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ennlfrdeitrues
Leipzig, Germany
21st - 25th May 2010
Wave Gotik Treffen Day 3: Liquid Divine, Reactivate, Lola Angst, Biomekkanik, Cephalgy, Auto Auto, The Lovecrave, Vigilante, S.P.O.C.K, Big Boy, [:SITD:], Colony 5, Faith & the Muse, Elegant Machinery, Diary of Dreams, Welle:Erdball, Lacrimosa, Alien Sex Fiend

First thing I did on Sunday... sleeping very long. Then meeting some friends for “breakfast” and some nice conversations at the Moritzbastei before my day finally started. Today’s line-up at the festival made it rather hard to choose where to go. With a heavy heart (especially since I knew Torben Wendt would be on stage with the band) I decided not to see DIARY OF DREAMS at the Agra since it simply was not possible if I wanted to catch my favourite Swedish Synth bands at Kohlrabizirkus...




Liquid Divine - Kohlrabizirkus [Daniela Vorndran]

In 2000, Guido Stoye and Christian Fritsche started working on a fusion of music and word they would be calling LIQUID DIVINE eventually. But it would take another 5 years before a sonic output would be released with the debut album ‘Interface’ on Infacted Recordings. Quite frankly, this is an album that’s still hard for me to get into. The follow-up ‘Black Box’ released in 2007, however, would become one of my favourites of the year and fully convinced me. More than 2 years have passed ever since in which the duo worked pretty hard on their third album ‘Autophobia’, released in October 2009. LIQUID DIVINE is Guido Stoye (words, vocals, songwriting) and Christian Fritzsche (music, songwriting, arrangement, production). http://liquiddivine.com/ / http://www.myspace.com/liquiddivine



Music & Performance
“Swedish Day” at the Kohlrabizirkus was started by two non-Swedish bands, first of them being LIQUID DIVINE. First thing I spotted was a third man on stage who turned out to be the fresh personnel reinforcement on keys, Alexander Stetter, who was up to now responsible for control of the visuals behind the stage. Being first band is never easy, but this Sunday was definitely not the day of LIQUID DIVINE. First, there were not too many people present at the big hall and secondly, the band had to fight some technical problems. Just after the first song, ‘Fallen Men’, there was silence. The second song just would not start. It took several minutes which Guido tried to bridge with some small talk, until second song, ‘Planet Zoo’ from the recent ‘Autophobia’ album, would start. Even though the band tried hard afterwards to convince the audience, they could not ignite a spark within the audience and I think also that the band is much better on CD than live on stage, at least after this experience.

Setlist
01. Fallen Men
02. Planet Zoo
03. Click
04. Redshift
05. Kaleidoscope
06. Frontend

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




Reactivate - Kohlrabizirkus [Daniela Vorndran]

The idea to transcend the musical ideas they’d cultivated for quite some time into something audible came to the future band colleagues after drinking some beers in a German club and after this was settled they’ve started to with the realization of their project - with very spare means back then, I have to add - which would eventually become the name REACTIVATE. In 2003, REACTIVATE took part in the renowned Battle of the Bands’ contest by German music magazine Sonic Seducer, made #2 and ended up being signed to famous Synthetic Product Records label which released their debut full-length ‘ReActivate your Mind’ in 2005. In spring 2008 production on the second yet untitled band of the album started with prominent help by Mario Schumacher (EDGE OF DAWN). REACTIVATE are Frank (keys), Marc (keys), and Olli (vocals). http://www.reactivate.de/ / http://www.myspace.com/reactivate



Music & Performance
I had seen the band last year in a smaller club in Hanover. As much as they could convince there, as little they did at the big Kohlrabizirkus. They just could not ignite a spark. The trio seemed somehow lost on the big stage. Frank and Marc on keys were placed in the very back corners of the stage in front of a big screen…. that was not used at all during the show. The light “show” was also very poor, so there was no support within the performance either. Singer Olli’s first duty on stage was to excuse for his vocal performance because of a sore throat. Well, not only that seemed to be the reason he sounded not really good this day. Usually presenting really danceable Synth pop, I just was bored. And also lots of attendees seemed so, judging the many people sitting outside the venue enjoying the good weather. Well, next chance for the band to convince me will surely come.

Rating
Music: 6
Performance: 5
Sound: 6
Light: 4
Total: 5.4 / 10




Lola Angst - Parkbühne [Carsten Leopold]

Once upon a time, there was an old little church organ that was left alone in an ancient village chapel in Lichtenberg in Berlin, it had been abused in Sunday mass for several decades, and its graceful sounds would be accompanying the dreadful dirges of untalented and geriatric people. One night, two vagabonds came by, kidnapped it, and named it "Lola". Since then, the crazy trio is travelling the world, playing music under the moniker of LOLA ANGST. Ever since then, the project has released two acclaimed full-length albums and a live disc called ‘Viva la Lola/Live in Germania’ in September 2009. Next up will be ‘Golden Future & Remix’. LOLA ANGST currently is "Lola" the Church organ, Alexander Leonard Goldmann (singing and playing Lola), Nina Angst (keys), Zwie Angst (bass), Damian Angst (electronics) and Tyronne de Silva (drums). http://www.myspace.com/lolaangst



Music & Performance
Sunday afternoon, the sun was shining over the Clara Zetkin Park - a nice green oasis in the heart of Leipzig. In the idyllic located "Parkbühne", LOLA ANGST entered the stage after an intro with the theme of the German national anthem and began their crazy show. As usual the stage was dominated by Lola - the organ which had given the name for the band. Goldman and Nina were dressed complete in white, the other both band members in black. The power of the rousing performance quickly infected the crowd that was dancing and singing along. At the second or third song, the Ibook crashed and the track didn't start, but the drummer bridged this mishap with an improvised drum solo which was answered with applause and the show went on when the Ibook was ready with reboot. Altogether, LOLA ANGST impressed with a great performance, the set ran about 45 minutes and the temper was just great.



Setlist
01. Intro
02. Hello Happiness
03. Just Slaves
04. Dear Enemy
05. I Love Myself
06. Strange Beautiful Tear
07. Daddy Daddy
08. Mr. Trisex
09. Final War
10. Dead Man’s Song
11. Am I Dead

Rating
Music: 9
Performance: 10
Sound: 9
Light: - (daylight)
Total: 9.4 / 10




Biomekkanik - Kohlrabizirkus [Daniela Vorndran]

It all started out in the early 80s with a guy, heavily influenced by the New Romantic Scene of that time. Soon after a DEPECHE MODE concert in 1986, he started playing in several less successful bands. In 1997, the idea of a solo project, called BIOMEKKANOID came up, resulting in an ULTRAVOX cover song on a compilation. That same year he was offered to join S.P.O.C.K and took over the role as songwriter and producer later on. In 2001, the solo project idea came back to his mind and in 2004 a demo of ‘License of Live’ was featured on the electriXmas compilation. 2005 saw the first live performance of BIOMEKKANIK taking place and in 2009 the fans finally could get their hands on the album ‘State of Perfection’, released to critical acclaim. BIOMEKKANIK live is Christer Hermodsson (vocals), Meistrich (keys) and Mattias Johansson (guitar). http://www.biomekkanik.com/ / http://www.myspace.com/biomekkanik



Music & Performance
Now, it was finally time for the first Swedish band of the day. I’ve seen the very first performance of BIOMEKKANIK in a tiny club in Sweden, and I’ve seen some years later the show at elextriXmas that really convinced me of the live qualities. What a change we got now compared to the previous band! Even though there were also only three people on the big stage. But instruments were placed much closer to each other, Christer and Mattias were moving a lot and also Meistrich on keys was full of action. Except ‘Fuck the Pain Away’, all songs from the ‘State of Perfection’ album were played including my favourites ‘Enemy’, ‘Pitch Black Ocean’ and the title track of the album. I was again impressed by Christer’s vocal power. It is already strong on CD, but live it is much more intense. Also the overall sound is more organic with the powerful live guitar added by Mattias of PROJECT GRUDGE [comment: you should check this project out, really!]. Not only I was convinced by the performance, also the audience was, judging the loud clapping in the hall.

Setlist
01. Heaven awaits
02. Enemy
03. Come and see my world
04. Evil
05. Licence to live
06. Rock Solid
07. Pitch black Ocean
08. State of Perfection
09. Be Like Us

Rating
Music: 9
Performance: 9
Sound: 8
Light: 7
Total: 8.6 / 10




Cephalgy - Parkbühne [Carsten Leopold]

Founded in 1997, as nameless project, the name soon changes to SVEN WEST who also was a member of the project by the time. The name CEPHALGY, which is a Latinization of the German Zephalgie, meaning Headache, came up after the project got signed to the German label Out of line, where they debuted with ‘Engel Sterben Nie’ in March 2004, followed by ‘Finde deinen Dämon’ in October 2005 and the ‘Moment der Stille EP’ a good year later. The most recent album ‘Herzschlag’, originally released in 2008 will see a 2010 re-release on 28th May. CEPHALGY is Jörg Göhler (vocals, programming), Ronny & Chris (synths). http://www.cephalgy.de/ / http://www.myspace.com/cephalgy

Music & Performance
CEPHALGY entered the stage after the change over and now black was the dominating colour on stage again, just as it suits a Goth festival. The guys of CEPHALGY did a dedicated performance and pleased the crowd with their rhythmic and danceable electro sound. The set contained all in all ten songs including ‘Erlöse mich’, ‘Hass mich’ and of course the biggest hit of the band, ‘Engel sterben nie’, as very last song. Quickly, the time went over and the people enjoyed the energetic show.



Setlist
01. Erlöse Mich
02. Schwarze Göttin
03. Hass Mich
04. From my Hands
05. Tränen zu Staub
06. Gott
07. I’ll Survive
08. Müde
09. Zum Abschied
10. Engel sterben nie

Rating
Music: 7
Performance: 7
Sound: 9
Light: - (daylight)
Total: 7.4 / 10


Auto Auto - Kohlrabizirkus [Daniela Vorndran]

AUTO-AUTO is a Swedish multi-art project emerging in 2004 whose “main purpose is to try to change and encourage change in your local community, thus from small changes ultimately making the world a better place for all of us to live in”. In 2005, work on the first album ‘Sounds of a New Generator’ began and the album was released in May of that same year and gained critical recognition from all over Europe due to which the band started to play local gigs around Gothenburg. In late 2005, the guys completed the ‘Totem’ EP, released under the Creative Commons license, which is still freely available for download on the band homepage, followed in 2006 by the ‘Totem Remixed’ EP and a nomination for best newcomer at Scandinavian Alternative Music Awards. 2008 sees the release of their second album ‘Celeste’ on Out of Line. AUTO-AUTO is Johan Hellqvist (keys), Erik Frankel (vocals) and Elliott Berlin (keys). http://www.auto-auto.se/ / http://www.myspace.com/autoautose



Music & Performance
Next one in the Swedish circus was AUTO-AUTO. And also they prove that an all-electronic band does not need to be lost on stage. As like for REACTIVATE, the both keyboards were placed in the back corners of the stage in front of the big screen… but… it was much different to the mentioned band in general. Did i.e. ROTERSAND use big LEDs (fitting to the modern electro sound), AUTO-AUTO used a lot of old-fashioned TV set placed on stage in front of the keyboards, fitting a lot to the analogue Synth sounds. The TVs as well as the screen in the back showed various videos. Front man Erik was very agile on stage using all the available space. The set started with ‘Someone out there’ and ‘Zombies on MTV’, two songs I did not know so far, probably new ones? All in all, there were several songs from the latest release ‘Celeste’ included in the set, an album, I really like. And I also liked the performance on this Sunday afternoon at the Kohlrabizirkus.

Setlist
01. Someone out there
02. Zombies on MTV
03. Do you need some Space
04. Backstabber
05. Starcharts
06. Obstacles
07. Where the buffalo roam
08. Shadowlands
09. Hastwerk

Rating
Music: 8
Performance: 8
Sound: 7
Light: 7
Total: 7.7 / 10




The Lovecrave - Agra [Anne Kuhfuß]

Originally formed as "Love-C-Rave" in 2003 (meaning "Hundredth Rave of Love"), the band consisted of two experienced rock musicians from Milan and two old friends of Venetian origin that moved to Milan to make music. The music style of THE LOVECRAVE is a mix of gothic, 80's hard rock, metal, dark wave and electro-pop with heavy influences by IRON MAIDEN and DEPECHE MODE. Tank Palamara (guitar and production) and Francesca Chiara (vocals) wrote about 15 songs in less than a month which resulted in the 2006 debut album ‘The Angel and the Rain’ for which Francesca wrote the background story that is set in a sort of Blade Runner world. In November 2007, the band won an award as Best Italian Band on International Ground at the MEI (Independent Labels Meeting). The recent output ‘Soul Saliva’ was recorded in December 2009 at Musicay Studio and Remaster Studio and has been released on March 14th of 2010. http://www.thelovecrave.com/ / www.myspace.com/thelovecrave



Music & Performance
THE LOVECRAVE was a new band to me up to that point. When the band entered the stage, I thought “Hm, ok, a band and a female singer. Well, let’s see if they have anything new to offer.” And they didn’t. Their music was pretty basic and her voice wasn’t that outstanding either. In fact, I completely forgot their music after we left the concert and this is definitely always a bad sign. The sound wasn’t too bad and the band actually knew how to present themselves on stage. Especially the singer had a lot of energy and she moved around the stage all the time. It was also nice to see how the band tried to animate the small group of people that gathered together in front of the stage. THE LOVECRAVE was the 3rd band to play that Saturday’s evening and I think it was a little sad that only this small amount of people made it to the Agra but I guess after 2 days everybody was a little tired. All in all, it was a concert with music that was quite ok but had nothing special to it that one would remember after listening to the band.

Rating
Music: 6
Performance: 8
Light: 7
Sound: 7
Total: 6.9 / 10




Vigilante - Parkbühne [Carsten Leopold]

VIGILANTE hails from Chile and is known for being quite a uncompromising formation when it comes to combining harsh guitars, Synth sounds and socially critical lyrics to a vibrant and stirring combination. The band’s first known release is the album ‘The Heroes’ Code’ from 2005, followed by two more albums until 2007. Also the band has collaborated or toured with such big names as NINE INCH NAILS and DIE KRUPPS already. Their most recent release is the live CD/DVD ‘Live is a Battlefield’ out since October 2009. 2010 now will see the band’s second appearance at Wave Gotik Treffen after their debut appearance in 2006. VIGILANTE is Iván Muñoz (vocals), Mario Salgado (guitar), Patricio Gonzalez (keyboards, visuals). http://www.vigilante.cn/ / http://www.myspace.com/vigilanteband

Music & Performance
VIGILANTE entered the stage some minutes earlier than announced. The three guys were painted with raggery and impressed with a powerful rousing performance. The sun still was shining, meanwhile the venue was filled up very well and the temper was good. The people were dancing and enjoyed the music. The set ran about 45 minutes and included some yet unreleased songs from the upcoming album.

Setlist
01. Intro / Fire
02. Prison break
03. Juicio final
04. Victims
05. The new Resistence
06. Hardcore
07. Army of time
08. To the hilt
09. Native blood
10. Freedom

Rating
Music: 8
Performance: 8
Sound: 9
Light: - (daylight)
Total: 8.2 / 10


S.P.O.C.K - Kohlrabizirkus [Daniela Vorndran]

In 1988, Eddie Bengtsson wrote a handful of songs to be performed at Finn Albertsson's birthday party, with Alexander Hofman performing vocals; the three men dubbed the band Mr. Spock. After the performance at the party, the band continued for several months to play at other house parties, but soon managed to secure some event bookings. The band had to drop their former name, when Paramount Pictures demanded a heavy compensation for using that name, so they renamed themselves to S.P.O.C.K which is an acronym for Star Pilot on Channel K. The commercial breakthrough came in 1990 with the release of the 7” single ‘Silicon Dream’. This was only the start of a victory march into the hearts of synth pop lovers all over the world. They’ve released six albums with ‘2001: A S.P.O.C.K Odyssey’ in 2001 being the latest one. The current line-up is: Alexander Hofman (Android - vocals, song writing), Christer Hermodsson (Crull-E - keys) and Johan Malmgren (Yo-Haan - keys). http://www.subspace.se/spock / http://www.myspace.com/spockorbit



Music & Performance
SPOCK’n’Roll! Now it was time for my favourite Swedish star pilots entering the Kohlrabizirkus again after they played the same location already two years ago during the WGT. And let me tell you, this show was different. As Mr. Android said after a few songs, since they already played this location two years ago, they could not play the same show. First difference was the appearance, when our three pilots entered the stage… they all wore white lab coats, making them look like chemists or something similar. The show started with ‘Spacewalk’ followed by ‘Mr. Spock’s Brain’, when a martial looking Klingon entered the stage. Following ‘E.T. phone home’ was a little speech and then, the “chemists” undressed and revealed… no, not the known space uniforms but Superman outfits, in yelling blue-red-yellow. What a look! I nearly missed taking more pics because I just had to stare! Next up were ‘Not Human’ and ‘Astrogirl’, latter one presenting a girl in police uniform serving drinks to the thirsty men on stage.



With ‘Dr. McCoy’, ‘Out there’ and ‘E-lectric’, some more classics followed until we got a real surprise: the band played a cover version of DEPECHE MODE’s ‘Ice Machine’, long, long ago released on a Swedish tribute sampler. Was this S.P.O.C.K’s tribute to DM’s 30th anniversary this year? Great surprise anyway. Of course, one last song should not be missed, and so, ‘Never trust a Klingon’ was played as very last song presenting Darth Vader with his laser sword as another guest on stage. As we all know it, the band said good-bye with the obligatory Vulcan greeting. Live long and prosper, guys!

Setlist
01. Spacewalk
02. Mr. Spock’s Brain
03. E.T. phone home
04. Not Human
05. Astrogirl
06. Dr. McCoy
07. Out There
08. E-lectric
09. Ice Machine (Depeche Mode Cover)
10. Never trust a Klingon

Rating
Music: 8
Performance: 10
Sound: 8
Light: 8
Total: 8.6 / 10




Big Boy - Agra [Anne Kuhfuß]

Many rumours have been spread around the internet about German band BIG BOY (which emigrated to Los Angeles) and it's singer and front man who goes by the same name. From a vision of Freddie Mercury telling him to found the biggest rock band the world has ever seen to an auction of oral sex for financing the first record recording there can be read a lot. Anyhow, this first album titled ‘Hail the Big Boy’ was released in 2007 and contained a variety of musical styles. BIG BOY established their blending of Glam, Gothic, Emo and Industrial Rock long before the album on a great amount of stages and themselves as a live band. The recent output ‘Ponygirl’ received mixed reviews from the music press while the fans liked it. http://www.hailthebigboy.com/ / www.myspace.com/hailthebigboy

Music & Performance
A couple of weeks ago, I reviewed BIG BOY’s new album and wasn’t really happy with that. As soon as I read that he was gonna be at this year’s WGT, I put him on my plan for 2010. The band entered the stage accompanied by some applause from the view people who were standing in the Agra at that time. The band looked pretty normal, almost too coloured if you ask me. That was the first thing that surprised me.



The second thing was his announcement after the first song when he said: “Hey Leipzig! Es ist toll, hier zu sein… auf’m M’era Luna... hmm, oops!” I was actually pretty sure that he was joking at that time but then he said something else which made me wonder if he was really joking: “It’s great to be here for the first time!” and a little quieter “...and probably for the last time”. I didn’t really know how to deal with those words and so, I just listened to the music and watched the show. The music was actually quite good and the band was in a good shape that day. He played some songs from the new and also from the old album. The show was a good opportunity for people to get to know him but I am not sure if the people really liked him since his attitude seemed pretty arrogant with his sunglasses and announcements all the time. The sound was actually quite ago, maybe a little too loud (but the Agra is always a little too loud). All in all, it was a solid show with a lot of attitude. Fans of BIG BOY probably liked it and others probably thought something like “What an arrogant dick!”

Rating
Music: 8
Performance: 5
Sound: 7
Light: 7
Total: 6.8 / 10




[:SITD:] - Parkbühne [Carsten Leopold]

In 2002, a new star arose on the firmament of the club landscape and its name was [:SITD:]. The band existed since 1996 though, but the big breakthrough came with the ‘Snuff EP’ with the hit track ‘Snuff Machinery’ which, from there on, couldn’t be missed out on any DJ Playlist and is now a real classic. The first album ‘Stronghold’ continued the path of combining club orientated beats with hymnal melodies and dark vocals and was the most successful band album in 2003. With ‘Coded Message:12’, [:SITD:] released their second album showing the band’s sound matured, containing several new club hits like the preceding single ‘Richtfest’ and the German-tongued ‘Wegweiser’. The third album had to wait until 2007 aptly titled ‘Bestie:Mensch’; the album shed some light on the deepest abysms of the human soul. With the new album ‘ROT’, the trio unleashed its next strike on the clubs in October 2009. [:SITD:] is Carsten Jacek (vocals and lyrics), Thomas “Tom” Lesczenski (keyboards, programming, sampling and backing vocals) and Francesco “Frank” D'Angelo (keyboards and backing vocals). http://www.sitd.de/ / http://www.myspace.com/xsitdx

Music & Performance
After another change over the stage was ready for [:SITD:] who entered the stage just in time. They started their set with ‘Rot’ - the song which had given the name for the current album - and right from the start the crowd was infected by the rousing performance. After ‘Rot’ followed ‘Rose coloured Skies’ and the whole venue was clapping hands and singing along. The venue was that crowded that no more people were allowed to come in and so, many people missed the performance of [:SITD:].



Like usual Tom sang one song alone without Carsten who left the stage for this song (‘Redemption’), but after this song, another singer entered the stage. Rascal from ROTERSAND was special guest and sang the vocals at the [:SITD:] remix of his own song ‘Electronic World Transmission’. After it, Carsten came back on stage and the show went on with ‘Laughingstock’. After one hour the set was over and after ‘Snuff Machinery’ [:SITD:] finally left the stage.

Setlist
01. Rot
02. Rose Coloured Skies
03. Pharmakon
04. Kreuzgang
05. Redemption
06. Electronic World Transmission (ROTERSAND)
07. Laughingstock
08. Wegweiser
09. Richtfest
10. Snuff Machinery

Rating
Music: 9
Performance: 8
Sound: 9
Light: - (daylight)
Total: 8.7 / 10


Colony 5 - Kohlrabizirkus [Daniela Vorndran]

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. COLONY 5 is P-O Svensson (vocals, music) and Magnus Kalnins (keys, lyrics). http://www.colony5.com/ / http://www.myspace.com/weseekcolony5

Music & Performance
From Space pop to catchy pushing Swedish Future Pop now! COLONY 5 was next and I was really happy to see them on the festival line-up. This all-electro performance brought only two people on stage. Magnus was placed in the back right corner in front of the big screen displaying several animations or stills during the show. The rest of the stage was reserved for vivid Mr. Svensson and he used that space quite well, and not only the space on stage, he also jumped down into the pit once to shake hands with the fans.



The set started with powerful ‘Get off my Back’ from the band’s latest release ‘Buried again’ already dating back to 2008 (time for something new, friends!). Following up was danceable 2008s single release ‘Plastic World’ and ‘A Test’, the B-side of this single as well as ‘Knives’ also from 2008. Before starting off with the series of old classics, the band fulfilled my wish for something new with the yet unreleased track ‘Little Unit’. After ‘Absolute Religion’ and ‘Ghosts’ out off ‘Buried again’ it was time for the old hits ‘Black’ (one of my all-time favourites) from the ‘Structures’ album as well as ‘Accelerate’, ‘Science’ and ‘My World’, all three out of ‘Colonisation’. All in all, this was an energetic show with a agile singer and with a keyboarder not looking bored behind its instrument, but instead taking full engagement in the show, taking pics or little films of the audience and with a smile in his face. Well done!

Setlist
00. Intro
01. Get off my back
02. Plastic World
03. A Test
04. Knives
05. Little Unit
06. Absolute Religion
07. Ghosts
08. Black
09. Accelerate
10. Science
11. My World

Rating
Music: 9
Performance: 8
Sound: 8
Light: 8
Total: 8.4 / 10




Faith & the Muse - Agra [Anne Kuhfuß]

FAITH AND THE MUSE is an American, underground gothic / dark wave band composed of Monica Richards and William Faith. The band started in 1993 with Richards and Faith exchanging tapes between Washington, DC and Norfolk, VA where both each lived, but moved to LA before the recording of the debut ‘Elyria’ in March 1994. Their music can be described as a mix of dark alternative, gothic rock, Celtic, and other folk influences, blended together with art and theatre to create a multifaceted experience. After their second release they toured a lot, playing with both guest musicians as a full line-up and as an acoustic duo. Till today, FAITH AND THE MUSE has released 6 full-length albums and one live album, including ‘Ankoku Butoh’ under their recent label Danse Macabre in 2009. http://www.mercyground.com/ / www.myspace.com/faithandthemuse



Music & Performance
After FAITH AND THE MUSE were announced, I was anxious to see how the band would look like but what I saw first were 2 girls who were dressed in white torn-up dresses. Their make-up was beautiful and they moved a little like they were dolls. On their hands, they had long and pointed things which consisted of branches and plastic rolls. After ca. 2 minutes of dancing, the rest of the band entered the stage and the audience, which was a little bigger now, went crazy. Everybody was dressed in nice outfits and I saw a lot of different hairstyling and more wooden stuff. Up to that point, I hadn’t really heard any music by FAITH AND THE MUSE and I was surprised about it when they started playing their first song. The music was really dragging and just different. Her singing was so high like she was in a different dimension or something. I have to say, I didn’t really like it but this is probably just personal taste. The beautiful girls from the beginning did the background singing. All kinds of instruments were played like the violin and the cello. I was actually really impressed by how well everybody worked together on stage. FAITH AND THE MUSE is probably not everybody’s taste but it is definitely worth watching and listening.

Rating
Music: 7
Performance: 9
Light: 8
Sound: 8
Total: 8 / 10




Elegant Machinery - Kohlrabizirkus [Daniela Vorndran]

Back in the year 1988, Richard Jomshof and Leslie Bayne formed a band. A year later Robert Enforsen joined in as lead singer and inspired by the third album of the band DATA, they called themselves ELEGANT MACHINERY instead of POLE POSITION as initially planned. In 1990, they released the first single ‘Safety in Mind’ limited to 5,000 copies; the single was sold-out within a week. Driven by this unsuspected success and a preceding tour, the band recorded the first studio album ‘Degraded Faces’. The single ‘Process’ taken from the album became the biggest commercial success in the band’s history. In summer 1993, they started working on the second album ‘Shattered Ground’ followed by a successful Germany tour together with S.P.O.C.K. After yet another album, ‘Yesterday Man’ (1997), a Best-Of album ‘A Decade of Thoughts’, recorded by now one less than Eskil Simonsson (Covenant) and the honouring as ‘Best Live Act’ at the SAMA 1998, the band split up due to problems with their label.



But in 2008, they came back to stir up the Synth pop genre with a new single called ‘Feel the Silence’. The same year, the band would release their album ‘A Soft Exchange’. EM is Robert Enforsen, Richard Jomshof, Johan Malmgren and Leslie Bayne. http://www.elegantmachinery.se/ / http://www.myspace.com/elegantmachinery

Music & Performance
Last Swedish band of the evening, ELEGANT MACHINERY, presented catchy Synth pop at its best. The stage was quite stuffed with equipment in the back having Richard’s and Johan’s keyboards in the back in front of two white screens that were later illuminated. In the middle, there was a third keyboard that would find use later in the set when Robert joined in the keyboard play during the all-instrumental ‘Path of Angle’. But let’s go back to the start of the set. With an old classic, ‘Process’, the band had the audience on its hands right from the start. Following up were ‘Is this the Way’ and ‘With Grace’ from the latest release ‘A Soft Exchange’. During the show, several more songs out off this album, like ‘Bleeding Words’ or both singles ‘Feel the Silence’ and ‘Move’, did alternate with all-time fan favourites. My favourites were the wonderful slower version of ‘Save me’ and very last song ‘Watching you’.



Loud singing and clapping accompanied the performance that did not need big video animations or lighting effects but was based on fantastic Synth gems and the likeable charisma of singer Robert, who was constantly smiling into the audience. You really could see how much fun he had during the show. And I had myself too, so much that I did not regret it at all missing one of my most favourite bands, DIARY OF DREAMS, who were just playing at the Agra hall.

Setlist
01. Process
02. Is this the Way
03. With Grace
04. Myself with You
05. Bleeding Words
06. Path of Angle
07. To Live
08. Feel the Silence
09. Save Me
10. Move
11. A Little Sacrifice
12. Hard to Handle
13. Words of Wisdom
14. Black Town
15. Watching You

Rating
Music: 10
Performance: 9
Sound: 8
Light: 8
Total: 9.1 / 10




Diary of Dreams - Agra [Carsten Leopold]

Since 1989, DIARY OF DREAMS enchants a still growing fan base all over the world with beautiful and at times fragile tunes. Already 1.5 years after ‘Nekrolog 43’, the latest album ‘(if)’ was released on 13th March 2009. In October 2009, the ‘King of Nowhere’ MCD including a brand new video clip has been released. Recently, the band was supporting UNHEILIG on their "Große Freiheit" tour. Work on a new album also has begun already with several tour dates already planned for November. DIARY OF DREAMS currently is Adrian Hates (vocals, guitar), Gaun:A (guitar), D.N.S. (drums), Leandra / Ophelia Dax (keyboards) and Flex (bass) even though Torben Wendt (keyboards) is still part of the DIARY OF DREAMS family. http://www.diaryofdreams.de/ / http://www.myspace.com/diaryofdreams



Music & Performance
With some minutes delay, the light went out in the Agra DIARY OF DREAMS entered the stage, this time with a special line up: Torben Wendt - formerly constant member of the band and also known from his band DIORAMA - played an additional keyboard at this gig. So, there were really six people on stage! The show was started with ‘The Wedding’ after the intro. The charismatic musicians on stage impressed with their soulful dedicated performance and right from the start the spirit went over to the crowd and the people were screaming, dancing, clapping hands and singing along. Like usual, Adrian played an additional guitar at some songs. The set list included ten songs from different periods of band history, highlighted by ‘Butterfly:Dance!’ and ‘The Curse’ when Torben left his place behind the keyboard and sang this songs together with Adrian. The show finished after about one hour with powerful ‘Kindrom’. Altogether it was a great charming concert experience once again.

Setlist
01. The Wedding
02. The Plague
03. Chemicals
04. The Chain
05. She and her Darkness
06. Traumtänzer
07. King of Nowhere
08. Butterfly:Dance!
09. The Curse
10. Kindrom

Rating
Music: 10
Performance: 9
Sound: 10
Light: 9
Total: 9.6 / 10




Welle:Erdball - Kohlrabizirkus [Daniela Vorndran]

The German Electro Pop band in uniforms with a strong affinity to Fifties´ aesthetics and its C64 (that is regarded as the fifth band member and responsible for the minimalist sound) was formed as HONIGMOND in 1990 and renamed to WELLE:ERDBALL in 1993. The debut album `Frontalaufprall´ was delivered in 1993, followed up by all in all eight long-players including some special editions. The release of `Der Sinn des Lebens´ (1998) made WELLE:ERDBALL become popular in Sweden and Denmark too. In 2006, the radio station broadcasted the recent album `Chaos Total´ and recently the movie ‘Operation: Zeitsturm’ was released on DVD. WELLE:ERDBALL is Honey (lyrics, vocals), A.L.F. (music, programming), Fräulein Venus (percussions, vocals) and Plastique (percussions, vocals). http://www.welle-erdball.info/ / http://www.myspace.com/funkbereit

Music & Performance
Back to Germany, even though singer Honey should introduce the band later as “half-Swedish” because of Plastique’s co-operation with her Swedish partner in THE GIRL AND THE ROBOT. The show started with ‘Metal Dust’ when no one of the band could be seen on stage. Well, not totally right because Honey and A.L.F.’s shadows could be spotted behind two screens.



Following up was ‘Operation: Zeitsturm’, the title track from the just released movie, and ‘Wir wollen keine Menschen sein’ when Honey threw the obligatory C64 computer into the audience. I really wonder where he gets all those C64s from; it must be hundreds by now thrown into the audience. All in all, the show was a good mix of all and new songs, having no surprises in stock (at least not as long as I could see the show), having the known posters, balloons and the barrel for Honey to hit during ‘Arbeit adelt’. Sometimes I really wish the band would think of something new. Well, at least the girls’ outfits were different. Already about in the middle of the show I decided to leave because I did not want to miss any single bit of the midnight special at Agra, mighty ALIEN SEX FIEND.

Setlist
01. Metal Dust
02. Operation: Zeitsturm
03. Wir wollen keine Menschen sein
04. Mensch aus Glas
05. Hoch die Fahnen
06. Arbeit adelt
07. 8-Bit-Märchenland
08. VW-Käfer
09. Alpha-Tier
10. Schweben, Fliegen, Fallen
11. Ich bin aus Plastik
12. Stunde: Null
13. 0173/1923954
14. Telegraph
15. Wir sind die Maschinen
16. Starfighter F-104G
17. 23
18. Die falsche Front
19. Monoton & Minimal
20. Es geht voran

Rating
Music: 7
Performance: 7
Sound: 8
Light: 8
Total: 7.3 / 10




Lacrimosa - Agra [Carsten Leopold]

LACRIMOSA began as the solo project of Tilo Wolff, who founded it in 1990, but with his first demo tape ‘Clamor’ he couldn’t convince any record label, so he founded his own label “Hall of Sermon” and released the first album ‘Angst’ on it in 1994. In the early days, electronic elements were a favourite stylistic mean of Tilo Wolff, becoming less important with every of the following albums. The fourth album ‘Inferno’ marked a turning point for LACRIMOSA. Anne Nurmi joined the line-up and the style of LACRIMOSA constantly develops ever since. Rocking elements as well as English lyrics and classic arrangements found their way into the sound. ‘Elodia’, one of their most successful albums, even was recorded with the London Symphony Orchestra. With ‘Sehnsucht’; the band returned with a new album in May 2009, followed up by a best of & rarities album ‘Schattenspiel’ in 2010 LACRIMOSA is Tilo Wolff (vocals) and Anne Nurmi (keyboards, vocals). http://www.lacrimosa.ch/ / http://www.myspace.com/lacrimosaofficial



Music & Performance
Once again the light went out and now the stage was ready for one of the most famous German-speaking Gothic bands who influenced the Gothic scene for 20 years. This year, LACRIMOSA celebrate its 20th anniversary and the current international tour started right here in Leipzig at WGT. During the intro, Anne Nurmi and the other live musicians entered the stage; some female dancers entered the stage too, but only for a few minutes and came back not until the last encore song. Finally just with the first vocals, Tilo entered the stage and the show began with ‘Schakal’. It was a typical LACRIMOSA show with songs from all periods of band history. Like usual, Anne sang two songs and Tilo took over her part behind the keyboard at these songs. The hall still was well-filled and the people were pleased by the show. In the back of the stage, a large curtain was arranged with the LACRIMOSA theme, framed with graphics from different cover artworks. At the end of the show, this curtain was dropped down and behind this a screen displayed a picture of LACRIMOSA and the words: "20 years Lacrimosa" completed by "Thank You" in different languages. The main set ran 90 minutes and finished with ‘Stolzes Herz’. Two encores with all in all for songs were given inclusive ‘Bresso’ which was never played live before and after about two hours the show finally was finished by ‘Copycat’.



Setlist
01. Schakal
02. Ich Bin Der Brennende Komet
03. Alleine Zu Zweit
04. Requiem
05. Mandira Nabula
06. Not Every Pain Hurts
07. Alles Lüge
08. Mantiquor
09. Flamme Im Wind
10. Lichtgestalt
11. Malina
12. Feuer
13. The Turning Point
14. Stolzes Herz
15. Bresso
16. Ohne Dich Ist alles Nichts
17. Der Morgen Danach
18. Copycat

Rating
Music: 8
Performance: 7
Sound: 8
Light: 8
Total: 7.7 / 10


Alien Sex Fiend - Agra [Daniela Vorndran]

ALIEN SEX FIEND came to be as the project of Nik and Mrs. Fiend in 1982. Their music first was played to accompany silent movies. Then, in December of the foundation year, they had their first live performance. ‘Who's Been Sleeping In My Brain?’ from 1983 was only the first of a long string of albums in a matchless career that would see the two and a fluctuating number of other musicians extend their popularity to an international scale, at least within the alternative music scene, whilst being mostly unknown to a greater part of the mainstream listeners. 2010 saw them returning to the spotlights with their newest album, called ‘Death Trip’. http://www.asf-13thmoon.demon.co.uk/index.html / http://www.myspace.com/aliensexfiend



Music & Performance
When I arrived to the Agra, I thought that LACRIMOSA must be nearly finished. But no, they started about 20 min late and what I did not know, they played about 2 hours. And so, I caught nearly 30min of their set, not that I wanted to because this is really not my cup of tea. But the great finale of the day was coming and ALIEN SEX FIEND entered the stage at about 2 in the morning. Two in the morning, you read right. This was too late for many people, but those who stayed at Agra were in no second disappointed. First let’s start with the stage design: it was really amazing with it artsy arranged mannequins, different tubes, spider webs and skulls on stage. I was standing in the photo pit and did not know where to look first, there were so many little details drawing my attention. As if this bizarre scenery would not be enough, the stage was covered in smoke during the show creating a really mystical atmosphere. That’s Goth!



The show started with Mrs. Fiend taking place behind her keyboard, integrated perfectly into the bizarre design, on one side and the guitar player on the other one. Accompanied by the sounds of ‘In And Out Of My Mind’, finally Nik Fiend entered the stage, looking more dead than alive and carrying a glass of whatever and the antique looking IT book displaying “Alien Sex Fiend” in big letters on its cover. Like an un-dead, Mr. Fiend never moves fast, but compared to his movements, he just screams out his lyrics. What an intense experience! Quite funny was his fight with a monster banana - a friend told me it was already “used” during previous shows - that later on found its way into the audience causing a lot of fun there as well. Even though the band has the fresh album ‘Death Trip’ just released, they were relying on the old classics. ‘I walk the line’ was already played as second song causing quite some excitement within the audience. Also songs like ‘Now I’m Feeling Zombified’ or ‘E.S.T. - Trip to the Moon’ were highly welcomed.



That we got a real old-fashioned show was also proven by the equipment. As Nik commented during the show, “This is not a laptop”, and yes, this as analogue equipment and Mrs. Fiend was indeed mixing live in stage. Impressive! The whole show lasted about 1.5 hours I really enjoyed. Accompanied by bright strobe lights, Nik threw lots of skulls and bones into the audience at the end of the show. During ‘Hurricane Fighter Plane’, family Fiend left the stage under thundering applause. Rightly so I can say this was definitely one of the absolute festival highlights and the wait for the show was worth it.

Rating
Music: 10
Performance: 10
Sound: 9
Light: 9
Total: 9.7 / 10

I left the hall at about 3.30 in the morning already knowing that the night would be short. But who cares after such an experience!

All pictures by Daniela Vorndran (Liquid Divine, Reactivate, Biomekkanik, Auto Auto, S.P.O.C.K, Colony 5, Elegant Machinery, Welle:Erdball, Alien Sex Fiend - http://www.vorndranphotography.com/ / http://www.black-cat-net.de/ / www.myspace.com/vorndranphotography), Anne Kuhfuß (The Lovecrave, Big Boy, Faith & the Muse, Diary of Dreams, Lacrimosa) and Thomas Nattermann (Cephalgy, [:SITD:])

Written by Daniela Vorndran, Carsten Leopold and Anne Kuhfuß
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