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Arvika, Sweden
14th July to 16th July 2005
Elegant Machinery, Spetsnaz, DAF, The Faint, New Order, The Kristet Utseende, Electrocute, VNV Nation, SITD, Junior Boys, Welle:Erdball, Strip Music, Deine Lakaien

Arvika is a small town somewhere in middle Sweden in the province Värmland. The normally rather quiet town turns into Sweden’s festival Mecca once a year. Since 1992, the Arvikafestivalen takes place every year and could note a substantial amount of more than 10,000 visitors this year. Over 150 artists preformed on eight stages. Besides Swedish stars, the Line-Up also features a lot of big International names. For example there are mentioned the legendary “New Order” who played a terrific show on the first festival evening. But more according to this later. According to the police the festival was pretty calm and there were fewer incidents then usual. The organisers are very pleased with how this year’s festival worked out and with their organisation. They are already working out the plans for Arvikafestivalen 2006. www.arvikafestivalen.se


 


Arvikafestivalen is a relative small festival with a very nice festival area with short ways and eight stages in total which guarantee an extremely sophisticated pleasure for your ears. Due to the very mixed Line-Up also the audience is mixed very much. So you find Goths and Electro-Lovers as well as friends of alternative Rock music and Trance or whole families including children and the grand parents. Also for the physical well-being is taken care. So it is difficult to choose between culinary delectabilities from Sweden (like wok-ed elk), International specialities (Indian, Mexican, Hungarian, Italian, Thai etc.) or simple Fast Food. The handling with alcohol selling takes surely getting used to. You cannot buy and drink alcoholic beverages on the whole festival area but only on a separated area which has an age restriction of 18 years. Also at the festival entrance there are fussy controls. A very big plaudit goes to the staff and to the security in the stage pits which did a very good job. They were very friendly and helpful and you could feel the joy at their work.



Thursday, 14th July 2005

After a very long train ride of nine hours we finally arrived at Arvika at 6p.m. That means we only had one hour time until the “Elegant Machinery” show started. So we hurried to the hotel, checked in and left our stuff and ran back to the festival area. After we were finally through all formalities, we were standing in front of the main stage (Vintergatan) just 10 minutes before the show started. The first festival day spoiled us also with the weather. We had a very warm and sunny summer evening with very good music.




Elegant Machinery – Vintergatan Stage (Main Stage)

During the spring of 1988, Richard Johansson and Leslie Bayne, heavy influenced by bands and artists like Yazoo, Human League, DM, Rational Youth and Robert Marlow decided to start a band. With the aim to make electronic music the way it was made during the early 80's, they began to put some songs together. In the course of time “Elegant Machinery” (Richard Johansson - synthesizers, Johan Malmgren - synthesizers, Robert Enforsen - vocals) became one of the most important Synth-Pop bands in Sweden and also abroad. After it was very quiet around the band in the last years they came together again for some concerts in 2004 what lead to the fact that they are working on new material now and trying to release a new single in autumn. www.analogue.org/em

Just on schedule they entered the stage at 7p.m., Robert dressed with an „Elegant Machinery“-shirt while Richard and Johan were wearing stylish black suits and Johan additionally sun glasses.

Music
Even though the sounds was still a bit weak on the main stage at that early evening, „Elegant Machinery“ started with that intensity that also is idiosyncratic to their songs. Just the first song “Words of Wisdom” woke the audience up from their afternoon dullness and made the people dance and sing. Once again it became clear that the Swedish formation made itself scarce during the last years. Just therefore it is good to know that the guys are working on new material. With their distinctive synth sounds the band played themselves into the hearts of the audience. Besides big hits like “Fading away”, “Hard to handle” or “Watching you” also less known songs like “Strange Behaviour” or “Entwined” had their place in the set and were assimilated enthusiastic by the audience.

Performance
The stage was equally stylish and demure as the band itself: two keyboards on the right and left side of the stage and the microphone in the middle. The black backdrop was decorated by a huge silver “EM”. The main attention was turned to front man Robert and was only turned to his both combatants from time to time; for example when Johan intones the backing vocals with his very much like Elvis Presley sounding voice. During “Hard to Handle” Richard left his place behind his keyboard stand to play his part on a tiny white keyboard on the stage rim… straight-faced like during the whole set. While there was not much motion on stage, the audience was moving all the more. So there were swayed flags to be seen; I remember especially a blue “This fish needs a Bike”-flag I saw very often during the festival. But the banners weren’t everything: The audience sang along every song, clapped and jumped for joy. After 15 songs the set was over. But of course the band wasn’t allowed to leave without their greatest hit. So they came back again with “Save me”.

Setlist
01. Words of Wisdom
02. Strange Behaviour
03. Shattered Grounds
04. Entwined
05. To live
06. Hard to Handle
07. Repressive Thoughts
08. Myself with you
09. Fading Away
10. Black Town
11. Blind Man Dreams
12. Flag of Truce
13. Things I’m saying
14. The Process
15. Hard Rain (Watching You)
------
16. Save me

Rating
Music 8
Performance 7
Sound 6
Light 6
Total 7 (7.1)




Spetsnaz – Andromeda Stage

The second band for us were on this day the Retro-EBM guys of “Spetsnaz” right after the show of “Elegant Machinery”. The hard hitting EBM duo “Spetsnaz” was formed in Örebro, Sweden in the autumn of 2001 by Stefan Nilsson and Pontus Stålberg. With the powerful vocals, frenetic pounding bass lines and relentless rhythmic assault, “Spetsnaz” has the aggression and the melody to be the missing link between the heavy scene and the pop scene. They are inspired by pioneering artists like “Nitzer Ebb”, “Front 242”, “Die Krupps” and “DAF”. www.spetsnaz.se

Music
Some might say they’re only copying the old EBM heroes of “Nitzer Ebb”. And it’s true that the stuff that “Spetsnaz” are producing sounds very much like them. Nevertheless the guys from Sweden include own elements to the music and create consequently something new and self-contained. And this self-reliance is been loved by the audience. So the EBM-loving people came together in the small “Andromeda” to listen to and dance to the hard beats and shouted messages of “Spetsnaz”. The set has been affected by an extreme speed from the beginning to the end which not only demanded everything from singer Pontus but also treated the audience to its limits.

Performance
The live show of “Spetsnaz” is as intense and energetic as the music, with Pontus moving all over the stage, screaming on top of his lungs, and Stefan fiercely beating his drum pads. One man behind the drums and one running over the stage – that’s the performance of “Spetsnaz”. This time, there was something special within the show. Song eight was announced by Pontus as follows: “You cannot make a perfect song better. But I tried anyway to make a remix of this song. It’s for my best friend. Happy Birthday!” After that announcement they presented an energetic version of that song together with his friend as a guest singer on stage. The set was ended by the terrific “Grand Design” from the conform album where the audience again gave everything.

Setlist
01. Silence implies Consent
02. Apathy
03. Foul Play
04. Femme Fatale
05. Bloodsport
06. To the Core
07. Darkling
08. (Cover Version)
09. On the Edge
10. Plaything
11. Hold on
12. Perfect Body
13. Grand Design

Rating
Music 7
Performance 7
Sound 6
Light 5
Total 7 (6.6)




DAF – Vintergatan Stage (Main Stage)

DAF is an influential synth/electro band from Düsseldorf, formed in 1978 featuring drummer/synth player Robert Görl, vocalist Gabi Delgado, guitarist W. Spelmans and bassist/keyboardist/saxophonist Chrislo Haas. The name stands for Deutsch Amerikanische Freundschaft or German-American friendship - which at the time the band formed was a shot at DSF, the East German German-Soviet friendship organization. Today, DAF are only Robert Görl and Gabi Delgado supported by Andrew McGuinness as live drummer. www.daf.ag

Music
The hard beats and catchy rhythms of the DAF-songs go directly into your ears and through your body to your feet to make you move. You cannot call the chant really a chant. It’s more like a spoken chant where Gabi is acting a bit like a priest on a holy mess and is preaching his message very intense to the audience. After the song “Kinderzimmer” he proclaims: “Jungs und Mädchen, die RAF darf nicht vergessen werden!” (“Boys and girls, the RAF shall not be forgotten!”) The sound on the main stage was now quite good and so the performed songs like the hits “Der Mussolini”, “Alle gegen alle” or “Verschwende Deine Jugend” directly reached the audience at its best. Only at the beginning of “Liebeszimmer” the speakers sounded over modulated. But the technicians solved the problem very fast.

Performance
While Andrew is hitting his drums and Robert is playing his keyboards very easy-going and is standing behind it always with a slight smile on the face, Gabi is rushing over the stage. During “Der Mussolini” Gabi is doing explicit gestures. During the whole set he showers himself again and again with water… and also the photographers in the pit and the audience do not stay dry. In his speed he also pushes down the micro stand several times. The audience is totally going mad; waving banners, flags or stuffed animals bound to sticks and dancing and clapping along with the music. Over and over again the security had to pull people out of the masses or hand out water to the people. Very impressive that the Swedes know the German lyrics very well and sing along each song. Though it was now quite dark, the lightshow combined with well dosed smoke started to work and looked very good in front of the black backdrop with the DAF letters. For the song “Liebeszimmer” the whole stage was flooded with red light what was fitting very well to the lyrics about sex and love. Of course the audience demanded an encore and so the band played “Der Mussolini” again.

Setlist
01. Sato Sato
02. Mein Herz macht bum
03. Der Mussolini
04. Der Sheriff
05. Kinderzimmer
06. Als wär´s das letzte mal
07. Ich und die Wirklichkeit
08. Die Lippe
09. Du bewegst Dich
10. Verschwende Deine Jugend
11. Liebeszimmer
12. Algorithmus
13. Alle gegen Alle
14. Kuss / Sex
15. Alles ist gut
------
16. Der Mussolini

Rating
Music 8
Performance 9
Sound 6
Light 7
Total 8 (7.9)




The Faint – Apollo Stage (Tent Stage)

The band's early years were a mix of lo-fi pop and easy listening with a touch of punk rock influences. After Bowen left the band and Jacob Thiele joined up, there were added the all-too-important keyboard sounds into the mix.  Later on they mostly focused on danceable beats, catchy keyboards, and an '80s- influenced sound that both revered and reinvented the past. Soon the Faint were revered as the second coming of new wave genius. In 2001, they also added a guitarist by the name of Dapose, whose death metal past worked perfectly with their music. “The Faint” are Clark Baechle, Todd Fink, Dapose, Joel Petersen and Jacob Thiele. www.thefaint.com

Music
On stage there was not only the five headed band but also two additional live musicians: a violinist and a female contrabass player. These two additional instruments added other certain sounds to the music of “The Faint”. The mixture of keyboard and guitars creates some kind of retro Wave sound. The whole set was very fast driven and energetic with a perfect but loud sound. From time to time the singer used some vocoder effects to alienate his voice.

Performance
After DAF were finished, people directly run into the tent stage to see the band. The tent filled up quite fast so the band could start without any delay. Unfortunately they played at the same time with Gåte from Norway so we missed one of the bands we wanted to see. People on stage played perfect together. Video projections on a big screen supported the show. Songs like “Paranoiattack” or “Agenda Suicide” were appreciated by the audience.

Rating
Music 8
Performance 8
Sound 7
Light 8
Total 8 (7.9)




New Order – Vintergatan Stage (Main Stage)

The British band “New Order” was today’s headliner on the main stage. When “Joy Division’s” Ian Curtis committed suicide in May 1980 the three remaining members, Bernard Sumner, Peter Hook and Stephen Morris continued making music under the name “New Order”. Today the band consists of Bernard Sumner (Barney; vocals and guitar), Peter Hook (Hooky: bass), Phil Cunningham (keyboards, guitar) and Stephen Morris (drums). The music is a fusion of new wave aesthetics and dance music combined with guitar sounds. So it creates a distinctively thoughtful and oblique brand of synth pop appealing equally to the mind, body, and soul. www.neworderonline.com

Music
As the four guys entered the stage you felt set back in time… so the 80ies with they incomparable style of music. Not even that the band played some of their old hits (“True Faith” or “Blue Monday”) they even added three “Joy Division” songs to the setlist what made the hearts of the old fans beating harder. But also songs from the two latest albums (i.e. “Crystal” and “Krafty”) had its place. “Temptation” was announced with: “Sweden is my favourite country in the world, and this time I'm actually not bullshitting - I'd like to live here”. The sound during the whole show was simply excellent and Barney’s voice sounded nearly like on CD.

Performance
At the beginning of the show Barney mostly stood behind his micro singing and playing guitar, dressed with some kind of rain jacket while Hooky ran from one site of the stage to the other, posing with his bass for the audience. Later on Barney pulled off his jacket and presented a short with a “Muhammad Ali” print on the back. Somehow the how was quite emotional. “Transmission” was presented to Ian Curtis for his birthday he had at 00:00 (15th July). In the second half of the gig, Barney left his position behind the micro stand more often, posing in front of the stage: “If someone would have told me 28 years ago, that I'd be here today - I'd never believed them…” During the whole show which was supported by a well balanced light show, the crowd was really enthusiastic with loads of dancing, pushing, clapping and singing. They went crazy the most during the “Joy Division” songs. So they were singing along during “Love will tear us apart” – a song they demanded by singing the lines all the set so far – and clapping hands were seen all over the area, all the way back to the mixer board tower.
The first encore “She’s lost control”, another “Joy Division” song, was presented by the words: “We haven't played this song for 25 years and we haven't rehearsed it either”. Barnay was singing “you can ring my bell-ell-ell, ring my bell” over the drum opening and Hooky didn’t look too pleased about it. After it was demanded very often during the set, they finally played “Blue Monday” as the very last song. You can say that Phil and Hooky were really rocking at the end with some guitar solos. Barney grabbed the micro and told the people that the both were warming up for the next gig they would play with “Deep Purple”. So very Metal-like, Hooky was throwing his instrument into the pit between stage and audience at the end of the show and left stage together with Barney who was holding a glass of beer.

Setlist
01. Crystal
02. Regret
03. Love Vigilantes
04. Krafty
05. Transmission
06. Atmosphere
07. The silent face
08. Waiting for the Sirens' call
09. True Faith
10. Bizarre Love Triangle
11. Love Will Tear Us Apart
12. Temptation
------
13. She's Lost Control
14. Blue Monday

Rating
Music 9
Performance 9
Sound 8
Light 8
Total 9 (8.7)





Friday, 15th July 2005

Was it the day before very nice outside and sunny, the Friday started with rain. Due to we had to be at the festival area quite late, we could sleep long and have a nice and relaxed start into the day. As we arrived at the festival are, we just saw what the rain made out of it: mud and water everywhere. It was worst in front of the main stage. Luckily there were some indoor stages too so you could stay quite dry overall and have some foods in the rain breaks.




The Kristet Utseende – Apollo Stage (Tent Stage)

We only had a short glimpse into the set of the band but want to share at least some pics with you. Almost exactly six years ago it ended. No one would see any perverted Maharaja under the sun for a long time. A number of years older, without any guarantee for a particularly higher degree of maturity, "The Kristet Utseende" have decided to once again unite and embark on a tent-meeting missionary trip. The Swedish punk's perhaps most bizarre creation don't fret over making enemies out of everything and everyone that have a hard time grasping irony. A new album is on its way, with a working title that in this context is logical - Siege Hallelujah. It will contaminate the otherwise clean record desks by fall. The punk monks gathering is however only expected to have a lifespan of about a year. After that it's up to the black gospel's hypocritical knights' hands, i.e. it's up to themselves. The cult band’s future is uncertain, so grab the opportunity to share the message, whatever it may be, at Arvikafestivalen. www.kristet.com




Electrocute – Apollo Stage (Tent Stage)

This band from Berlin/Germany was definitely the surprise of the day. The band has released its debut “Troublesome Bubblegum” in November 2004 in Europe. They also wrote a track for the “Spongebob Squarepants Movie”. “Troublesome Bubblegum” sees the dynamic duo delivering a freakishly good set of sonic candy, a twisted assortment of swaggering garage-punk guitars, fussy raunchy vocals combined with high energy dance beats. Electrocute are ambitious at their craft, and underneath the sticky sweetness, lies an always perfect, danceable beat. Bubblegum music is full of provocations and contradictions...which brings us to the 'troublesome' part, the darker side of pink. Electrocute are... Nicole Morier (vocals, guitar, beats, synths and other sounds) and Holly Doll (vocals, bass station, samples). For more information see also the label website. Listen to our recommendation and check out this band!
www.electrocute.de

Music
The music is an electro-clash mixture of synth sounds and guitars combined with samples, drum machine and different other instruments. It seemed the band was quite unknown in Sweden so the tent wasn’t totally filled. But the people who were there experienced a great surprise with fantastic sounds and a great show. Stripped down rock'n'roll made on whatever machines or weird electronics are the main aspects of their music. For the live show, a lot of stuff is coming of course from backing tape like all the melodies and drums. Additionally they add guitar sounds to the music. As we still know it from the tent stage, the sound is again very good. Their music is mixed from parts of a wide variety of genres such as, 60's girl groups, garage rock, punk, rockabilly, German new wave, and even rap...despite this experimentation, there is more originality to the Electrocute sound.

Performance
As the two girls entered the stage, they immediately caught the eyes of all the boys with their sexy appearance: wearing very tight hot pants and short blouses. The show consists not only of singing and playing instruments. It’s more an overall entertainment with dancing and pantomimic soft-shoes. The girls gave everything. Nicole was playing her guitar lying on the floor during “Fun is a floppy bitch”. Some when the audience demanded “louder!”. “The audience wants it louder, then make it louder!”. The song “I need a freak” was announced with the words: “Lights down for this song. Dark and sexy!”. Holly was gagging herself and later both were copying explicit positions. During “Cops copulating” Nicole was climbing up the speakers to dance there. For the encore “Fleisch” both entered the stage dressed up now with kitchen pinafores holding small pans and eggbeaters and they presented the song in a mixture of German and English: “This song goes to the Hausfraus”. With their unique show they saved a place in the people’s hearts.

Setlist
01. Nobody likes us
02. Kleiner dicker Junge
03. Tales of ordinary sadness
04. Shag ball
05. Fun is a floppy bitch
06. Venus fly trap
07. Bikini bottom
08. I need a freak
09. Cops copulating
10. Twolane blacktop
11. Jet set boy
-------
12. Fleisch
13. Cops copulating (Instrumental)

Rating
Music 7
Performance 9
Sound 7
Light 7
Total 7 (7.6)




VNV Nation – Vintergatan Stage (Main Stage)

Today the headliner status on the main stage was occupied by the Irish duo “VNV Nation”. “VNV Nation” are Ronan Harris (electronics, lyrics, vocals) and Mark Jackson (drums). “VNV Nation’s” inspiration was originally the clash of modern and classical Europe cultures, where mythology and technology live in an uneasy fusion but this has since broadened to encompass a world view. The music ranges from electronic dance music to ballads and classical inspired music. Inspirations are taken from a wide range of styles including contemporary underground club culture, industrial and classical music. The lyrics draw on philosophy, literature, art, politics and different forms of symbolism. VNV Nation does not advocate any ideology. It is a metaphor for expression. www.vnvnation.com

Music
Mark and Ronan do again have live support playing the keyboards: Kolja Trelle (aka Soman) who was support during the “Formation Tour” and Christian Lund of “Icon of Coil”. After the Intro and the just in time for the show started rain, the band starts with a fast song from the recent album: “Chrome”, which got the people to move right from the start. After some fast songs, “Legion live” is made to rest. So over the whole set, fast and slower songs alternate. Over the melodies stand once again Ronan’s strong voice and Mark’s enthusiastic drum play. The show presented old songs as well as songs from the latest album “Matter and Form”. So the deep “Homeward” was announced as the next single release and “Perpetual” was stated as the song that became the band’s favourite during the past tour.

Performance
Together with the intro, the show starts with a screen projection: „VNV Nation – Formation – Tour 2005“. The video projections accompanied the whole show harmonizing with each song.  Besides that, VNV Nation never had that much light on stage. Usually they like it quite dark with no or only little front light. Today, the light engineer could show what he’s able to: bright spots on Mark and Ronan combined with scanners in the background and on top of the stage. No matter that it’s raining during the whole show, the Swedish audience goes wild. So Ronan proclaims during “Darkangel”: “Here we are in the Swedish rain and having a good time!” People are jumping in the mud and singing along… not only because of Ronan’s request before “Standing” started: “you know the words? Then it would be an honour if you would sing with us!” But not only Ronan is firing up the audience… Mark does it too – not with words but with gestures.
At the end of the main set, both are leaving the keyboard players back on stage. For the first encore “Beloved” the stage is covered with red light during the slow parts which turns to blue during the faster parts. The song is also a favourite of the audience so they all are singing and clapping along with it. Ronan states “Let me see you moving. You’re amazing! People, come on!“ And of course people are doing as requested so Ronan says thank you in quite right Swedish: “Tack så mycket”. The last song is the instrumental “Electronaut” where Ronan and Mark take over the places behind the keyboards. After the set Ronan recommended the show of “SITD” which is taking place right after “VNV Nation” and asked the people to have a look.

Setlist
01. Intro
02. Chrome
03. Epicentre
04. Honour 2003
05. Legion live
06. Standing
07. Homeward
08. Darkangel
09. Perpetual
--------
10. Beloved
11. Electronaut

Rating
Music 8
Performance 9
Sound 8
Light 9
Total 8 (8.45)





SITD – Andromeda Stage

Bone-crunching beats, apocalyptical electro hymns and very energetic live appearances ... hailing from Germany’s real industrial heartland, the former coal and steel centres of the Ruhr area, [:SITD:] made a name for itself a while ago, and can be counted amongst the most acclaimed electronic projects of the present international club scene. “SITD are” Carsten Jacek (Vocals, Lyrics), Thomas ’Tom’ Lesczenski (Musik, Backing Vocals) and Francesco ’Frank’ D’Angelo (Keyborads, Live Backing Vocals). www.sitd.de

Music
For their first gig in Sweden, Arvika was just the right setting. During some small talk the day after, Tom told me that they were a bit afraid before the show. They looked out to the audience area short before the show and there were only a few people. But after Ronan’s announcement, he told me, they had much more people there than expected and were totally overwhelmed by the reactions. It really seemed the the Swedish EBM-people love the hard beating electro sound of “SITD”. The set started with a very long intro where only smoke and lights were on stage. Right after it, they started with the burner “Richtfest” from the recent record “Coded Message 12”. Carsten is doing most of the vocals with his very special accent, but Tom is taking over the front micro for some songs too; so he does for “Venom” and “Relief”. 

Performance
The stage design is very Spartanic: the two keyboards covered with SITD-flags in the back and the microphone in the front. The band enters the stage wearing its band merchandising as always. While Tom and Frank are bound behind their keyboards (Tom only leaves it for his songs), Carsten is occupying the front of the stage, running from one end to the other. Like we know it from this band, the lights are very restraining and only some strobe light lighten up the stage a bit more from time to time. The enthusiasm in the audience is directly transferred to the band and manifests in such statements, which are given through the whole set: “Give me your hands Arvika! You look so nice”, “It’s so much fun to be here in Sweden”, “Let me see your hands. Also behind there” and “. It’s so much fun to play here”. During the club hit “Laughingstock” Carsten even jumps from the stage into the pit. The last song of the main set was holding on a surprise: Ronan and Mark from “VNV Nation” appeared on stage as guest musicians. And that wasn’t all. As the band was going to say goodbye, Ronan came back to stage and directed Tom and Frank back to their keyboards and was stating to the audience: “No, they are not going now! Do you like SITD?“ And of course the audience liked them. So they were forced to play another song – an energetic version of “Depeche Mode’s” “Never let me down again” with Tom on the micro. Tom is so much into it that you might think he’s acting a bit like real Dave Gahan (singer of Depeche Mode). Band and audience; all are waving their arms. And people want still more. But there is no more time. So Ronan promised: “We’re hitting them to come back to Sweden”.

Setlist
01. intro
02. richtfest
03. brand of cain
04. rose coloured skies
05. venom ( slow )
06. relief
07. wegweiser
08. laughingstock
09. lebensborn
10. ascension
11. snuff machinery
---------
12. never let me down again

Rating
Music 7
Performance 9
Sound 8
Light 5
Total 7 (7.45)




Saturday, 16th July 2005

The last day started like the one before… with rain. And it was even harder rain which caused much more mud. Luckily we had some dry moments too and all the concerts we wanted to see that day were on closed stages.




Junior Boys – Andromeda Stage

Also this day had a nice surprise in stock for us: „Junior Boys“. „Junior Boys defy any easy equation, joining a long tradition of sonically rich pop that unites emotionally charged songcraft with experimental process, like New Order and the Beach Boys before them. Just as Luomo redefined house; mixing dub and electronics with vocals, Last Exit breaks new ground for electro-pop, blending heart felt lyrics with a production style that owes a debt to artists as varied as Timbaland, Todd Edwards, Fennesz and the Basic Channel school. In short, it reflects early 80s pop history back through the styles of contemporary dance. They formed somewhere around 1999 in Hamilton, Canada, the same town that brought us Manitoba and Kieran 'Four Tet' Hebden's Text label. Junior Boys' conception occurred with two events: first listening to Dem 2's 'Baby (you're so sexy)', which caused them to say "Yo! This is the future of music." Next, hearing Sylvian / Sakamoto doing 'Bamboo Houses' prompted "Whoa...THIS is the future of music."” For more info visit: www.juniorboys.net

Music
We did not plan another band at the moment and were looking for something to listen to… so we discovered this Canadian band which description sounded quite interesting. The two guys – Matt (keyboard/guitar) and Jeremy (vocals/guitar) – entered the stage and started their set with very calm and somehow psychedelic electronic sounds. Some tracks reminded me very much of “New Order” we had seen two days before and Jeremy’s voice sounded even like “Morrissey” from time to time. Drums and synth lines came from backing tape while guitar and voice were presented live. People who like “New Order”, “Joy Division”, “Morrissey” or “Coldplay” will definitely like this band too. The sound was very clear and the voice of Jeremy sounded fantastic. Also Ronan Harris (“VNV Nation”) and the guys from “SITD” liked it a lot.

Performance
The boys were somehow dressed like farmer boys and somehow that represents a bit the show where not much happened. But for this set, the music was much more important. Someone stated later: “They don’t look good, they have a stupid name, but they make great music”. And definitely they were a musical discovery. They moody songs were accompanied with fitting moody lights. They people who were there even demanded en encore which was given. In between the set we took a short side trip to the “Zero” tent, where Ronan Harris (“VNV Nation”) and Alexander Hofman (S.P.O.C.K) were playing table hockey against volunteers. Their opponents later got a CD and Autographs. But like Ronan, who heard the music and had to go to the stage, it also pulled us back to the stage to see the rest of the show.

Rating
Music 9
Performance 5
Sound 8
Light 7
Total 7 (7.4)




Welle:Erdball – Andromeda Stage

“The device broadcasts since 1990. Here, German texts are combined with fireworks of electronics. And nothing will be decorated or even forgotten. In all situations of life “Welle:Erdball” stands by your side with advice and sound. Welle:Erdball is everywhere and always with the pulse of time. Whole Germany and many of the countries around have already been connected to the net. Where artists like “Kraftwerk”, “Profil”, “DAF”, “Ideal” etc. unfortunately stagnated, “Welle:Erdball” continues. And also on stage they can be seen and heard along with a kaleidoscope full of computer technology - live and in black/white. After 9 records until now, “Welle:Erdball” soon will publish the latest radio programme on vinyl.” www.welle-erdball.de

Music
“Welle:Erdball” is somehow a nostalgic journey into the 80ies. Most of their music is produced by analogue synth sounds, especially made by the Commodore 64. They combine male with female chant. That day in Arvika they sounded as always and also the new female singer fitted very well into the line-up. A quite good sound did the rest to make it a good concert. The set was quite different to the one they presented some weeks before at the Amphi Festival in Germany. Again they used a diverse amount of electronic instruments and during “Arbeit adelt” Honey was as always beating at a barrel where confetti was on which jumped into the air with every beat.

Performance
During the preparations, the stage was hided behind a curtain. The band is very popular in Sweden (may you understand it or not) and so a lot of people came to see “Welle:Erdball”. The audience area was much too small and so many people stood outside to see the band. Long before the show started, people began clapping and shouting out “Welle! Welle!”. The stage design was as we know it: two round podiums in the front and the movable metal constructions in the back. Additionally there were two white screens on every side. Just from the very beginning there is scramble in the crowd. For the first song “Schaufensterpuppen” Alf and Honey enter the stage dressed as always in fancy black suits and sunglasses, and took their places at the podiums. The girls, wearing petticoat dresses, appeared on stage for the second song when the curtains were removed and you only could see them moving behind the screens as silhouettes. Finally before the third song, Honey greeted the audience with the well known words: “You’re listening to the German radio station Welle:Erdball”. Soon it was time for “oldies but goldies” and so the hit “Arbeit adelt” sounded through the air. Like this song, every other one is announced full-bodied by Honey. The crowd was going totally mad; jumping and clapping all the set. The Security was very busy to hand out water to them. Of course there were the gimmicks in the set you know: signs with the word “buy” in different languages during “Mensch aus Glas”, paper planes thrown by the girls during “Starfighter” or the red balloons which was thrown into the audience during “Es geht voran”. For the song “Walkman” the girls had changed their clothes into tight black leather suits and took place at some podiums in the pit wearing walkmans which they handed out to the audience as a souvenir. The crowd is really enthusiastic and also the security in the pit is singing along and clapping. The last song of the main set was announced as a cover version of a “Neue Deutsche Welle” song: “Fred vom Jupiter”. It was taken very thankful by the audience and Honey included some own lines into the lyrics: „Es hat uns sehr gut gefallen in Schweden, wir freuen uns auf ein Wiedersehen“ (We enjoyed it very much here in Sweden and looking forward a reunion). After this song they said goodbye with the well known words: “Ladies and Gentlemen, thank you very much. You listened to the German radio station Welle:Erdball“.

But of course that wasn’t the last song. As encore they played “Electrosmog” where the girls are firing with toy guns onto the audience. The further planned song “Die Moorsoldaten” couldn’t be played because there was no time left. But Honey announced a signing session for later. For a lot of people in the audience, “Welle:Erdball” were surely the secret highlight of the day.

Setlist
01. Schaufensterpuppen
02. Grüße von der Orion
03. Wir wollen keine Menschen sein
04. 23
05. Arbeit adelt
06. Mensch aus Glas
07. 8 Bit Märchenland
08. Starfighter F-104G
09. Wo kommen al die Geister her
10. Walkman
11. Es geht voran
12. Monoton und Minimal
13. Fred vom Jupiter
------
14. Electrosmog

Rating
Music 7
Performance 8
Sound 7
Light 7
Total 7 (7.3)




Strip Music – Andromeda Stage

The band was formed in 2001. Henric de la Cour was for several years the singer and heart of the band Yvonne, and he started Strip Music as something of a hobby. Gradually the hobby took over and in 2004 the band release their debut album "Strip Music", with the first single "Desperation". De la Cour's distinctive vocals give the band its identity, with 80's-style synthpop bringing to mind Echo & the Bunnymen and even Gary Numan. Surefire melodies and powerful hooks! “Strip Music” are Henric de la Cour (Vocals), Christian Berg (Synthesizer), Jens Hellqvist (Synthesizer), Fredrik Balck (Drums), Asp (Bass) and Patsy Bay (Guitar ). www.stripmusic.se

Music
“Strip Music” are playing at the same time as “Deine Lakaien” and so they are stealing the audience a bit from each other. But anyway it’s quite good filled in the Andromeda. Even though it is not that full as during “Welle:Erdball”, the audience is touched and goes along with the music which reminds me of the old heroes “Joy Division” and “The Cure” but also new fresh bands like “Interpol” or “The Faint”. Comprehensive synth layers are mixed with catchy guitars, characteristic drum beats and a very charismatic voice that gets under your skin and the peppy mixture of rock elements and electronic sounds catches you immediately. Also the slower songs work very well after some faster tracks. From time to time Henric´s voice even reminds me of U2´s Bono Vox and is especially deep during the ballad “Lucy” which is the last song of the set. People are really into it and celebrating it with waving arms where even the security joins in. Over the whole set the sound is very good and the drums are clearly recognized and give the right drive to the set.

Performance
Henric is an impressive person on stage with his striking and memorable hair cut and his white rouged face. But somehow he doesn’t like direct light from the front. So the whole stage was tinted with red and blue light from the back, interrupted by white scanners which are circling over the stage. From time to time, bright yellow light enlighten the audience. All people on stage are very vivid and singer Henric often bows that much over the stage rim that you fear he might fall from stage. After only 35 minutes the main set is over. But they are coming back for two more songs. Anyway, the set is with 45 minutes in total much too short.

Setlist
01. Oh my God
02. Remarkable Life,
03. 24hrs
04. Razorblade
05. The Conversation
06. Never Die
07. Desperation
08. She's so in Love
-------
09. Plastic Doll
10. Lucy

Rating
Music 8
Performance 7
Sound 7
Light 5
Total 7 (7.1)




Deine Lakaien

“Deine Lakaien” (Ernst Horn – music, Alexander Veljanov – vocals) are somehow exceptional in German music landscape. Their music balances between classic, folk, techno, rock, industrial, goth, wave and ambient soundscapes. It does not follow any current trends and is not oriented on any commercial guidelines whatsoever. With the latest album “April skies” the charismatic vocalist Alexander Veljanov and the classically trained composer, pianist and drummer Ernst Horn together experience again a huge success with their concept of ignoring the borders set by genres and cultures. www.deine-lakaien.com

Music
Even though the tent wasn’t totally filled up – maybe they are not that well known in Sweden yet? – there were a lot of real fans. That night, they were playing an acoustic set: only Alexander Veljanov on a chair behind his microphone and Ernst Horn sitting behind a black grand piano. But he’s not only sitting there hitting the keys… during “Mirror man” he is hitting the strings of the piano with a drum stick and later on during “Over and done” he’s once again working the strings – this time with his fingers. The sound that night was fantastic and the deep rich voice of Alexander sounded great. Right from the start they set a very nice mood with the deep, slow, atmospheric songs.

Performance
Alexander is always a remarkable person on stage with his high teased hair bound to a ponytail. As it was an acoustic set, there was not that much action by the persons on stage. But the music itself was enough to set a nice warm mood and the lights accompanied it perfectly. For “Follow me” they used well dosed smoke in the back of the stage enlightened with blue light and on the back of stage red lights were painting flowers. You can feel that they love to be on that stage, taking thankful the appreciation by the audience. It seemed many out of the audience were familiar with the early work of the band and so they showed their appreciation by clapping along to a part of the older song “Wasted years” from the 1986 album entitled only “Deine Lakaien”. After ten songs, the main set was over. But they had some extras in stock. Like the French song “Vivre” from their recent album after which Alexander said thank you with “Merci beaucoup”. After the older and faster “Dark Star” they asked if they should play yet another one, at first seemingly leaving it up to the audience and singing a few lines at the most loudly suggested song which was “Mind Machine”. But then they continued with the rehearsed “Follow me”. After a quick check, they established that there were yet another 5 minutes time - “Five minutes left, last song, the final one” - and used them to play the very last song, “Wunderbar”.

Rating
Music 8
Performance 7
Sound 7
Light 7
Total 7 (7.4)





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