18th June 2022
New Waves Day 2022 with Reptyle, Whispers in the Shadow, And Also The Trees, The Cassandra Complex, Pink Turns Blue and Gary Numan
A very hot 18th June 2022, but a fantastic line-up and well organised festival saw the Goth and Post Punk scene assemble to celebrate the 4th New Waves Day in the Turbinenhalle in Oberhausen.
REPTYLE from Bielefeld, founded in 1989, are a five-piece Traditional Goth Rock band and they open the festival punctually - though later than originally intended as BLANCMANGE couldn’t make it over due to cancelled flights at last minute. The day’s running order was subsequently shifted a bit. The venue is filled nicely already, the audience expectantly starts swaying to the first guitar driven tunes. A few years ago REPTYLE restarted with a new singer and drummer, still accompanied by founding members on guitars and bass. The sound is a bit mushy, but gothy blue and red lighting helps to get the crowd slowly into the festival mood. In this set the band focuses on their new album ‘Decrypt The Void’, from the end of 2021. The eye-catching front man has a pleasant voice, varying from gentle to hauntingly gothic to growling and shouting out expressively - and they deliver a solid Goth Rock performance. // http://www.reptyle.de / https://www.facebook.com/reptyle.band // Setlist (incomplete): … / Timeworn / Echoes / Decrypt the Void // Rating: 6 / 10
Whispers in the Shadow
On to a mix of Post Punk, Wave and Psychedelic Prog-Rock tunes, WHISPERS IN THE SHADOWS from Austria, date back to 1996, and are built by and around Ashley Dayour. The band really get things going and let us drown and emerge in a powerful set this night. All songs can be found on the retrospective album ‘Gilding the Lily’ from last year. Starting with a whispered ‘Behold’ from opener ‘Forever 1985’ we are taken on a dark and pulsing, enchanting journey. The synths create much atmosphere, eerie lighting drawing the audience’s gaze to the stage, hazy fog adding to the mysterious setting. The sound is clear, and with 4th song ‘Back to the Wound’ an additional drum front stage is giving extra force to this splendid set. No stopping here, pushy drums and sawing guitars with ‘A Song for the Radio’, discordant synths chiming in for a first climax letting us have a well needed rest with ‘Adrift’ and ‘Walk in the Mirror’.
The lights need to be mentioned again as throughout the set they add much to the overall atmosphere. Two more songs, the pace picking up again and then we are already wallowing blissfully in psychedelic and CURE-ish tunes with last song ‘Drowning Like The Moon’ …and we are then suddenly shoved back to reality. Pity! What a captivating performance! // http://www.whispersintheshadow.com / https://www.facebook.com/WhispersInTheShadow // Setlist: 01. Forever 1985 / 02. The Arrival / 03. The Lost Souls / 04. Back To The Wound / 05. A Song For The Radio / 06. Adrift / 07. Walk On The Mirror / 08. The Urgency Of Now / 09. Damned Nation / 10. Drowning Like The Moon // Rating: 9 / 10
And Also The Trees
A few minutes late due to some technical (cable) problems on stage AND ALSO THE TREES make their appearance under sparse lighting. Simon Huw Jones, as dandy and solemn as ever when entering the stage last, (and later, really going for it expressively) makes the audience cheer and it leads to a short bow from the singer. Used to seeing them in intimate clubs it is strange to see them all playing a great deal apart on that huge stage. AND ALSO THE TREES, dating back to 1979, play a tight and wonderful set, all the more astounding as this is a part of their 40th anniversary tour! Things kick-off with ‘Slow Pulse Boy’, one instrument after the other kicking in for a wonderful first crescendo. ‘Brother Fear’ with its surf rock guitar sound next, makes the crowd cheer loudly. A big lapse in time back to their ever first single ‘Shantell’, this song lures you into its spell, and if you ever wondered if a clarinet is an instrument fit for a Goth / Wave festival - AND ALSO THE TREES prove that it is.
‘Rive Droite’ next, ‘Yugoslavia’ slowing down a bit and back to the jazzier drum based tunes of ‘Wallpaper Dying’. With fabulous ‘Virus Meadow’ a climax is reached and the band leaves the stage for a short while, doing an encore of two more songs. ‘Missing’, a slower song and then the last belter ‘So This Is Silence’. The audience clearly wants more, but being slightly overtime there is no chance for another encore. // https://www.andalsothetrees.co.uk / https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100045040099531 // Setlist: 01. Slow Pulse Boy / 02. Brother Fear / 03. Shantell / 04. Your Guess / 05. Rive Droite / 06. Yugoslavia / 07. Wallpaper Dying / 08. Virus Meadow / 09. Missing / 10. So This Is Silence // Rating: 9 / 10
The Cassandra Complex
THE CASSANDRA COMPLEX are an electro-gothic-industrial-cyberpunk outfit, with a new album out called ‘The Plague’ in May, which made it to number 1 in the German Alternative Charts. A difference of style now to the previous band, with first song ‘The Invisibles’ - a mix of harsher electronic beats with driving guitars. Fantastic lighting with additional LED stands, adding to the great onslaught of the band’s sound explosion. ‘Bad Faith’ stomped about magnificently, and frontman Rodney, already cheering the crowd while line-checking partly in German, partly in English, really enjoying his stage time, dancing around with abandon. He also gives a shout out to his band member Andy on guitar who couldn't make it as he had become a dad that day, and introduces band members in a very tongue-in-cheek way.
Stand-out song ‘Old Boys Network’ got the crowd dancing and moving up to the back, no pause until the last song is announced. It is the quite punky and raw - ‘March’ - his first ever written song, the frontman lets us know. Overall it was an awesome and energetic show to remember! http://cassandracomplex.co.uk / https://www.facebook.com/thecassandracomplex // Setlist: 01. The Invisibles / 02. Nightfall / 03. Hotline To Elvis / 04. Bad Faith / 05. Valis / 06. Ground / 07. The Crown Lies Heavy / 08. Old Boys Network / 09. Moscow Idaho / 10. March // Rating: 9 / 10
Pink Turns Blue
Before PINK TURNS BLUE enter the stage an announcement is made: two members of the band THE DAMNED have caught Covid and are bound to their hotel bed, making the band unable to play that night. To make up for it a bit, German Post Punk / Dark Wave band PINK TURNS BLUE have agreed to increase their set list with a few more songs. And, like most of the bands on today, they date back a few decades managing to still produce fresh sounding music - their latest album ‘Tainted’ has been released last autumn. After such an outburst of energy before, we are now easing back into a slower Dark Wave pace. The three-piece band starts its stage time with 4th single, ‘Not Even Trying’, the next songs from said album all fitting in very well with each other. Back to the roots with crashing ‘Walking On Both Sides’ has the crowd cheering and dancing, before cooling us down with cold wave song ‘I Coldly Stare Out’. The rhythm picks up, guitar and post punk drum beats making the crowd sway and dance for the next four songs.
With mid pace track and single ‘You Still Mean Too Much To Me’ we are back in the present, the song ending with an abrupt stop. The screeching sounds of ‘Michelle’ come in, another highlight as this song is well-known to the audience. Same as ‘Master Is Calling’ that should not be amiss in PINK TURNS BLUE’s stage performance. We are sent back to open our eyes again with slow pace ‘If Two Worlds Kiss’. A smooth and literally cool set with the band's best songs from all over their creative period – this is no great show to watch on stage, but you can wonderfully let yourself fall into the sound, perfectly set by the moody lights. // http://pinkturnsblue.com / https://www.facebook.com/Pink.Turns.Blue.Official // Setlist: 01. Not Even Trying / 02. There Must Be So Much More / 03. So Why Not Save The World / 04. Never Give Up / 05. Walking On Both Sides / 06. I Coldly Stare Out / 07. Walk Away / 08. Something Deep Inside / 09. After All / 10. Missing You / 11. You Still Mean Too Much To Me / 12. Michelle / 13. Can't Be Love / 14. When It Rains / 15. State Of Mind / 16. Master Is Calling / 17. If Two Worlds Kiss // Rating: 8 / 10
As mentioned, THE DAMNED had to pull out due to Covid, so starting an hour earlier, GARY NUMAN and his band would deliver a fantastic last rock show of their four month long ‘Intruder’ tour. The lights go out and it seems everyone in the venue has come in to the hall to see synth pioneer GARY NUMAN - he starts his show with the song ‘Intruder’. LED posts are added for great light effects, sound and lighting are top throughout, adding to the professional performance we are about to see. The set list certainly contains many songs from the last few superb albums. We are left in a world of eerie lights at times, while the singer star dances ecstatically, bending, kneeling, feeling his music, clearly enjoying and living through his songs, as well as playing synths at times as well as guitar. Second song ‘Love Hurt Bleed’ has the whole hall dancing before ‘Pray For The Pain You Serve’, takes us far away to a desert with its oriental feel. When his famous number 1 hit ‘Cars’ (and later on ‘Are Friends Electric’) get their stage time, music-wise they do not stand out as old 80s songs. It sounds as though they got a polish and fit in flawlessly with the ‘Intruder’ set.
Things slow down with ‘Is This World Not Enough’. A few songs later with ‘My Name is Ruin’, the pounding live drums make this song way more intense than on the album. All the while all band members interact in a way where they seem to push each other on, playing together, dancing to their sounds too. Closing with ‘Are Friends Electric’, resulting in immediate shouts for encore and we do not have to cheer for long - we are given a few more songs to enjoy, sending us back into the now cooler night, absolutely intrigued by the sleek show we had the joy to see, feel, sing, dance to. // https://garynuman.com / https://www.facebook.com/GaryNumanOfficial // Setlist: 01. Intruder / 02. Love Hurt Bleed / 03. Halo / 04. Metal / 05. Pray For The Pain You Serve / 06. Cars / 07. Is This World Not Enough / 08. Pure / 09. A Prayer For The Unborn / 10. My Name Is Ruin / 11. The Chosen / 12. The Fall / 13. Are Friends Electric / 14. Everything Comes Down To This / 15. The Gift / 16. The Promise // Rating: 10 / 10
The night was not over there though, as nearby, the club Kulttempel provided for the official after show party with three renowned DJs.
All pictures by Daniela Vorndran (http://www.vorndranphotography.com / http://www.facebook.com/blackcatnet)