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ennlfrdeitrues
Kulturpark, Deutzen, Germany
5th to 7th September 2008
Nocturnal Culture Night III Day 3: Leandra, Schallfaktor, The Lovecrave, Colony 5, Amnistia, Catastrophe Ballett, Heimataerde, Staubkind, Umbra Et Imago

Final day of the festival. The rain stopped some when during the night and a cool late-summer morning welcomed the festival attendees. Highlight of Sunday night for lots of people was surely the appearance of UMBRA ET IMAGO with their special show and a lot of fun they spread.




Leandra - Main Stage

She’s already known under the name Ophelia Dax in the electronic / rock band JESUS ON EXTASY, where she’s playing the keys. On the “Weiße Reise”-tour of LETZTE INSTANZ, beginning of 2008, she already presented some songs live only with the piano. Then, on 22nd February she debuted with her album ‘Metamorphine’ on Drakkar Entertainment and gathered lots of positive critics with it. http://www.leandrasphere.de/ / http://www.myspace.com/leandrasphere



Music & Performance
After I was very positively surprised by LEANDRA’s solo debut ‘Metamorphine’ it was now finally time to experience her songs live on stage, even though being the first act of the day on the main stage instead of performing in a cosy smoky club was not the best circumstances. On stage, she was supported by Andreas Bargel on (transparent) drums and one live guitar player who added a few lines to the songs. The stage was decorated with a huge backdrop wearing LEANDRA’s name. With her dark warm voice, the German-Belarusian singer bewitched those people already being present. She presented of course several songs of her debut album, ‘Naked Eyes’ and ‘The Art of Dreaming’ - which she sang as a duet with Sven Friedrich (ZERAPHINE) on the album - being my favourites. She was fantastic and I hope to see her show in the more intimate atmosphere of a dark club soon.

Rating
Music: 8
Performance: 8
Sound: 8
Light: - (daylight)
Total: 8






Schallfaktor - Small Stage

SCHALLFAKTOR or better Drazen Sucuc started somewhere between 2002 and 2003 with concrete plans for a project, whose first result was the album ‘Schmerzgrenze’ released in 2006. This caught the attention of the German label Infacted Recordings and a t the end of the same year, the label signed the band. Soon after the deal was finished, Drazen started working on new material for his first release on Infacted. The name of the new baby was ‘End of Love’ an EP released end of August 2007. http://www.schallfaktor.de/ / http://www.myspace.com/schallfaktormusic



Music & Performance
A rather small crowd has gathered in front of the second stage for the performance of SCHALLFACTOR. Compared to the show at last WGT, Drazen had some more time to perform his songs, so it have been a few more than just six. Again, he presented, accompanied by one more musician on keys, some songs out off his recent releases, such as ‘Glaskastentraum’ and ‘End of Love’ but also some new and yet unreleased songs. Drazen was in very good mood, smiling all over his face, and so, also people watching were infected and started dancing along.

Rating
Music: 8
Performance: 7
Sound: 5
Light: - (daylight)
Total: 7




The Lovecrave - Main Stage

Founded in 2004, the band gained a bunch of attention with their first album ‘The Angel an the Rain’ released in November 2006 by the German label Repo Records and soon they found themselves playing as support of THE BIRTHDAY MASSACRE; as well as on acclaimed gigs at the famous Wave Gotik Treffen, followed by an acclaimed performance at the M’era Luna in 2007, followed by an own tour through Europe. THE LOVECRAVE are Francesca Chiara (vocals), Tank Palamera (guitars), Simon Dredo (bass) and Lakk (drums). http://www.thelovecrave.com/ / http://www.myspace.com/thelovecrave



Music & Performance
This is Rock’n’Roll! This is power you get presented by the Italians. It is simply incredible which energy those four people bring onto stage. With some of their hits, like ‘The angel and the rain’, ‘Kill me’ or ‘Can you hear me’ they rocked the crowd. But also some vey new songs which will be contained at the upcoming album were presented: ‘And Scream’ as well as ‘Get our of here’. All four band members visibly a lot of fun playing… and posing… and singer Francesca constantly animated the audience to be part of the show. Very refreshing but too short. After the show you had the chance to meet the whole band for half of the day at their merchandising booth. Also very nice!

Rating
Music: 7
Performance: 9
Sound: 8
Light: - (daylight)
Total: 8






Colony 5 - Small Stage

2007 marked the return of one of the most successful Swedish exports, when it comes to electronic pop music with infectious dance beats. Terribly long after their most catchy album ‘Fixed’ in 2005, COLONY 5 came back with a new single, called ‘Knives’, which made one thing clear right from the start: The sound of that band has undergone a drastic change. Where once, fluffy rhythms had their place, heavy EBM beats were on the agenda now and the overall mood of the sound had become much darker than before On ‘Buried again’ their fourth and most recent album, they’re celebrating this style with perfection and presented the album on various gigs in Europe and for the first time in the US. On Saturday 5th July it was up to them to start the second day of the Blackfield festival. COLONY 5 is P-O Svensson (vocals, music) and Magnus Kalnins (keys, lyrics). http://www.colony5.com/ / http://www.myspace.com/weseekcolony5



Music & Performance
COLONY 5 were one of the bands I was looking forward a lot… especially after their fantastic show at the Blackfield festival earlier this year. The small stage did not offer very much space. But that was not needed by the duo, Magnus standing behind his keys delivering some backing vocals, and P-O acting in the front. It was obvious that the two Swedes enjoyed the show a lot. And they did not even get distracted by the problems they had with the monitor speakers. I for myself was happy that the set was a bit longer than the one at Blackfield. Not only I was animated to dance to the catchy electro tunes, also lot of people in front of the stage did the same. I really wish to see a full-time set of this band soon… and maybe finally with my favourite song - ‘Black’.



Setlist
01. Get off my Back
02. Plastic World
03. A Test
04. Pills
05. Knives
06. Ghosts
07. Absolute Religion
08. End of Desperation
09. Our World

Rating
Music: 9
Performance: 8
Sound: 6
Light: - (daylight)
Total: 8




Amnistia - Main Stage

Driven by the wish to create music in their own style without any boundaries Stefan Schoetz and Tino Claus formed AMNISTIA in 2003 in Leipzig. Many performances and a lot of self-released CDs brought them forward in the following years before they signed with the Scanner label and released their debut ‘Neophyte’ in June 2007. The second long player ‘Blackguard’ sees the light of day in April 2008 and is a natural progression for the band’s sound. AMNISTIA is Stefan (music, production, lyrics), Tino (vocals, lyrics, music) and Jan (FX, keys). http://www.amnistia.de/ / http://www.myspace.com/amnistia



Music & Performance
After I was not really convinced by the band’s show a year before at NCN2 I thought to give them another chance to convince me. But still, it did not catch me. The way of distorted singing is just not my cup of tea even though musically the band was really not bad. There must have been a reason why they have been voted by the attendees who wanted to see the band again on the main stage on this year’s edition of the festival. Still I think the band works better in a smaller club with some video animations in the back than in daylight on a big stage. Also this band had some minor technical problems. As the guest star - Alex of PAINBASTARD - appeared on stage for the last song ‘Self-Defence’, the power was gone for short and anything went silent. It too a little time until anything was back and the band could perform the final song.



Setlist
01. Init / g.s.w.
02. Fractured
03. Emulate
04. Untitled 1978
05. Tempted
06. Prosperity
07. Anger Management
08. Komplex
09. Our darkest Path
10. Borderline
11. Self-Defence

Rating
Music: 6
Performance: 7
Sound: 7
Light: - (daylight)
Total: 6.6




Catastrophe Ballett - Small Stage

Eric Burton gave birth to CATASTROPHE BALLET in 1989 in the city of Bitburg with the intention to create music, sounds and messages aside from the happy face of pop music. Influences at that time were bands such as KILLING JOKE, SISTERS OF MERCY, THE CURE etc. Through first gigs they had build up a remarkable live reputation and the 100 copies of their first album, only available at concerts were sold-out very fast. But it was the second album ‘Pandemonium’ including the hit ‘House of Hate’ that made the press prick up their ears. Impressed by the band’s sound Rodney Orpheus 1993 marked a turning point as the typical Goth Rock was enriched with new electronic elements on the album ‘Transition’. The following two years are full of touring; at first through America, then through 100 European cities. With all following releases the band persistently changed, their sound never stood still. The 1996 release ‘New Values’ was heavily inspired by industrial rock and the following ‘Menschenfeind’ was a wild mixture, reaching from Goth Rock to industrial-like sounds. It took the band six years to release the long-anticipated successor of the guitar driven ‘Modern Primitives’ from 2000, going by the name of ‘All beauty dies.’ CATASTROPHE BALLET is Eric Burton (vocals), Matt E. (bass), T.Homas (guitars) and Al X. (drums). http://www.catastropheballet.de/ / http://www.myspace.com/catastropheballet1



Music & Performance
Time for some good old handmade music now! Even though I wondered before the show how those five guys should fit onto the small stage. And indeed it was pretty packed on stage - different to the space in front of stage. It seems people nowadays prefer more the electronic standards than some pretty cool stuff from the older days. Anyway some oldies like me enjoyed the performance of Eric Burton & co a lot. In 20 years of band history, there was a lot of time to create some real dark wave / rock gems. The huge variety of the band’s material was presented at the NCN festival and I felt pretty well entertained, not only because Mr. Burton is a real entertainer on stage but also because his band mates showed a lot of fun playing. After performing a row of classic Goth Rock songs, they also presented their “Metal song”, as Eric stated. At the end it was again time for SIGUE SIGUE SPUTNIK’s ‘21st Century Boy’. A pretty cool end of the set! Considering that there only a few gigs by CATASTROPHE BALLET in the last two years it is rather stunning in what a good shape the band is performance-wise. I only wish more people would come to see such a great live band.



Setlist
01. Intro and House of hate
02. M-other
03. Consequently inconsequential
04. Eyelid
05. Love is dead
06. Licht
07. Reinforce
08. I lost the key to your world
09. Nothing
10. Garden of decay
11. 21st Century Boy (SIGUE SIGUE SPUTNIK Cover)

Rating
Music: 9
Performance: 8
Sound: 6
Light: - (daylight)
Total: 8




Heimataerde - Main Stage

This project goes a fairly unusual way with its fusion of medieval sounds like bagpipes for instance with electronic sound, what was causing a stir, when the project released the track ‘ ‘Du fehlst mir’ on the first compilation of the label Infacted Recordings, HEIMATAERDE later signed a contract with. Behind this project stands a man with the alias Ashlar von Megalon and his appearance remained a secret, because Ash initially refused to play live to let the music speak for itself, but in 2007 on the Wave Gotik Treffen, the fans could finally experience HEIMATAERDE live. Until today, the project has released two singles, two albums and as their most recently the EP ‘Leben geben Leben nehmen’. HEIMATAERDE is Ashlar von Megalon (vocals, instruments, concept) supported on stage by a live crew consisting of Bruder Ansgar v. Hucretha, Bruder Andreas, Bruder Peter von Thüringen, Bruder Nikolaus and Berchovesche. http://www.heimataerde.de/ / http://www.myspace.com/heimataerde



Music & Performance
Surely, the music is not everyone’s taste. And not totally mine as well even though they have some pretty cool club tunes. But placing this band that high in the line-up must mean something. Lots of people gathering in front of the main stage proved the promoters with their decision right. HEIMATAERDE has a pretty interesting concept! There’s a myriad of bands which combine medieval music and bagpipes with Rock and Metal - combining it with ‘Techno Body Music’ and having keyboarders in chain mails and stuff like that is really something new. The idea behind HEIMATAERDE is unique and promising. And they surely still can make much more out of it. It’s cool that they have knights and palisade on stage, but most of the time they just stand around and do nothing but trying to look darksome. Just Ashlar and Ansgar are moving a lot. I think there should even be a little more action on stage; something between the other actors for that matter instead just standing there. So people, you are on a good way with several envious faces of your musical colleagues, just go a little bit further.



Setlist
01. Intro
02. Deus Lo Vult
03. Der Verfall
04. Mörder
05. Endlos
06. Vater
07. Eins Sein
08. Ich Hab Die Nacht Geträumet
09. Gib Mir
10. Die Brut
11. Wiedergaenger
12. Pater Noster
13. Heimataerde
14. Lebloser Körper
15. Morituri Salutant

Rating
Music: 6
Performance: 7
Sound: 7
Light: - (daylight)
Total: 6.7




Staubkind - Small Stage

STAUBKIND is the solo project of TERMINAL CHOICE member Louis Manke, who founded it in 2003, inspired by bands such as OOMPH!, LINKIN PARK, EVANESCENCE and ZERAPHINE. The track ‘Endlos’ which appeared on various compilations was the one with which he became known. After the single ‘Keine Sonne’ (2004), the debut ‘Traumfänger’ was released in 2005 on the Fear Section label of Chris Pohl in collaboration with Out of Line. With this album, he managed to establish himself as a solo artist and on the following 13. Wave Gotik Treffen and the own tour in 2004, he built up a good live reputation. The second and most recent album ‘Zu Weit’ was released in October 2007. STAUBKIND is Louis Manke (vocals), Rico Meerheim (guitar), Sebastian Scheibe (E-bass) and Friedemann Mäthger (drums). http://www.staubkind.de/ / http://www.myspace.com/staubkindsite



Music & Performance
Again, the small stage got pretty crowded when headliner STAUBKIND entered it. But this time, also the place in front of the stage was very well filled. With already two full-time albums in stock, there were a lot of songs to choose from and so, lots of fan favourites from both has been presented starting with ‘Abschied’ and ‘Halt mich’. Manke’s music is a mix of harsh guitars, bombastic melodies and emotional chant and was well received by the audience which was singing and clapping along. The songs of Manke’s solo project have nothing to do with TERMINAL CHOICE. Instead harsh electro stuff, listeners can expect melancholic-rocking-melodic songs which combine elements of electro and Synth Pop with harsh modern guitars and the melancholic mood of Dark Wave. Finally it was also dark enough to see something you could describe as a light show, even though circumstances at the small stage were not the best. But the band brought some illuminated columns with them to add some more mood and they succeeded.



Setlist
01. Intro / Abschied
02. Halt mich
03. Erinnerung
04. Zu weit
05. Dein Engel schweigt
06. Viel mehr
07. Schlaflied
08. Keine Sonne
09. Ein Traum der nie vergeht
10. Wunderschön
11. Königin
12. Als ich fortging
13. Mein Herz
14. Knie nieder (RMX)
15. Ohne Dich

Rating
Music: 8
Performance: 8
Sound: 6
Light: 7
Total: 7.6




Umbra Et Imago - Main Stage

UMBRA ET IMAGO are a German Gothic-Metal / Neue Deutsche Härte band formed in autumn 1991. In picking up Sigmund Freud’s idea that sexuality was the centre of our being they processed sadomasochistic fantasies though their cynical lyrics. The band is famous for incorporating BDSM acts and complex pyrotechnics into their live shows. The breakthrough came with the release of the second album ‘Infantile Spiele’ in 1993 and the song ‘Gothic Erotic’ became a club hit. With Lutz Demmler and Alex Perin, joining the line-up in 1995, the sound of UMBRA ET IMAGO developed into a more guitar oriented direction, firstly audible on ‘Gedanken eines Vampirs’. The band decided never to play as a support act and after some fights this paid off. A remarkable lot of people come to their concerts. Besides countless singles, they’ve release album after album for instance ‘Mystica Sexualis’, ‘Machina Mundi’ or ‘Dunkle Energie’ After the release of their most recent album ‘Memento Mori’ (2004), a DVD named ‘Imago Picta’ (2006) came out which includes rare material and an accompanying Audio CD. UMBRA ET IMAGO is Mozart (vocals), Sören (guitar), Migge (drums), Lutz (bass, production, vocals) and Nanne (vocals, show). http://www.umbraetimago.de/ / http://www.myspace.com/machinamundi



Music & Performance
Well, I have never been a big fan of the band but I must admit that I had lots of fun during the show at NCN festival. It was brilliant what has been offered on stage. So many people had just waited to see UMBRA ET IMAGO and right from the start, the mood was fantastic. With some kind of best-of program containing such hits as ‘ Kleine Schwester’, ‘Hörst Du mein Rufen’ or ‘Memento Mori’, people just celebrated. During the show, Mozart changed his outfit several times, starting with just a monk cowl and changing later to the uniform of a Roman Centurion. Further songs in the set contained i.e. ‘Gott will es’, ‘Egoismus’, ‘Alles Schwarz’ or ‘Ein letztes Mal’. There was a pretty good contact to the audience with a singer entering the pit several times and even starting crowd surfing during ‘Mea Culpa’.



Besides that - as you could expect - also sexual and SM elements had an important part in the show. Mostly it was Nanne who was acting with candles or fire, but also her together with another girl playing some “games” in a metal cage. Much more important than this was for me, that Mozart took nothing too serious. He made jokes about all and anyone, might it be COLDPLAY, George W. Bush, TOKIO HOTEL or the scene itself, which moves into a wrong direction in his opinion. And yes, in some points he is really right. Anyone should think about it. After nearly 1.5 hours the band left the stage just to come back after huge applause.



For the encore ‘Rock me’ - a cover version of Austrian artist FALCO - Mozart asked one guy from the audience onto stage to sing the refrain. Pretty funny! The show ended this guy showing his bare ass to the audience when the band already has left the scene. All in all this was the crowing highlight of the festival, not musically (at least for me) but performance-wise.

Rating
Music: 6
Performance: 10
Sound: 8
Light: 8
Total: 7.8



At the end only one thing remains… to look back onto a fantastic familiar festival again. Even though there were minor technical problems, the whole crew did a perfect job and anyone felt very welcome. A big plus of this festival is that also the very first bands get a lot of time for their set. Good concept! Also the offered food and beverages were very good and the prices very decent. So, I already look forward next year’s edition of Nocturnal Culture Night and I only hope that the fest stays as familiar and small as it is. Promoters just should make a better deal with the weather god! ;)

Written by Daniela Vorndran; all band intros by Sebastian Huhn

All pictures by Daniela Vorndran (http://www.vorndranphotography.com/ / http://www.black-cat-net.de/ / www.myspace.com/vorndranphotography)
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