2nd - 5th June 2017
Wave Gotik Treffen 2017 (Day 4) with Eisfabrik, Psyclon Nine, Funker Vogt, Drab Majesty, readings and exhibitions
It was cloudy on the last WGT-day and about 24 degrees - just right for us as we made a side trip to the “Heathen Village” to enjoy our obligatory cherry beer, which was delicious as always. At 15:20 o'clock some band played on the small stage. Unfortunately, we couldn't find out the name of the band in retrospect. Amongst others, ORIGO ENSEMLE also played at the heathen village.
Of course, we also had to visit the author Lydia Benecke at least once, even if it was only for the signing session at the Agra sales mile as, unfortunately, we didn't make it to her reading. She told me about her new book titled ‘Psychopathinnen – Die Psychologie des weiblichen Bösen’ (transl.: ‘Psychopaths - The Psychology of Female Evil’), which will be published in January 2018. We also visited Isa Theobald at the booth “Edition Roter Drache” (transl. “Edition Red Dragon”). There you could purchase a signed copy of her work ‘Auf fremden Pfaden: Erotische Phantastik Anthologie’ (transl.: ‘On Strange Paths: An Erotic Fantasy Anthology’).
On the last day of the WGT, we finally visited the exhibition at the Agra-Café. This year, we could marvel at artworks by Sarah Horwath, Jea Pics, Luise Läßig, Alexander Schlesier, and Leander Wennige. Last but not least, we finish off our WGT 2017 live reviews with some bands in the Agra (EISFABRIK, FUNKER VOGT and PSYCLON NINE) and the ecstatic performance of “Tragic Wave/ Goth/ Mid-Fi“ act DRAB MAJESTY who name the “universal mind” as their hometown and the “outer-space mortuary” as their current location.
Eisfabrik, Psyclon Nine, Funker Vogt – agra Treffenpark
Since we have been at the Agra for the meetings and exhibitions, we of course also checked out some bands. As first, there was EISFABRIK, bringing the winter back into the Agra with their snow show starting right in time at six. // www.eismusik.de / https://www.facebook.com/eisfabrikofficial // Setlist: 01. Hell Is Made Of Ice / 02. Polar Night / 03. A Million Lights / 04. Magical Winter / 05. Strom / 06. Zu Den Sternen / 07. Cry For You / 08. Love Planet 69 / 09. Rainbow Child / 10. The Survival Of The Strongest Mind / 11. Maschinen / 11. Eisplanet / 12. I Don't Miss It / 13. A Murdered Love / 14. Eisbär (Grauzone cover) / 15. Walking Towards The Sun / 16. Far Away / 17. Ice Crystal / 18. White Storm / 19. Friends
PSYCLON NINE were next, causing an éclat when throwing around speakers on stake and destroying stuff and so their show was ended before scheduled. // http://psyclonnine.bandcamp.com / https://www.facebook.com/psyclonnineofficial // Setlist: Intro / 01.Thy Serpent Tongue / 02. Better Than Suicide / 03. Divine Infekt / 04. Clinik / 05. Resurrekt / 06. INRI / 07. Behind A Serrated Grin / 08. Visceral Holocaust / 09. Anaesthetic (For the Pathetic) / 10. Flesh Harvest / 11. Parasitic.
Next one on the Agra stage were FUNKER VOGT. Four years after the release of their last album, ‘Companion in Crime’, FUNKER VOGT are finally back. Along with their new singer, Chris L. (Agonoize / The Sexorcist), they present the new single ‘Der letzte Tanz’ followed by a new album called ‘Code of Conduct’. The band around Gerrit Thomas and Rene Dornbusch proves again that they still belong to the top of the EBM- and industrial-scene. The new material contains a lot of excellent club hits. FUNKER VOGT present themselves more complex and more vital than ever. FUNKER VOGT issues the command to dance! // http://www.funkervogt.de / https://www.facebook.com/officialfunkervogt
Drab Majesty - Altes Landratsamt
How can we break cultural behaviours? By channelling alien life into our performance. And that is what took place on June 5th at Altes Landratsamt in Leipzig when DRAB MAJESTY took the stage for the 26th edition of WGT. After a seemingly long sound check that seemed to exasperate the singer a bit, he managed to keep his cool and start a bit later from schedule. Dressed up in what could be described as a combination of warlock meets a mourner for rent, the mix serves its purpose. It is the perfect outfit to channel that alien that DRAB MAJESTY's members seem to become when the music starts. Planet earth about to be boarded. Aliens or earth spirits say hello...
Music pouring in. A shower of post-punk / dream-pop sound. It embraces us as it creeps through our pores, sliding through each of our hairs, diving deep into our cells. And as songs from ‘Careless’ and ‘The Demonstration’ fill in the room and our brains, triggering memories and creating new ones, Deb Demure (f.k.a. Andrew Clinco) proves that you don’t need to be Mick Jagger to connect. But that performance is tied to a good show whenever the audience feels part of it. Let me explain further. There is a painting in The Louvre called ‘The Coronation of Napoleon’. In it, a Josephine on her knees is being coronated, encircled almost thoroughly by a royal entourage leaving a part of the circumference open where the museum visitors are allocated. The idea behind it is to close the circle and become part of the painting. The same principle applies to a gig. A musician / band encircles the audience with the music and performance. Yet, to close this ethereal circumference, the audience must comply. And the circularity goes on as the musician / band manages to pull the audience, to have them felt included and close the coronation. And Deb Demure does exactly that! Refusing to use the mic as fence against the mortals down the pit. Instead he moves prudently around the stage and acknowledges the attendees. That is how connection happens!
He caresses the guitar with such sweetness like it's a piece of silk. And although hits such as ‘The Foyer’ hit the waves, people are still unsure how to respond. Maybe the band has not yet reached time status to have the people roared. Or maybe it is only the sound engineer abusing the bass and provoking a few headaches here and there... Regardless, the magic is present. Each song starts with a well-crafted intro. Like small preludes which, when we least expect it, become whole and explode in front of our eyes and our ears. Connecting to our reptilian brain and our consciousness to let us know which song has started. Half the gig is passed and Deb draws an imaginary halo upon his head. Is he a visitor of our planet or a divine being as alter ego summoned to delight the audience numb? Another set of little preludes give way to big pictures. Brief deconstructions of the song to come and, in the few seconds when the prelude gets fulfilled, it assuages our senses all! Rendering us numb with the bass, altering our plasma like particles in a microwave oven.
Three quarters into the gig a guest is welcomed. KING DUDE takes the stage. “Who's got whisky?” he asks while there seems to be some issues with the sound. Less than a minute later they get resolved and the arpeggios give way to a joint track. Another kind of voice, less angelical and darker. Yet it is seductive enough to grab our ears and make us skip a tiny beat. Even the post-punker in front of me stops filming! She wants to dance and puts the phone down at least for the chorus. Strange habits these new generations have. Once KING DUDE has left the stage another problem seems to plague the singer and I am not sure if it got fixed or not... the prelude comes along with thanking words and the announcement that it will be the last song... it extends a bit to finally give way to the last piece of the night! It was a great trip into the mind and infinite melancholy of Andrew Clinco. It was a surreal trip into a world where ecstasy and sadness collide. // https://drabmajesty.bandcamp.com / https://www.facebook.com/drabmajesty // Rating: 9 / 10
Once again, the WGT was a great, multi-facetted festival whose guests culturally transformed an entire city for a few days. It was nice to get together with like-minded friends again, like Annie & Pat, Dani, Alexandra & Hendrick, Uta, Isa, Boris, and many more! Spending time with you all and our acquaintances from the last WGT like Michael & Nadine at the hotel bar was wonderful! The preparations for the 27th Wave Gotik Treffen are set to begin shortly. Our compliments and a thousand thanks to the organisers, all helping hands, and the WGT publicist Cornelius Brach. It was a pleasure for us being part of such a very well-organized event and to work for our music magazine. It was yet again a successful and professional festival connecting Goth fans of the dark scene from all over the world. Many thanks to the artists and everyone else involved. We also thank the fire brigade that controlled the escape doors during the festival. Also a big thank you to Danny Sotzny from www.monkeypress.de for compiling the program schedule before the event and to Tobias Theiss for the helpful WGT app - http://www.wgt-guide.de - which we indeed have used constantly.
This June, thousands of Goths finally came back home this year - to the Wave-Gotik-Treffen. We are already looking forward to the 27th edition of the black gathering next year, which will take place from May 18th till 21st in Leipzig. See you then!
Pictures by Betty & Karsten Schulze and Daniela Vorndran (http://www.vorndranphotography.com / http://www.facebook.com/blackcatnet)