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The StranglersMaria Hendrikapark, Oostende, Belgium
24th to 26th June 2022
Sinner’s Day Summer 2022 Day 3 with Wegsfeer, Dive, Red Zebra, Nosferatu and The Stranglers

The final day once again offered a great and mixed line-up. Sadly, we missed parts of it like STABBING WESTWARD, MERCIFUL NUNS or AESTHETIC PERFECTION, since we had to drive back home already at early evening. Work was calling early Monday morning. Anyway, we were happy to see at least a handful of bands. And the weather was on our side as well… sunny, warm and not too hot. Perfect for a Sunday afternoon.

WEGSFEER was the first band on the bill today. The musicians are al experienced, playing in bands such as LES TRUTTES, MEURIS and K’S CHOICE. But WEGSFEER is different. With them, we got another tribute band… but not a tribute to only one band but a true tribute to the legendary eighties bands where it all started for these experienced musicians: Back to their dark roots, with the cult hits of SUICIDE, JOY DIVISION, FAD GADGET, BAUHAUS and other atmosphere killers. I liked their versions of such classics as FAD GADGET’s ‘Collapsing New People’, GRAUZONE’s ‘Eisbär’, KILLING JOKE’s ‘Love like Blood’ or SISTERS OF MERCY’s ‘Alice’… for latter one the voice really sounded like Andrew Eldritch and I had to look twice who was standing on stage. Entertaining start of the day. Thank you!

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With DIVE as next er got a real Belgium hero, Dirk Ives, who runs several projects… just to mention THE KLINIK or ABSOLUTE BODY CONTROL. For his DIVE show, he was supported by Jan Dewulf (i.e. MILDREDA). Collaborations with musicians like Eric van Wonterghem, Ivan Iusco, Rafael M. Espinosa and Jan Dewulf made the Dive sound variable through the years. Usually, DIVE concerts are very dark with lots of smoke and bright strobe lights. Seeing DIVE in sunshine was something different. But the show nevertheless was full of energy and it was nice to have one more person on stage… not that Dirk couldn’t rule the stage alone though. He is grey now, but otherwise it seems he does not age. His show was powerful and magnetic as always.

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With RED ZEBRA, we had another replacement in the line-up. THE DANSE SOCIETY announced that both their keyboard player & bassist were infected with Covid, meaning that the band has to cancel. So, national heroes RED ZEBRA took the vacant spot. The group is currently working on new songs. In the coming months, these will be included in the set of old and less old work built around their classic ‘I can’t live in a Living Room’, which was of course also played at Sinner’s Day. Singer and frontman Peter Slabbynck still has his strokes on stage and drives his band forward more than ever. Towards the end of the show, he jumped down into the pit to be very close to the audience. Energetic and fun without doubt.

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From Punk to solid Goth Rock now. It was time for NOSFERATU. Founded in England in 1986 by Damien DeVille, NOSFERATU have grown to become one of the most commercially successful Second Wave Gothic Rock bands worldwide, playing concerts every single year since 1986. NOSFERATU have the credibility of being one of the few elite UK Gothic Rock bands to enjoy chart success both In the UK & Germany. Today, the band was performing as a trio with Damien DeVille (guitar), Lars Kappeler (bass – i.e. SWEET ERMENGARDE) and vocalist Tim Vic. Just like in THE SISERS OF MERCY traditions, drums were coming from backing tape. The stage setting also fitted very well with three coffins built up in the back. Solid performance, just the sun did not fit at all to the dark and gloomy sound.

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Out last band of the day were legendary THE STRANGLERS. First formed in 1974, THE STRANGLERS’ no-bullshit attitude was embraced by the Punk movement of the late 70s. With their unique STRANGLERS sound, combining a brilliant melodic touch with a dark aggression and effortless cool, THE STRANGLERS are now recognised as one of the most credible and influential bands to have emerged from the Punk era. I guess there is no one who does not know hits like ‘Always the Sun’ or ‘Golden Brown’, both played in the middle of their Sinner’s Day set. Founding Strangler Jean-Jacques Burnel and his co-frontman Baz Warne brought a raucous and celebratory live show to Oostende. This was surely a nice end of our festival day and while we were walking to our car, the last sounds of THE STRANGLERS accompanied us.

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What’s left to say now after the festival is over for a few days? I only have good memories and experiences. It seems organizers have learned from the difficulties on last W-Fest. Anything ran very smooth. There was a nice small festival ground, a stage with a good size, a big area to sit and relax, enough beverage and food stalls offering a good variety, including vegetarian and vegan options… except fries. Entrance ran smooth. People enjoyed themselves at the Batcave dancing to good scene music. From my side, really nothing to moan about. Well done, Sinner’s Day! And already the first bands for next year were announce: PROJECT PITCHFORK, NEW MODEL ARMY and MODERN ENGLISH were on the bill among others. CU in 2023!

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

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