17th - 20th May 2013
Wave Gotik Treffen Day 4: Nachtgeschrei, Orange Sector, Patenbrigade:Wolff, KMFDM, VNV Nation and Ulver
The fourth and final day of the WGT started as busy as the last ended with a short trip to the Heidnisches Dorf for one of the two NACHTGESCHREI gigs and an extensive stay at the Agra for some shopping, socializing and staring. There the Monday prepared greats of the electro genre like PATENBRIGADE WOLFF, KMFDM and VNV NATION. Since the weather was on our side with some extensive sunshine, we enjoyed the atmosphere in between gigs on the numerous food stands outside the hall. Finally we made a last stop for one of this day’s headliners ULVER at the Kuppelhalle before we started our trip back in the late hours of this year’s Whitsun.
Nachtgeschrei - Heidnisches Dorf [FS]
German medieval band NACHTGESCHREI formed in 2006. After a couple of demos and several festival gigs they signed with the renowned label Massacre Records and release their debut album ‘Hoffnungschimmer’ to critical acclaim. The follow-up album ‘Am Rande der Welt’ and ‘Ardeo’ continued their victory march. Besides that, the band had been heavily touring festivals and clubs and supported SUBWAY TO SALLY on their tour in 2011. Later that year singer Hotti announced his departure from the band for family reasons, resulting in an extensive search for an replacement, which was found in Martin LeMar (Mekong Delta). With him they released their fourth album ‘Aus schwärzester Nacht’ in this year’s march. NACHTGESCHREI is Martin (vocals), Joe (accordion, hurdy-gurdy), Nik (bagpipe, flute), Oli (bass), Sane (e-guitar, acoustic guitar), Tilman (e-guitar) and Stefan (drums). http://www.nachtgeschrei.de / http://www.myspace.com/nachtgeschrei
Music & Performance
This review could be completed with the subtitle “the first show after” (at least for me) followed by a phase describing the horror the announcement of the departure of singer Hotti caused in me some time ago. That feeling admittedly only was just mildly put into perspective when the recent album was released, presenting Martin Le Mar as the band’s new frontman, since I grew so much onto Hotti’s very unique way of singing being inseparably entwined with the music written and the band’s own sound. And to be even more ashamed: In my protest I didn’t even want to enjoy the music in the first place. Barely an hour later my opinion should have been changed entirely. While the band line-up included a new singer, two other members were absent that very day, namely drummer Stefan, who was worthily substituted by a replacement percussionist whose name I did not catch and bagpipe and flute-player Nik, who was replaced by a freshly canned himself. To let the cat out of the bag: Mr. LeMar was absolutely amazing. Not only was he sympathetic as hell, no he did an incredible job on the microphone (when he didn’t drop it accidentally). Yes, he brings in an almost completely different kind of singing, which bugged me a lot before, but wow was he great, even when he the stage and therefore his lungs was flooded with stage smoke, which on request was regulated.
Of course the other members of the band did a great job as well, up to the high standard they have proven in many, many shows before. NACHTGESCHREI were a great live band and I am happy to say: they at least kept up to that level (or managed to raise it even some more). The setlist was clearly thought through with alternating new and older songs, which gave Martin the opportunity to prove that he can shine with Hotti’s vocal lines too while putting his own style into them. Especially with the (new old new) song ‘Herbst’ he got me, which he performed astonishingly great. But also “native” tracks like ‘Aus schwärzester Nacht’ send some shivers down my spine. When there was no music going on, he bridged any gap for instrumental tuning or exchanging with some of the nicest forms of communication with the audience. All in all NACHGESCHREI delivered a great show, which for me could have gone on and on. And in fact it did only a few hours later on the same stage. Unfortunately I had to be elsewhere but I am confident that it was at least as good as the first one. Fortunately they proved my reservations wrong and won me back. Thank you NACHTGESCHREI!
01. Am Ende der Zeit
07. Kein reiner Ort
09. Na Sdorowje!
Total: 9 / 10
Orange Sector - Agra [AK]
ORANGE SECTOR emerged in Hannover 1992. The name is word play and describes the area you’re residing in during band activities. As they’re all big admirers of the band DAF (Deutsch Amerikanische Freundschaft) you might guess which sound they’ve developed. Their first demo tape was only sent out to Zoth Ommog. Label head Talla2XLC liked the material and passed it on to producer Andre Schmechta and ORANGE SECTOR were just where they wanted to be. The debut ‘Faith’ came out in 1993 and had a real dance floor smasher ‘Kalt wie Stahl’ in its track list, just to be followed by the second coup ‘Flashback’ only one year later which again had some hits on it with ‘Götter’ and ‘Für immer’. Lars left the band after the ‘Flashback’ tour and continued the project more or less successful but after quite some time, he decided to retreat from the music business. 2004 then saw the revival of ORANGE SECTOR in original line-up on Infacted Recordings and they released a few albums since then with ‘Krieg Und Frieden’ as the latest studio album and ‘The War Comes Home’ as part of the Infacted classics series. ORANGE SECTOR is Martin Bodewell (vocals, synths, programming) and Lars Felker (backing vocals, drums, lyrics). http://www.orange-sector.de / http://www.myspace.com/orangesector
Music & Performance
ORANGE SECTOR was the first band for us to see at the Agra and since I had never seen them before, I was excited to see how this EBM band would do their job on stage. Well, let me put it this way: they did a job but without any commitment if you ask me. The two men seemed to be a little bored and not really interested in the couple of people in front of them. Nevertheless, the audience still enjoyed the hard bass with harsh singing and danced along. Songs like ‘Tanzbefehl’ and ‘Dynamit’ definitely got the feet going and entertained the crowd. The stage was pretty empty with only two people and one instrument/ computer on stage. Martin and Lars were a little lost on the big stage of the Agra and I sadly have to say that their performance did not fill this empty space. For me, musically the band surely delivered some nice EBM but did not convince performance-wise. Maybe next time the two men will show a little more interest and will get even more people going.
Total: 6.5 / 10
Patenbrigade:Wolff - Agra [AK]
The East-German PATENBRIGADE:WOLFF is the project of Lance Murdock and Sven Wolff, the latter also known for his main band THE DUST OF BASEMENT, and a fistful of part-time band members. Prior their new release ‘Schallplattenunterhalter’ they support COVENANT on the German leg of the 'Modern Ruin' tour. PATENBRIGADE:WOLFF are mostly known for their pretty ironic image of their “pop music for plumbers”, as they call it. The duo does have a strong affection for building sites and machines, and with machines (synths, to be more precise) they create their mostly instrumental music which combines vintage electronics and a very modern and dancy approach. Their latest CD ‘Baustopp!’ was released in 2012. http://www.patenbrigade.com / http://www.myspace.com/patenbrigadewolff
Music & Performance
The huge posters warning against dangerous substances that might leak during the concert already smooth the way for the well-known upcoming PATENBRIGADE:WOLFF. Before the concert, the hall was already filled with loads of people, the amount becoming bigger and bigger as the time until the concert diminished. The band members entered the stage with their typical construction worker outfits including fences they put up. During the show, several East-German (mainly socialist) songs animated the people to sing along. The band started building a construction area consisting of different fences, road signs and boxes. This led to a lot of laughter among the audience which turned even louder during ‘Der Brigadier trinkt Bier’. Especially the fact that the band constantly filmed the people in front of the stage and showed the film on a huge screen made even more people enjoy the show.
As the only female band member made her way onto the stage the people in the Agra completely lost it. She attracted so many fans, no matter if male or not. With her appearance the party just started getting crazy. The band had so much energy that was transferred over to the dancing people. What a great experience! The band again proofed that their reputation as one of the funniest EBM bands is definitely true.
02. Feind hört mit
05. Das Kraftfeld
07. Fehler 404
12. Demokratischer Sektor
13. Ostberliner Bauarbeiter
Total: 8.5 / 10
KMFDM - Agra [AK]
KMFDM (originally Kein Mehrheit Für Die Mitleid, loosely translated as "no pity for the majority") is an industrial band led by German multi-instrumentalist Sascha Konietzko, who founded the group in 1984 as a performance art project. KMFDM has released eighteen studio albums and two dozen singles, with sales of more than two million records worldwide. The band has undergone many line-up changes and featured dozens of guest musicians. Its earliest incarnation included German drummer En Esch and British vocalist Raymond Watts, the latter of whom left and re-joined the group several times over its history. Guitarist Günter Schulz joined in 1990; both he and Esch continued with the band until KMFDM broke up in 1999. Konietzko resurrected KMFDM in 2002 (Esch and Schulz declined to re-join), and by 2005 he had assembled a consistent line-up that included American singer Lucia Cifarelli, British guitarists Jules Hodgson and Steve White, and British drummer Andy Selway. http://www.kmfdm.net / https://myspace.com/officialkmfdm
Music & Performance
KMFDM is definitely a band that is well-known for its stage performance and so everybody was anxious to see how the crew around Sascha Konietzko would make use of their time. As soon as the band made its way in front of the nicely filled Agra the volume went up and the temperature rose. Especially Lucia was unstoppable and swirled around like a little maniac. The sound was a little too loud if you ask me but this has been a general problem of the Agra in the past years. However, this did not seem to bother anyone since everybody was dancing and enjoying the music. The band played right before the main act VNV NATION and definitely got everyone going immediately before. Nevertheless, the only thing that really bothered me was the fact that the music was so loud that one had to stand rather far away from the actual happening in order to not go deaf. Concluding, KMFDM really showed their long experience and convinced with loads of energy. Sadly, the sound was a little too loud and the lighting a little too dark. Lucia’s sexy outfit could have been put a little better into the focus.
Total: 6.6 / 10
VNV Nation - Agra [AK]
VNV NATION is an English/ Irish electronic music band originally from Dublin and Essex and now based in Hamburg, Germany. They combine elements of electro-industrial, trance, synth pop and electronic body music (EBM). The members are Ronan Harris and Mark Jackson with additional live crew members. The "VNV" in the name stands for "Victory not Vengeance", in keeping with the group's motto, "One should strive to achieve, not sit in bitter regret." The band has released a total of 8 records with the new one called ‘Transnational’ coming up in September! www.vnvnation.com / https://www.facebook.com/VNVNation
Music & Performance
The last band but also probably the most awaited one for many people was VNV NATION. The band filled the last space at this year’s WGT and had no problem filling the Agra up to its seams. The band started its concert and immediately delivered so much power and energy that no one in the audience stood still. Ronan smiled almost all through the concert and greeted the young fans in the first rows. Every time I manage to see the band I am glad I made it because the mood during VNV NATIONS concerts cannot be described with any words.
From the first tune on they had complete control over the audience that went totally nuts. Especially during hits like ‘Standing’, ‘Chrome’ (which surprisingly was the opener) and ‘Sentinel’ as well as ‘The Great Divide’ loud choirs consisting of fans followed Ronan’s lead and turned the Agra into one big karaoke pot. The heavy electro beats combined with the emotional voice of Mr Harris create a unique sound one could not escape from. Especially the all-time favourite ‘Illusion’ was carried by loud sing-alongs and ended up in this epic mood filled with so many emotions. Unfortunately the time was short and some technician missed the ending and so the lights stayed on which made everyone believe that an encore was coming up – especially because songs like ‘Testament’ or ‘Nemesis’ were still missing. Nevertheless, VNV NATION again defended their status as one of the biggest electro bands within the gothic scene. What a nice ending to this year’s WAVE GOTIK TREFFEN 2013!
Total: 8.5 / 10
Ulver - Kuppelhalle / Pantheon [FS]
ULVER is a musical group from Norway. Since their first, folklore-influenced black metal release entitled ‘Bergtatt - Et eeventyr i 5 capitler’ (1995), ULVER‘s musical style has been fluid and increasingly eclectic, blending genres such as rock, electronica, symphonic and chamber traditions, noise and experimental music into their oeuvre, but with a heavy reliance on electronic recording techniques. Their latest full-length album consisting of cover songs only was released in May 2012 and is titled ‘Childhood’s End’. www.jester-records.com/ulver / www.myspace.com/ulver1
Music & Performance
When the participation of ULVER in this year’s Wave Gotik Treffen was announced I already had mixed feeling about what to expect from the show but the fact that there was an entire orchestra joining them raised my hopes. As this very last concert of the Treffen was about to take place, I had the chance to pay a visit to the Kuppelhalle before everyday life got me back.
As I saw the stage I was astounded how many chairs fit on it. While more and more people entered the site, the seats remained empty for quite a time. Eventually the STÜBA symphonic orchestra under the conduction of Martin Lentz performed a sectional sound check, which initially seemed to have been planned more extensive. However, some more time passed when the actual show started half an hour late. During the whole show the band itself remained in the background. Since they were not equipped with guitars and percussion but several MacBooks, it was obvious where the journey headed musically: neither the harsh black metal of the early days nor the kind-of alternative rock sound they performed on their latest output but the eerie dark ambient sound they are known for in the late 90s and 2000s. The opening piece benefited a lot form the additional dozens of musicians. Beautifully arranged each section of the orchestra from the strings to the brass did a great job in accentuating the band’s music with a vibrant sound that was intermitted by Kristoffer Rygg fragile singing. The music was accompanied by an on-going video feed of more or less vague imagery from naked women to creepy little kids, which was projected onto a thin netlike see-though cloth attached all around the stage. Unfortunately people, who were not exactly in the centre of the Kuppelhalle, didn’t have quite the same visual experience. However, that first song I enjoyed very much.
From there on it went down for me. The reason for that is that the orchestra only was used sparsely form here on. Only the low strings and brass instruments were constantly in action, while the others sadly sat around for quite a time. I don’t want to criticize the music and performance of the band, but for me five minutes of ambient sounds, as thought-through as they may be, aren’t a fit for a live show. That phenomenon went on for the good of the rest of the show, only giving the orchestra rare time to shine but with long passages of artificial sounds without any further vocals. So time stretched and after a couple of more songs I left quite disappointed. Since I didn’t have any expectations at all there were none to be belied. I’m sure a lot of fans enjoyed ULVER’s show but because I am none of them, I take the experience home with me among all the others we told you about in the past weeks. Eventually we made our departure from Leipzig and this year’s WGT only to come back next year for sure. Thanks to the organizers and all the staff who made this 22th WGT possible.
Total: 7.6 / 10
All pictures by Anne Kuhfuß except Ulver by Dominik Herz (http://www.corcordis.de/) and Florian Schürmann
Written by Anne Kuhfuß [AK] and Florian Schürmann [FS]