3rd to 4th May 2019
Plage Noire Festival 2019 Day 1 with Merciful Nuns, Lacrimas Profundere, Faderhead, Rotersand, Project Pitchfork, Schattenmann, In Strict Confidence, Eisbrecher
The second edition of the Plage Noire Festival after the resurrection in 2018 covered the beach at Baltic Sea in all the shades of black during the 3rd and 4th May 2019. This time again offering a top-class line-up with a diverse activity program including beauty workshops, reading sessions, catwalks and much more.
Plage Noire is more than just a music festival, it is about all the myths and creating a beautiful, unique and enchanting atmosphere. Especially for the North of Germany the successful rebirth of this festival is a blessing as the amount of scene specific festivals here is - let’s call it - limited. But let’s be honest, the actual gem about Plage Noire is the unique location at the beautiful Weissenhäuser Strand - unique and just a few meters away from the festival area. The possibility to escape the colourful festival hustle - be it for a few moments - and to let the Nordic wind blow through your head and listen to the majestic waves is magnificent.
MERCIFUL NUNS opened the Plage Noire Festival 2019 at the Salle de Fête stage. The band can be called the successor of the former GARDEN OF DELIGHT that did exist until 2008. The story of MERCIFUL NUNS started in 2010 with the release of the debut album ‘Lib. 1’. Ten albums later they announced that the story is coming to an end in 2019. So the final gigs are happening right now with the performance at the Autumn Moon Festival in October being the very last one. The music of MERCIFUL NUNS is all timeless and by no means following any trends. The band is creating solid Goth Rock with massive and heavy guitars, breathing darkness and addressing occultism. The deep and pervasive voice of singer Artaud Seth creates a mystic atmosphere and the audience listens carefully.
The lights created a very prepossessing atmosphere at the Salle de Fête. Sometimes it almost feels like taking part at an occult ceremony which is for sure also the aim. The interaction of music, light, occult symbols on the screens addressing presentations of the “devil”, lyrics, ceremonies and Thelemic references create a very unique atmosphere and fit well with the mystic theme of the Plage Festival itself - with the stories of ghosts, curses and lost souls. // https://www.facebook.com/MercifulNuns // Setlist: 01. Neo Alpha Genesis / 02. Cremation / 03. Blue Lodge / 04. Body Of Light / 05. Karma Inn / 06. Eternal Decay / 07. Allseeing Eye / 08. Exosphere / 09. Blackbody/Ultraviolet / 10. Passing Bell / 11. Thelema / 12. The Pyramid
While MERCIFUL NUNS celebrate their rituals at the Salle de Fête, the main stage at the Chapiteau is entered by another Goth Rock legend, LACRIMAS PROFUNDERE. The band from Southern Germany knows how to create epic, pathetic and exciting Goth Rock and Metal hymns. Melancholy is a fix part of their Goth’n’Sad repertoire and the mix of driving Goth Rock hits and melancholic songs is their trademark. The new album ‘Bleeding The Stars’ is coming out in July 2019 and is already available for pre-order. The band is tirelessly on tour, also in 2019, so there are a few chances to experience them and their energy live. With 1.5 hours that every band at the Chapiteau got on Friday, Plage Noire is really standing out. That length can for sure be called a full-time slot. So there was plenty of room for many songs to perform: all in 18 were presented to the audience on Friday.
From ‘Her Occasion Of Sin’ to ‘Dead To Me’ over to ‘Father Of Fate’, ‘My Release In Pain’, ‘Solicitude’, ‘To Bleed Or Not To Bleed’ and many more. The charismatic voice of the singer Julian Larre gives the songs a touch of Helsinki Vampires, melodic & seductive with an engaging, energetic and youthful performance. Just wish the sound was a little bit clearer, the vocals were sometimes going a little bit under, however the performance was on point. LACRIMAS PROFUNDERE prove that a band with a history of 26 years and some major direction changes is still able to recreate itself and put a lot of energy and joy in their live appearance. Strong opening at the main stage. // https://www.facebook.com/lacrimasprofundereofficial / https://www.lacrimas.com // Setlist: 01. Her Occasion Of Sin / 02. Antiadore / 03. Dead To Me / 04. Remembrance Song / 05. Like Screams In Empty Halls / 06. Again It’s Over / 07. Father Of Fate / 08. Dear Amy / 09. My Release In Pain / 10. Celestite Woman / 11. A Sigh / 12. The Kingdom / 13. Solicitude / 14. My Velvet Little Darkness / 15. The Letter / 16. To Bleed Or Not To Be / 17. A Pearl / 18. Ave End
Back to Salle de Fête and the first Electro act of the festival with FADERHEAD. The musician and producer behind FADERHEAD - Sami Mark Yahya - brought, after some minor technical problems, the hall to rock. For the live performance Fede von Marengo, also known as guitarist in bands like HELL BOULEVARD and FLORIAN GREY, joined for the second time in total and successfully cheered up the audience together with Sami. The set started with the title song of the current album ‘Night Physics’, powerful and melodic at the same time, continuing with the hymn ‘Generation Black’ that already brought a lot of people to jump and went on with the more melodic Synth Pop track ‘Know Your Darkness’. The setlist showed a diverse mix of Synth Pop dance hits, EBM bangers like ‘Destroy Improve Rebuild’ and even some ballads with the mystical ‘Them Skinny Bitches’ and perfectly flowing ‘Escape Gravity’.
As the current album ‘Night Physics’ is now 1.5 years out which is an almost long time for FADERHEAD - broadly known as workaholic in the scene measured on the amount of high-class releases that turn out to hits - the announcement of the new album, coming out on 4th October was joined by the live presentation of two new songs, ‘Ctrl-Alt-Del’ from the currently released ‘Starchaser’ EP and ‘Meteoris’, a very atmospheric, hard song that convinces with the interplay of details and carries the FADERHEAD signature without repeating himself. The spontaneous decision to go all in for the last three songs of the set was commented by Sami with (analogous) “Well, my doc told me to take care and not jump and shout as much because of the surgery two weeks ago as I’ve got the gallbladder removed, but what should I do - it’s too much fun”. You gotta do, what you gotta do. I honestly hope that it did not take any serious consequences afterwards, however for the moment the decision to finish the gig with ‘Houston’, ‘No Gods, No Flags, No Bullshit’ and the mandatory ‘TZDV’ was responsible for a hell of a gig.
Even the last rows were jumping all the way, partying and the atmosphere turned out beyond epic. 60 minutes later and heating the venue up to like 300 °C the gig was over, leaving behind a slightly exhausted, but broadly smiling Salle de Fête on both sides (btw. I heard later that the capacity of the venue was reached fast, so many people didn’t get inside) and even one of the security guys just commented with “wow, that was cool” while walking by. // https://www.facebook.com/faderhead / https://faderhead.com / Setlist: 01. Night Physics / 02. Generation Black / 03. Know Your Darkness / 04. Ctrl-Alt-Del / 05. Destroy Improve Rebuild / 06. Them Skinny Bitches / 07. Escape Gravity / 08. Sick City / 09. Meteoris / 10. Houston / 11. No Gods, No Flags, No Bullshit / 12. TZDV
Holy. Okay. I honestly believed that with FADERHEAD the standards were set really high for tonight, but what happened here was beyond all expectations. I kinda managed to know about ROTERSAND and of course many of their songs for many years, however the number of live gigs I’ve been to was very limited so far (after this weekend I am really wondering how that could happen). So when we went back to Salle de Fête after taking a short break outside at the fresh air, we expected a cool gig and another chance to dance, however what happened here exceeded everything. The energy of Krischan and Rascal just potentiated with every song and at the latest when Rascal jumped into the crowd to celebrate ‘War on Error’ all dams broke and the ball of energy spread through the whole hall. Ecstatic Synth waves, melodic hymns, booming basses and the unmistakable voice of Rascal along with the guys’ unbeatable live presence were responsible for an unexpected, yet amazing highlight of this first weekend in May.
Also, while the band was for sure responsible for creating the immense atmosphere, the audience at Plage Noire proved once more that they did not just come here to stand at the bar and drink a beer or two. ROTERSAND released ‘Hey You’ this year, containing some new remixes and presented the title track live tonight. The in 2016 released album ‘Capitalism TM’ not only proves the musical qualities of ROTERSAND, but also that there is some serious message behind. What was left is the impression of a truly unforgettable gig and some girls wondering where the hell the energy to jump again through another gig after the previous tear-off performance by FADERHEAD came from. // https://www.facebook.com/rotersand / http://rotersand.net // Setlist: 01. Dare To Live / 02. About Us / 03. Almost Violent / 04. Hey You / 05. Waiting To Be Born / 06. First Time / 07. Merging Oceans / 08. Electronic World / 09. Transmission / 10. War On Error / 11. Xterminate / 12. Undone
PROJECT PITCHFORK are a fix point in the dark alternative scene, so every introduction feels redundant. The pioneers of the Dark Electro and EBM scene present their audience deep and meaningful lyrics along with aesthetic, dark and electronic music. Their lyrics deal with the abysses of human souls, apocalyptic visions, and critical views on the human caused destruction. The more you go with, the deeper the abyss you dive in. The music lives from the variety of melodic, sometimes dreamy, often apocalyptic dark sounds, danceable beats, the unique timbre of Peter Spilles’ voice and the many details that the listener will find in the soundscape weaved by PROJECT PITCHFORK. The band just released the first two parts of the ‘Akkretion’ trilogy in 2018. The release of ‘Dream, Tiresias!’ and ‘Continuum Ride’ as limited vinyl and cd editions is around the corner, scheduled for 24th May 2019.
The festival setlist created a well-served mix of new songs like the intro track ‘Akkretion’ along with the timeless classics ‘Alpha Omega’, ‘Rain’, ‘K.N.K.A.’ or the outstanding ‘Timekiller’ that would for sure be on every list of all-time dark scene hits. The live performances of PROJECT PITCHFORK are at least as imposing as their music. The band is continuously touring and with the combination of epic songs, live presence and light show selling out venue after venue. A befitting act to enchant the Chapiteau and whole Plage Noire on that Friday night! // https://www.facebook.com/ProjectPitchfork / https://www.project-pitchfork.eu // Setlist: 01. Akkretion / 02. Conjure / 03. And The Sun Was Blue / 04. Timekiller / 05. God Wrote / 06. IO / 07. Carnival / 08. Volcano / 09. Alpha Omega / 10. Rain / 11. Acid Ocean / 12. Titânes /13. K.N.K.A. / 14. Existance v4.1
In March 2018, SCHATTENMANN released their debut album, ‘Licht An’, and in the same year enjoyed great performances at the M’era Luna and Autumn Moon festivals. As support to such bands as FEUERSCHWANZ and MEGAHERZ, they have had opportunities to present their music to larger audiences. Recently they also had their own successful headlining tour for the album, and now their appearance at the Plage Noire 2019 kick-started SCHATTENMANN’s festival season. Their slot was on the first day of Plage Noire and as the last band in the smallest location, but it was filled to capacity and there were even fans still left outside who could not fit into the venue. However, near to the entrance area was a monitor that broadcast the concert live to those who couldn’t get in… at least they got to enjoy the music from there!
Driving drums and razor-sharp guitar riffs dominated the sound from SCHATTENMANN. They had no problem conquering the audience. Singer Frank was always looking for opportunities to get close to the fans - there was a real club concert feeling. When they played ‘Gekentert’ there was a sea of waving hands and singing fans. With ‘Krieger des Lichts’ the entire band played with hoods and glowing masks - that looked pretty cool. As they had previously done during the tour, a fan from the audience was brought on the stage. Of course, this “warrior” also got a mask to wear and to take home. Some members of the audience strongly and loudly accompanied the singing, also during ‘Generation SEX’.
That concluded the first day in LaRotonde, an absolutely atmospheric location. All those that saw SCHATTENMANN for the first time tonight, definitely had a memorable evening and will be sure to try to see this great band again. // https://www.schattenmann.net / https://www.facebook.com/schattenmannband // Setlist: 01. Schattenmann / 02. Brennendes Eis / 03. Böser Mann / 04. Gekentert / 05. Krieger des Lichts / 06. Ruf der Engel / 07. Epidemie / 08. Generation SEX / 09. AMOK / 10. Licht an / 11. F.U.C.K.Y.O.U. / 12. Wahrheit oder Pflicht / 13. Kopf durch die Wand
In Strict Confidence
Back to Salle de Fête and the charismatic IN STRICT CONFIDENCE. IN STRICT CONFIDENCE is truly not “just” a band, but an aesthetical and electronic reincarnation of perfection. Dennis Ostermann creates together with his band thoughtful concept albums, beautifully disturbing artworks and high-class videos that take part in international contests and also have one a whole bunch of them. IN STRICT CONFIDENCE is characterized by the electronic, enchanting music that creates a kind of mystical end-of-days-atmosphere without stomping, but a lot of food for the heart and soul. Melancholic, sometimes aggressive, pure and seductive. During the live performance Dennis is using his stage charisma and characteristic voice to cast a spell over everyone.
The keys played by Jörg Schelte create the magical melodies, the drums fuelling the songs with the additional power and the guitarist Haydee Sparks not just enchanting everyone in the audience with her winning smile, extraordinaire look and passionate performance, but also creating strong and driving guitar sound, yet so specific for IN STRICT CONFIDENCE. The setlist is a journey through the last somewhat over two decades of IN STRICT CONFIDENCE’s artistic work. Starting with ‘My Despair’ from 2009, continuing with the sensual ‘Used And Abused from the current album ‘Hate2Love’ (2018), over to the more aggressive ‘Kiss Your Shadow’ from 2000 and the legendary piece of art ‘Forbidden Fruit’ released 2006 on ‘Exile Paradise’.
A diverse mix of songs followed, the dreamy ‘Zauberschloss’ closed the official part. However the band came back for an encore with two more songs - ‘Somebody Else’s Dream’ and ‘Herzattacke’. All in a beautiful time travel journey that shows the growth and development of this band over the years with all the gems that were created in between. // https://www.facebook.com/instrictconfidence / http://www.instrictconfidence.com // Setlist: 01. My Despair / 02. Used And Abused / 03. Kiss Your Shadow / 04. Forbidden Fruit / 05. Mercy / 06. Seven Lives / 07. Set Me Free / 08. Morpheus / 09. Prediction / 10. Zauberschloss / 11. Somebody Else’s Dream / 12. Herzattacke
It’s getting cold. EISBRECHER enter the Chapiteau stage as the headliner on Friday. EISBRECHER stand for hard Rock & Metal riffs, straight-forward vocals, broad smiles and an energetic live show. The band was founded about 15 years ago and its captain, Alex Wesselsky as confident and strong frontman, is leading the band for the time-being. The band even started an own yearly festival called “Volle Kraft Voraus”, inviting befriended bands to join them on stage. EISBRECHER are well-known beyond the borders of the Gothic Scene, playing Metal, Rock and other festivals, from small & cozy to large & impressive. The mix of danceable and groovy beats, hard and driving guitars, and the clear and strong lyrics are the main attributes of EISBRECHER.
EISBRECHER performed songs like ‘Amok’, ‘Verrückt’ and ‘Himmel, Arsch und Zwirn’ and showed once more their qualities as live band. The performance extras like the drum session during ‘Amok’ offer impressive entertaining moments. The audience seemed to need a little while at the beginning, but once the ice was broken, the celebration and party in the Chapiteau tent that filled up quickly did not have an end. For fans of Neue Deutsche Härte EISBRECHER are a must see and one more time they proved their leading role in that genre. // https://www.facebook.com/eisbrecher / https://www.eis-brecher.com // Setlist: 01. Intro Ewiges Eis / 02. Zwischen uns / 03. Antikörper / 04. Augen unter Null / 05. Amok / 06. Eiszeit / 07. Leider / 08. Prototyp / 09. Himmel, Arsch & Zwirn / 10. Herz aus Eis / 11. 1000 Narben / 12. This is Deutsch / Encores: 13. Verrückt / 14. Sturmfahrt / 15. Was ist hier los / 16. Miststück / 17. Herzdieb
Afterwards we used the chance to visit the totally empty and now really black beach at night, listening to the impressive waves that the wind here up in the North hit against the water and the sea bridge and watching the impressive clear sky with the uncountable amount of stars and just when we froze enough, checked out the after show party at Cri de la Mouette with DJane Jeanny who took care that the dancefloor was full at all times. So a memorable first day came to an end.
All pictures by Marko Jakob
Written by Nastja Iz except Schattenmann by Marko Jakob