thus, 30 minutes before entry masses of people were already waiting in front of the Schauspielhaus in hope of taking the event along. Shortly after arriving in the hall it was time to pick a seat, listen to music and wait. Shortly before the lecture, Mark showed his version of the Falco song ‘Jeanny’ with a fitting video. WGT premiere so-to-say. I didn't perceive the lecture as a lecture in the classic sense because even though one could listen to a lot of technical stuff from the area of criminal biology, Mr Benecke's funny side comments and his narrative style made the two hours seem like 25 minutes and I was truly astonished that everything went by so quickly. I could listen to him and the mummies from Palermo for two further hours without getting remotely bored. Definitely a WGT hint! Go there and experience education with a totally genius narrative style (I am consciously not saying style of performance)! // http://www.benecke.com / https://www.facebook.com/markbenecke
Spiral 69 – Landratsamt [Daniela Vorndran]
Highly inspired after a THE CURE concert in 1992, Riccardo Sabetti, from Italy, decided to become a musician, too. Before he founded his own project SPIRAL 69 in 2007 he was engaged in several other bands which surely helped him to gather some experiences. After releasing their second album in 2011 which received some positive reactions as well, SPIRAL 69 toured intensively, were chosen from LOU REED to be part of the soundtrack of his first film ‘Red Sherly’ with the song ‘Berlin’ and had the chance to perform in 2012 at the Wave-Gotik-Treffen. Now the band is back at WGT to open the day at the Landratsamt. The venue was already quite full when we arrived during the second song. One of my colleagues at RoD said that SPIRAL 69 was the “most promising and exciting rock 'n roll band playing at this year's WGT” since they are passionate, fiery, with twisted Romanticism, big sounds and huge songs. Well, I can only agree… this band really has something and proves it every time I see them live on stage. Once more a cool concert of Riccardo Sabetti (vocals, bass, guitars, synth), Enzo Russo (guitars) and Andrea Freda (drums). // http://www.spiral69.com / https://www.facebook.com/spiral69music // Rating: 8 / 10
Sea+Air – Schauspielhaus [Daniela Vorndran]
SEA + AIR comprises of two musicians, a couple, Daniel Benjamin (vocals, concerto guitar, drums, cymbals, bells) and Eleni Zafiriadou (vocals, harpsichord, organ bass pedal, drums), who performed together under ‘Daniel Benjamin’ for something like ten years, but by 2010 as no longer conceived as a solo project as SEA + AIR. Their inspiration spans Bach’s music to experimental German music of ‘70’s and legacy of Greek folk music. Their debut album in 2012, wonderfully titled as ‘My Heart’s Sick Chord’ is dedicated to harpsichord, Bach’s favourite instrument and also to the idea of reproducing the sound of instruments solely played without the backing of electricity. These two artists are real multi-instrumentalists and this fact was also shown in the stage setting: Eleni had harpsichord and keyboard, guitar, a drum while Daniel was equipped with drum set, various percussion instruments and guitar. The music they presented was really different to the most stuff at WGT, they were soft and tender combining different styles. Check them out! // http://www.seaandair.net / https://www.facebook.com/SeaandAir // Rating: 8 / 10
Terrolokaust – Agra [Linda Jane]
It's more than a year ago that I saw the two Spaniards Javo Ssagittar (vocals) and Indio (synths) with their live guitarist Aury and already during the first song they ignited my fire as always! TERROLOKAUST have been expressing their anger with music about social misery, the daily increasing alienation and deep decadence in the modern lifestyle since 2006. Successfully. They don't only raise bass boxes, walls and eardrums but also hearts with their mix of Industrial, Techno and EBM. Javi is what one considers a stage hog with vocal talent. He has a phenomenal voice which changes from energetic screams to wonderful vocals in a second and all of this while he is running around on stage, spinning on one leg, getting on his knees or laying on the floor. This man is a bundle of energy and vocal prodigy at once. One can immediately recognize his determination that he does mean everything he writes in his lyrics when one looks him in the eye during all those dynamics.
Javi communicates with the audience, he integrates them completely whether he orders them to clap or scream or ask them to “show me your lights” during slower songs. The audience obeys his orders. An opener like no other which boils up the venues, in this case the Agra, and devastates the audience and leaves it in a happy mood. I lost my voice for and during this band. // https://www.facebook.com/Terrolokaust // Setlist: 1. Intro / 2. A Release From This / 3. Pointless / 4. Reasons / 5. No Control / 6. Adrenaline / 7. Two Faced Leader / 8. Scars That Never Heal / 9. 8 (am) / 10. Your Fucking Drugs / 11. The Pain Of Knowing / 12. Reversing In Circles / 13. The Way It Must Be / 14. Pay The Price / 15 .Falling Away From Me // Rating: 10 / 10
Die Kammer – Schauspielhaus [Daniela Vorndran]
It was not the first time and won’t be the last I saw DIE KAMMER. The Schaupielhaus where they were scheduled was the perfect surrounding for this music and a band playing with many people various instruments. Around the two heads, Marcus Testory (vocals, guitar) and Matthias Ambré (formerly ASP, vocals, guitar, Irish bouzouki), five more musicians are gathered: Dirk Klinkhammer (tuba), Oliver Himmighoffen (minimal drums), Veronika Münstermann, Tabea Rotter (cello), Aline Deinert (violin) and Matthias Raue (violin, viola). ‘Season II: Views From The Inside’ is the name of the wonderful new album, out on 14th February 2014. To my pleasure, the venue was really full when the ensemble entered the stage and you could see happiness in the band’s faces. DIE KAMMER started with a danceable, vivid song from the latest album, ‘Slipping around the Corner’, a perfect opener for an evening of singer-songwriter-chamber-music presented with a lot of passion and much commitment. On it went with a well-chosen setlist, little anecdotes and lots of humour.
The appropriate final song ‘Final Days’ was rewarded with huge applause, begging the band back to stage for an encore, ‘Black as Coal’. Another fantastic show of DIE KAMMER! // http://www.die-kammer.com / https://www.facebook.com/diekammer // Setlist: 1. Intro / 2. Slipping Around the Corner / 3. Faith/Illusion / 4. Labyrinths of Despair / 5. The Orphanage / 6. Sophie's Circus I / 7. Sophie's Circus II / 8. Sophie's Circus III / 9. Mirror / 10. Praying Mantis / 11. Endangered Memories / 12. Sinister Sister / 13. Hither and Thither / 14. Final Days / 15. Encore: Black as Coal // Rating: 9 / 10
Nachtmahr – Agra ][Josie Leopold]
Boom, boom, boom! The sound in the Agra is always a thing so let's begin with the criticism about NACHTMAHR: the music's too loud, vocals too quiet. The music was partly that loud that some were digging for their ear plugs in their bags which I cannot blame them for. Besides, my highlight on Monday, disregarding Mark Benecke's lecture but he didn't make music in the Agra. The NACHTMAHR ladies were wearing latex to the delight of the male audience, Thomas Rainer seemed to be in a great mood and for the first time I truly believed that Gregor Beyerle has an evil, dark side and that he fits into this band. I have always wondered the years before what this lovely guy is looking for in this band. Bam! I've been convinced. And I was not the only one who was in for a surprise when Gregor came to the front and as the lady in front of me said, miming “the psychopath”. In my opinion the band's best stage performance for years and even Andre Steinigen gave everything during the last two songs and one was almost afraid that he would destroy the synthesizer.
It was a party in the venue and I would've liked it even more if the sound was set accordingly. Maybe next time, things cannot be always perfect. // http://www.nachtmahr.at / https://www.facebook.com/nachtmahr.band // Setlist: 1. March of the Imperial Guard / 2. Wir schreiben Geschichte / 3. Ich bin / 4. Verräter an Gott / 5. Feuer frei! / 6. Liebst du mich? / 7. Weil ich's kann / 8. Deus Ex Machina / 9. Die Fahnen unserer Väter / 10. El Chupacabra / 11. Can you feel the beat? / 12. Titanic / 13. Boom Boom Boom / 14. Mädchen in Uniform / 15. Rise and Fall / 16. Tanzdiktator / 17. I hate Berlin / 18. Katharsis // Rating: 9 / 10
The Exploding Boy – Landratsamt [Daniela Vorndran]
Yes, I really like this band. Founded in 2006, THE CURE was inspiration for the Swedish band as well, as a song of them was the eponym for the band’s name. With a mixture of Post Punk, New Wave and Indie Rock they create music that does not sound outdated, but keeps the spirit of the eighties in a new fresh way. In 2007 they released their first self-titled album and attracted soon international attention. In 2009 they performed at the Wave-Gotik-Treffen, toured in Germany and released their second album which was critically acclaimed by several renowned gothic music magazines. Up to now they have released four albums that all got positive feedbacks. Consisting of Johan (vocals, acoustic guitar), Stefan (vocals, electric guitar), Les (lead guitar) and Nick (keyboards), the Swedes brought two additional musicians this time: Musse on bass and Rick on drums. It was the first time I saw the band with real drums and I must say, it fitted great, gave much more power to the songs.
Right from the beginning the people started to dance to the music and the band rocked the place with their catchy tunes. The concert was really enjoyable. Good choice to go back to Landratsamt before we were heading to the Felsenkeller to see our last band at WGT 2015, DIORAMA. // https://www.facebook.com/theexplodingboysweden // Rating: 8 / 10
Soko Friedhof – Felsenkeller [Josie Leopold]
Sweaty from NACHTMAHR, I went on to the Felsenkeller for SOKO FRIEDHOF. The Felsenkeller is also a thing sound-wise or to put it shortly: the sound is usually not great. It was like that when I entered it shortly before the beginning of SOKO FRIEDHOF's performance. It sounded absolutely horrendous from the back. The car park situation at the Felsenkeller is also a matter of luck since it is next to one of Leipzig's busiest roads but one makes the best of it and squeezes into one of the side streets until one finds a spot. Back to the Felsenkeller: Only few people were there in order to see SOKO FRIEDHOF and one could run to the front rows without any problems. The sound was much better there and didn't sound like a potato box which is falling down the cellar stairs anymore. The band itself delivered a good performance and at the latest during the shout “Ich bin ein blutrünstiges Mädchen!” everyone went long and applauded. // http://vongrafenwald.de / https://www.facebook.com/sokofriedhofofficial // Rating 8 / 10
Mila Mar – Heidnisches Dorf [Linda Jane]
The WGT is a place where one meets old friends again and this time it was MILA MAR, the quartet surrounding singer Anke Hachfeld who showed a sign of life after eleven years and it was heavenly fantastic like before. Anke Hachfeld's four-octave-voice is unmistakeable. The quartet creates a musical landscape out of synth sounds, flutes, violins and numerous percussion instruments. Scandinavian, African and oriental influences can be heard in the music. Floating melodies in a melancholic mood capture the listener and make them fly. The audience's approval was indescribable and unique as the band itself! // http://www.milamar.de / https://www.facebook.com/MilaMarMusik // Setlist: 1.Djanga / 2. Elfentanz / 3. Pink / 4. Nova / 5. 1,5 / 6. Elfensex / 7. Follow me / 8. Sand / 9. Mila / 10. Like a Cannibal /11. Was bleibt / Encore: 12. Asche // Rating: 10 / 10
Diorama – Felsenkeller [Susann Lucas]
Torben Wendt founded DIORAMA already in 1996 and performed as support of DIARY OF DREAMS already in 2000. Felix Marc joined the band in 2001 and Bernhard le Sigue in 2002. In the subsequent years they toured with among others DIARY OF DREAMS and VNV NATION. They have played their own tours since 2005 with which they could celebrate great successes up to Russia. DIORAMA's performance was my personal highlight of this year's WGT. I had been looking forward to Torben Wendt's performance for days and thought that it would be a fantastic festival conclusion. A lot of other people seemed to feel like me. Shortly before the performance, the Felsenkeller was packed. Already during the line check the vibes were great and got even better. From the first song on, the audience was partying and tiny sound problems were solved quickly. This lasted for the whole show. It was truly a fantastic conclusion of the festival like I had hoped for – even though DIORAMA considered themselves as bouncers. // http://www.diorama-music.com / https://www.facebook.com/pages/Diorama/20921056622 // Setlist: 1. Forgotten (reworked intro) / 2. Light (remix) / 3. Deathcon (new unpublished song) / 4. Why / 5. Burning Out / 6. Ignite / 7. Synthesize Me / 8. Hope / 9. Advance (remix) / Encore: 10. Das Meer (piano only) / 11. The Girls / 12. Exit the Grey / 13. Child of Entertainment // Rating 9 / 10
Party-Hopping after the shows
Party in the Täubchenthal – “Unknown Pleasures vs. Horror Highschool” [Linda Jane]
How beautifully did I describe the party in the Täubchenthal on Saturday? “The Täubchenthal is a very beautiful location, with a truly big dance floor, the equipment stands its ground even during post punk and the bar staff is very friendly. The Täubchenthal will receive me as a visitor more often.” And see, there I am again, this time at a party consisting of two parties. The “Unknown Pleasures” from Bremen with A.I. & Slow Puls Boy and the “Horror Highschool” from Mainz with Rene & Tino. There was Wave, Minimal, Batcave, Post Punk, NDW, Electro, EBM, Gothic Rock, 80s, Folk Noir and similar stuff. The Täubchenthal was well-attended this time as well and half of the visitors looked beautiful in their clothes. A mix of gothic, punk and a lot of individuality. Everything was represented on the dance-floor, from the typical gothic dance style for electro sounds/ EBM to the dance bouncy ball who used all of the dance-floor confidently without angering anyone who danced as if in trance. If one didn't like the music too much or wanted to talk one could go to the courtyard which looked like a beach club and could chill in beach chairs. Of course, Josie and I tested it for you and graded it with A+. At the latest when they played FEVER RAY's 'Keep the streets empty for me' at 4am I was in love. It would have been a perfect evening and WGT conclusion but it wouldn't be us if we hadn't gone to the final party in the Moritzbastei.
Final party in the Moritzbastei [Josie Leopold]
Last evening, last party – where to go? Of course to the MB! Okay, we were actually only looking for something to eat which proved to be difficult at 4am. Something between noise, techno and unknown melodies were played on the electro floor this time. The venue was well-attended but we were already too tired to dance properly so we simply observed the people. There was the wildly enthusiastic EBM fans, the lady with platinum blonde hair wearing sunglasses in the club, the impressionist dancer in a white, bloodied dress and my highlight: the cute guy in a RUMMELSNUFF shirt who loved himself and the world that evening and who couldn't stop smiling. We allowed ourselves a final round in the Moritzbastei's sitting area and went to bed during sunset.
Conclusion of the Wave Gotik Treffen 2015
It was debated during all of the festival weekend whether there were fewer visitors than the years before. Completely barred ways and over-filled trams were missed. The weather was perfect and lovers of meat-free dishes were also respected by the food stalls. I found the band choice only partly satisfactory but the sound was really good in comparison with years before. Maybe one should reconsider the ban on juice boxes and relocate the lectures to bigger venues. There are always complaints, only the fewest can do it better. Someone suggested to me during the weekend that it's called a “meeting” and not a “festival” and maybe one should regard it as that: as a meeting and get-together of like-minded people. Those considered as “disguised” belong there as much as the guy who stands nakedly by the Agra with a bell around his genitals, the cyber guy, the plush stuff, the Batcaver (whom I envy for their hair styles), the musicians, the organisers, the security, even the tram driver and the photographers who were apparently very intrusive and shameless this year.
Personally, I rarely had such a stress-free concert weekend (that's how I call it) and a great time with dear people like at this WGT. If I didn't live in Leipzig already I would definitely come back because the visitors know how to behave. The garbage from the parks found their way into the garbage can after a picnic, there was no swearing or pushing and even during the harshest EBM bands there was a peaceful atmosphere among the audience which I do miss at other festivals.
Written by Josie Leopold, Linda Jane, Susann Lucas (with translations by Alex UltraRiot) and Daniela Vorndran
Pictures by Daniela Vorndran (http://www.vorndranphotography.com / http://www.facebook.com/blackcatnet), Xavier Marquis (marquis(pi)X) and Michael Gamon (www.sparklingphotos.de)