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VNV NationMaria Hendrikapark, Oostende, Belgium
24th to 26th June 2022
Sinner’s Day Summer 2022 Day 2 with Kalte Nacht, Der Klinke, Ist Ist, Disorientations, Boytronic, Talk To Her, Diary Of Dreams, Nitzer Ebb, PiL (Public Image Ltd) and VNV Nation

After a short night, a long day was ahead with bands starting already at 12 noon. So far, the weather looked nice, but the forecast was not so promising. I just had to think of DIARY OF DREAMS, who had bad experiences with rain at Sinner’s Day last autumn and I hoped anything would turn out better for them today. We arrived at the area 20 minutes before the first band would start to play, just walked around at the area, greeted some friends and then got ready for the music to come.

KALTE NACHT, the project of Nikos Konstantinidis and Myrto Stylou opened the day. The project combines Dark Wave urban aesthetics with atmospheric inner soundscapes, expressed through haunting vocals, analogue synthesizers with tripping sounds and drum machines. When Myrto started singing I had immediately the voice of Fenne from WHISPERING SONS in my mind. Equal vocal range and colour, dark end deep. Quite a nice surprise at this early hour. Belgian Darkwave / New Wave band DER KLINKE was up next. The band combines the atmosphere of the eighties with nowadays influences. Their sound is a unique variety of dark Industrial Dance, Coldwave and classical Post-Punk. Coming from the area, DER KLINKE had it easy to entertain the audience. IST IST from Manchester offered and intense show. They are already quite a name in Manchester and I am sure their sound will conquer Europe very soon.

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DISORIENTATIONS were replacing TEST DEPT who hat to cancel their show due a death in the family of a crew member. So, the upcoming post-punk band from Antwerp (B) was jumping in. They played a 10-song set and made a good job. Great there was a decent substitute found. It was already starting to rain during their set but it got even worse during the change-over and when finally, BOYTRONIC entered the stage, there was a steady rainfall and people preferred hiding in the back under the roof of the Raven nest. But still there were people fighting the rain to enjoy the energetic performance of eighties heroes BOYTRONIC, who became famous with their song ‘You’, that was of course performed on the Sinner’s Day stage. The band returned with original vocalist and songwriter Holger Wobker (KAMERATA/BEACHEAD), and sidekick James Knights (KNIGHT$) offering a great vocal performance. The duo was supported by one more man on keys.

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When TALK TO HER from Italy took over, the rain already stopped… there was hope for a dry DIARY OF DREAMS gig by now. TALK TO HER play Electro-Wave-Rock with a dark, incisive and powerful sound attitude. The band came alive in 2015 and now, after having established themselves throughout Italy, thanks to the power and the sound impact of their live set, they are preparing to tread the most important European and international stages. I liked their sound and stage presence. Keep an eye on them! Finally, time for DIARY OF DREAMS at the Sinner’s Day stage and oh wonder, no rain. Nothing could hold back the band around mastermind Adrian Hates from presenting some of their biggest hits. Opening with ‘Sinferno’, powerful ‘Epicon’ and ‘Listen and Scream’, people could take some breath and stop jumping when the sounds of ‘She and her Darkness’ arose. The excided crows loudly sang along to ‘Butterfly:Dance’ and ‘The Curse’. After ‘Decipher me’ with ‘Knidrom’ one of my all-time favourite songs followed before the set ended with poppy and danceable ‘Undividable’. Very nice set and a much too short performance.

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NITZER EBB following afterwards. Some days before the festival there was an announcement that Douglas McCarthy had to cancel due to health issues but Bin Harris and David Gooday would perform the show as a duo. I was quite curious what to expect but right from the start when Bon jumped on stage with ‘Control’, there was sure that NEP would not take any prisoners. There was so much power on stage. Bon was constantly running from one side to the other, using all space he could get, while David was operating the machines. ‘Hearts & Minds’, ‘Blood Money’, ‘Come Alive’ or ‘Join in the Chant’ are just some of the hits being thrown into the audience. ‘Down on your knees’ and ‘Murderous’ finished the set. Bon did a really good job as a front man: Even though he has not the charisma of Doug, I hope to see him more often taking over the lead vocals. Could be a good mix for further shows. Think about it NEP please.

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John Lydon is legend. After fronting the SEX PISTOLS, he formed Post-Punk originators Public Image Ltd (PiL). With a shifting line-up and unique sound - fusing Rock, Dance, Folk, Pop and Dub - Lydon guided the band from their debut album ‘First Issue’ in 1978 through to 1992’s ‘That What Is Not’, before a 17-year hiatus. PiL was reactivated in 2009, touring extensively and releasing two critically acclaimed albums ‘This is PiL’ in 2012 followed by ‘What The World Needs Now…’ in 2015. John Lydon, Lu Edmonds, Scott Firth and Bruce Smith continue as PiL. They are the longest stable line-up in the band’s history and continue to challenge and thrive. After I read reports about the latest show in London, I expected a lot of sniffing and spitting into the audience. Luckily, only the stage was target… i.e., when Lydon stated that his voice was a bit raspy, took a big sip of Booze and then spitted it out. The show was a bit strange, extraordinary, but had what you expect from a Punk legend. Of course, the probably biggest hit, ‘This is not a Love Song’, was not missed.

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The evening was closed by VNV NATION. Originally, SKINNY PUPPY were planned on this spot but they cancelled all touring activities in this year for Europe and so, a decent substitute was found with VNV NATION. The European based alternative electronic project is led by Irishman Ronan Harris in the roles of singer, songwriter and producer. Never content with fitting in a category, VNV NATION’s sound blends poetic and thought-provoking lyrics with a sound that ranges from melodic dance beats and indie-electronic anthems, to haunting ballads and post-classical soundtrack pieces. The live shows are legendary for their energy and positive emotion, drawing a devoted fanbase from across the musical spectrum to sold out tours and headline appearances at festivals in Europe and America.

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The show in Oostende started 20 minutes late but finally Mr Harris and his mates entered the stage in a very good mood. People enjoyed the set a lot and also Ronan was happy to be on stage, joking with the audience in his usual manner. People could dance to songs loke ‘Control’ or ‘Space and Time’ or just wave their arms during wonderful ballads. VNV NATION never fail for entertain.

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All pictures by Daniela Vorndran (http://www.vorndranphotography.com / http://www.facebook.com/blackcatnet)

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