3rd to 4th May 2019
Plage Noire Festival 2019 Day 2 with FabrikC, Erdling, Eisfabrik, Zeraphine, Goethes Erben, Diorama, End Of Green, Hell Boulevard, Saltatio Mortis, De/Vision, And One
The second day at Plage Noire started a bit earlier for us, though the program with the reading sessions by Christian von Aster and Markus Heitz started even at 12 and the “Make-up Théâtre” at 10:30 in the morning.
The wake-up call in the music program was an impressive and loud gig by FABRIKC. If the coffee didn’t work yet, here you’d get your extra portion of wake-up-meds. Thorsten W. D. Berger and his colleagues know what it’s called to create hard, intense, relentless and harsh beats and let the Baltic Sea quake. With a mix of catchy Synths and weird electronic sounds FABRIKC conquer the beach and do not let you leave.
With songs like ‘Chinese Food’, ‘Boomstick’, ‘100% Elektronik’ or ‘Exorcism’ the Electro formation is spreading the Harsh Electro and Industrial for almost 15 years now and with the new line-up since 2016 bringing even more energy to the live performances. The kick-off for the second day at Plage Noire turned out more than just energetic, it was the right portion of kick-in-the-ass. // https://www.facebook.com/fabrikc / https://www.fabrikc.de // Setlist: 01. Boomstick / 02. 100% Elektronik / 03. P0rno! / 04. Independent Riot Corps / 05. X³ / 06. Cherubim / 07. Klangaktiviert / 08. Widerstand / 09. Exorcism / 10. Chinese Food
Meanwhile at the Chapiteau ERDLING was about to open the Saturday blast at Plage Noire. The Dark Rock formation, founded in 2014 by singer Neill Devin and drummer Niklas Kahl (now playing drums with LORD OF THE LOST), creates music with heavy guitars, bombastic arrangements and lyrical and mythical texts. Their songs are about dark forests and deep tales, thunder and lightning, human emotions and heroes. The first EP, ‘Blitz und Donner’, was released in 2015; the debut album, ‘Aus den Tiefen’, followed in 2016 and since then the band released an album every year - in 2017 as well as in 2018 the current one with ‘Dämon’. The set at Plage Noire started with the straight-forward ‘Mein Element’ that was released as single in 2016. That one already shows the variability in the vocals of Neill between dark and aggressive to melodic.
With ‘Erdling’ a song from the latest album ‘Dämon’ was presented; catchy guitar parts and another pathetic chorus are attributes that describe it well. A mix from all albums completed the setlist. With ‘Wir sind Midgard’ ERDLING also played a very new song, currently released. An up-tempo, forward driving track and very powerful song. Powerful was also the live performance by ERDLING. It’s obvious how much effort goes into the live show and the audience rewards it with enthusiastic clapping with their hands and celebrating the band in the Chapiteau. Well done. // https://www.facebook.com/erdlingofficial // Setlist: 01. Mein Element / 02. Angst / 03. Erdling / 04. Supernova / 05. Absolutus Rex / 06. Tieftaucher / 07. Wir sind Midgrad / 08. Phönix / 09. Blitz und Donner
The weather was really not as warm as it was just two weeks ago for Easter, maybe the reason is also the high amount of bands with “icy” band names and songs. Dr. Schnee and his “icemen” entered the stage of Salle de Fête and brought, yes, snow! The mix of Synth Wave, Future Pop and Dark Electro is the joining constant for the repertoire of songs that EISFABRIK creates. The aesthetics is an important part of the band’s performance, be it the snow that suddenly appears in a hall that feels more like a sauna at a certain point, the hairy Yeti or the really cool light effects. The songs are inviting to dance, celebrate and so help a lot to warm-up in the cold of the world. Catchy melodies, groovy beats, futuristic themes and creative visuals - all that made the gig perfect and the party for those who were able to enter Salle de Fête for sure an unforgettable experience.
Though many visitors needed some patience, as already at the beginning of the gig the entrance was stopped due to capacity reach. Be it the ‘Eisfabrik’ intro from the 2015 release ‘When Winter Comes’, ’White Storm’ from the album ‘Eisplanet’ (2015), ‘Schneemann’ from the latest album ‘Null Kelvin’ (2017) or ‘Ice Crystal’ from the same-titled EP (2015) - the songs all have that drive and something special. The band is back on an extended tour in late autumn 2019. // https://www.facebook.com/eisfabrikofficial // Setlist: 01. Eisfabrik (Intro) / 02. Shadows / 03. Polar Light / 04. A Million Lights / 05. Schneemann / 06. The Survival Of The Strongest Mind / 07. Maschinen / 08. The Choice / 09. Ice Crystal / 10. Walking Towards The Sun / 11. White Storm / 12. Friends
With ZERAPHINE we could enjoy real pioneers of charismatic and dark romantic Goth Rock on stage. I remember listening to them for the first time back in 2002 when I discovered the song ‘Be My Rain’ on one of these music compilations in the Orkus magazine. The band hasn’t released any material since 2010, but the frontman Sven Friedrich is more than busy and successful with the Synth Pop & Electro SOLAR FAKE. However, every now and then he and his colleagues resurrect ZERAPHINE for some rare live performances. The gig started with the heart-breaking, but powerful ‘Nie mehr allein’. The second song was introduced by Sven with “That was a single once… some longer time ago. Die Macht in Dir”. That is true, to be more exact in 2005.
And the amused and self-reflecting announcements continued… “The next song is from our current album”, some giggles in the audience followed and Sven continued “Well, that worked”. Yes. The current album ‘Whiteout’ was released in 2010, nevertheless ‘Louisa’ still awakes all the feels as it did nine years ago. Also the next song got an own comment “We don’t play the next one that often. Well, we don’t play that often in general”. Ah, Sven. The bittersweet comments, kinda funny, kinda sad for all the fans. However, most of us can laugh about it. Of course ZERAPHINE played a lot more great songs, the amazing ‘Be My Rain’, ‘Still’ or ‘Out Of Sight’ - they all awake a lot of memories. Well another gig, another technical issue. But it was just a chance for Sven to go all in with his entertainer qualities, just trying to give you a glimpse of what he said about the “keyboarder” aka laptop and other equipment while the rest of the band was trying to make the things work again: “Our keyboarder just quit. We extra got someone who doesn’t do binge drinking, does not need any hotel (...) This is gonna work soon.”
The audience reacts to the last one with an applause, but Sven interrupts them quickly “Wait. It doesn’t work yet. Well, we play one song less today, wah.” From another band member we just got the comment “That’s all just a show”. However. The guys took it with a lot of humour and after a few moments the “keyboarder” was kind enough to work again and so we finally could enjoy ‘Inside Your Arms’. All in a nostalgic gig with charismatic musicians and all the great songs we used to hear so much when dealing with heartbreak in the 2000s. // https://www.facebook.com/ZeraphineBand // Setlist: 01. Nie mehr allein / 02. Die Macht in dir / 03. Louisa / 04. River Of You / 05. Be My Rain / 06. Fang mich / 07. Still / 08. Inside Your Arms / 09. Niemand kann es sehen / 10. Out Of Sight / 11. Die Wirklichkeit
GOETHES ERBEN are an institution in the Goth and Wave scene. The history of the band starts in early 90ies and after a longer break after 2008 Oswald Henke reincarnated the band successfully with new line-up and songs. The shows are beyond entertainment. GOETHES ERBEN live performances are theatrical, emotional, they fathom human abysses and all the taboos that we usually never talk about. They appear so weird, strange, insane, provoking. They are the mirrors that GOETHES ERBEN carry and put in front of all of us. It is so rare that we tend to dive into the emotions deep enough. Some songs show all the madness and Oswald Henke is the perfect one to fill out that role, others the fragility.
Be it ‘Vermisster Traum’, ‘Die Kopfstimme’ or ‘Verstümmelung’ - with every song there is another aspect of human existence and feelings that they address to. In 2018 GOETHES ERBEN released a new album ‘Am Abgrund’, as critical and provoking as we know them. Live at PLAGE NOIRE they’ve chosen to perform from the current album the songs ‘Wucht’, ‘Rot’, ‘Verstümmelung’, ‘Darwins Jünger’, ‘Denn es ist immer so’, ‘Lazarus’, ‘Schlaflos’ and the title song ‘Am Abgrund’. So while some of the classics still appear in the setlist, 8 out of 18 songs were taken from the latest album and therefore a clear signal that GOETHES ERBEN are not living in the past, but creating for today.
GOETHES ERBEN are still an exceptional appearance in today’s music world and keep on creating disturbing mirrors for every single one of us. // https://www.facebook.com/goetheserbenoffical // Setlist: 01. Wucht / 02. Der Eissturm / 03. Denn es ist immer so / 04. Vermisster Traum / 05. Märchenprinzen / 06. Nichts bleibt wie es war / 07. Die Brut / 08. Kopfstimme / 09. Rot / 10. Verstümmelung / 11. Darwins Jünger /12. Lazarus / 13. Mit dem Wissen / 14. Spiel mit mir / 15. Mensch sein / 16. Zinnsoldaten / 17. Schlaflos / 18. Am Abgrund
There are not many bands who are able to surprise with every new album that they release. DIORAMA just do it. They make you enjoy and dance in the moment, but the more you listen to every single song, the more details and meanings you will find to them. The sound of DIORAMA is diverse and complex, still ensuring to be danceable, with catchy, yet incomparable melodies from the Synth Pop and Electronica universe. It is a world for dreamers, dancers, thinkers and rebels. The life performance at the Salle de Fête was much focused, however perfectly homogeneous and everyone, but especially frontman Torben Wendt seemed to be 100 % present in here and now.
The gig started with the characteristic ‘Forgotten’, thoughtful, intense, and emotional. As actually every single song of their repertoire is. The setlist in total was a beautiful journey through, yes, twenty years of creations by mastermind Torben Wendt and his friends & colleagues in DIORAMA. ‘HLA’ is always a highlight, already the intro is so much on point. It’s always a pleasure to watch Torben when it starts. You can see so many emotions happening in his face, it is incredible fascinating. ‘Synthesize Me’ was actually the first song I’ve heard from DIORAMA a pretty long while ago, it almost feels like a beautiful eternity and with every live gig the fascination for these musicians just keeps growing. Also the performance at Plage Noire Festival proved once more the fascinating live qualities of this band.
The most beautiful words that many of us were expecting so much were right at the end when the last song was about to come, Torben took place behind his keys and asked “Did you really think we are coming to the sea and would not play this one?”. Of course not! The beautiful and most perfect song to be played here, just a few meters from the Baltic sea was the special present the guys from South Germany brought us - ‘Das Meer’ (english: ‘The Sea’). The most perfect end for such a gig. // https://www.facebook.com/dioramawastaken / http://diorama-music.com // Setlist: 01. Forgotten / 02. Defcon / 03. HLA / 04. Odyssey Into The Vacuum / 05. Said But True / 06. Kein Mord / 07. Polaroids / 08. Off / 09. Ignite / 10. Synthesize Me / 11. Child Of Entertainment / 12. Das Meer
End Of Green
END OF GREEN was founded in 1992 and published their debut album ‘Infinity’ on Nuclear Blast Records in 1996. The album ‘Dead End Dreaming’ propelled the band into the charts for the first time. In 2006 they played at the Wave Gothic Meeting and also at the Wacken Open Air. Their album ‘High Hopes in Low Places’ came out in 2010 and rose to 17th place into the German charts. In 2013 their eighth studio album ‘The Painstream’ was also released on Napalm Records and in August 2017 the current album ‘Void Estate’ was released and they undertook a successful tour. In 2019 they finally returned to the stage and just before the Plage Noire Festival they had appearances in Cologne and Hameln. Their music lies somewhere between Metal, Gothic and Dark Rock. Many of their songs are hard to beat for their melancholy and drama. For me END OF GREEN are one of the best live bands in Germany.
END OF GREEN were already joking during the sound check - as they were tuning up their instruments, singer Michelle Darkness announced “Bye! That’s it!” Punctually at 7:15 pm, they came back on to the stage and began their festival appearance with ‘Let Sleeping Gods Lie’ from the 2008 album. After the song, ‘Hurter’ Michelle asked the audience with his usual deep voice “How are you liking it so far?” Next came a slower song, ‘Savior’, followed by ‘Green Machine’. Finally the audience began to come alive and was getting excited. After ‘Demons’, Michelle again asked the audience, “Are you still having fun?” and when the crowd answered with loud jubilation he added “Thank God!” This concert from END OF GREEN took place at the biggest location of Plage Noire but was unfortunately not completely filled as at the same time, in another location, DIORAMA were playing, drawing many of the festival goers in that direction. But in my opinion those people not being present at END OF GREEN missed one of the best concerts of the festival.
Chain-smoker Michelle lit one cigarette after another during the show, apparently the best medicine for his great voice! This band’s perfect mix of Rock and melancholy went down very well with the audience. Songs for head-banging alternated with those for dreaming and deep thinking. Michelle, who was wearing a hood over his cap during the concert had a few problems with his guitar. After a short break, they continued with ‘Goodnight Insomnia’, followed by a big cheer which Michelle thanked everyone for. After some more problems with the guitar, Michelle said then “Oh forget, I’m not such a good guitarist anyway, I’ll just not play anymore!” The song ‘Killhoney’ featured the band musicians’ head-banging along and also with some in the audience. The sound of the band was pure Dark Rock from the three guitars, but of course, you could hear each instrument individually.
When his voice during ‘Tie Me A Rope’ briefly failed, Michelle said “My voice is in my arse, we have already been two days on tour!” One of the highlights in the set was the TYPE O NEGATIVE cover, ‘Black No 1’, which was really impressive and radiated almost the same emotionality as the original. Finally, there followed two songs from the current album. Michelle then said he wished to have fun with the other bands and invited the fans to come and chat later with the band, or to have a drink. It was a brilliant, enjoyable performance - it is to be hoped that this year many more END OF GREEN concerts will follow. // https://www.facebook.com/endofgreenofficial // Setlist: 01. Let Sleeping Gods Lie / 02. Hurter / 03. Saviour / 04. Green Machine / 05. Demons / 06. Carpathian Gravedancer / 07. Goodnight Insomnia / 08. Killhoney / 09. Tie Me A Rope / 10. Death In Veins/ Hurt / 11. Send In The Clowns / 12. Black No. 1 / 13. Worn & Torn / 14. Like A Stranger
It was about time to check-out the stage at La Ratonde. La Ratonde is called “Die Alm” in its “real life” and it actually looks like a decent alpine hut or a good place to celebrate Oktoberfest. Just next to a “Fahrradverleih” (“bike rental”). Quite an amusing place to go see a Goth Rock band perform, but here we are. The venue is probably not the best when it’s full, as the view is quite restricted from many points and yes, it was full. I saw the band almost from behind, but as I’ve got the chance to see them life a few weeks ago it was “okay”. However the atmosphere was amazing, though Matteo announced that he is pretty sick and so, if all of the people in front of him will be sick tomorrow as well, it’s probably his fault.
However, the guys rocked the Alm, or sorry, La Ratonde. The songs just immediately stuck to you and there is no chance but just to rock together with the band. Be it the playful ‘Satan In Wonderland’, the strong hymn ‘In Black We Trust or the more melancholic ‘All I’ve Lost’, they all are great to perform life. ‘Bitch Next Door’ is dedicated to the band member Fede who already performed on Friday with FADERHEAD and also plays in other bands. And then there is this Goth Rock cover of a BRITNEY SPEARS song. Just imagine it. A venue that looks like an alpine hut. In Northern Germany. A performance by an at least partly Swiss Goth Rock band and a BRITNEY SPEARS cover. Could it be more epic? You’d call it strange? I call it the perfect mix. Maybe a weird one. But it worked.
Just to be clear, the next song says it all, ‘Zero Fucks Given’, is the best message after such an epic cover version. The last song is dedicated to the next morning and so the slot ends with ‘Hangover From Hell’ and wishes all of us a great night. Epic gig and next time hopefully at least at Salle de Fête. // https://www.facebook.com/hellboulevard // Setlist: 01. Intro / 02. As Above So Below / 03. Satan In Wonderland / 04. A Lesson In Pain / 05. A Beautiful Ending / 06. Bitch Next Door / 07. In Black We Trust / 08. All I’ve Lost / 09. Bad Boys Like Me / 10. … Baby One More Time (Britney Spears cover) / 11. Zero Fucks Given / 12. Dead Valentine / 13. Living Dead Lover / 14. Love Is Dead / 15. Hangover From Hell
Fast change to the Chapiteau where SALTATIO MORTIS already conquered the stage. The band’s mix of Rock and Medieval with a whole bunch of entertainment, artistic special effects and creative announcements. The band from Karslruhe in South Germany reached the number one position in the Official German Album Charts three times in a row and their live performance proves that their music does not just sound good on a CD. Not at all. The Chapiteau tent celebrated a huge medieval party with SALTATIO MORTIS. The frontman Alea der Bescheidene knows how to encourage the audience.
After a short while the audience cannot resist to celebrate together with the band. In 18 years SALTATIO MORTIS released 11 albums and their fandom has grown over the years enormously. Though SALTATIS MORTIS actually means “Dance Of The Dead”, their show and audience show that anyone is dead here. A colourful, live praising performance and a huge variation of used instruments. // https://www.facebook.com/saltatiomortisofficial // Setlist: 01. Große Träume / 02. Dorn im Ohr / 03. Wo sind die Clowns? / 04. Brot und Spiele / 05. Wachstum / 06. Europa / 07. Besorgter Bürger / 08. Idol / 09. Spur des Lebens / 10. Heimdall / 11. Totus Floreo / 12. Eulenspiegel / 13. Mittelalter / 14. Brunhild / 15. Ich werde Wind / 16. Nie wieder Alkohol / 17. Rattenfänger / 18. Sie tanzt allein / 19. Spielmannsschwur
The headliner on the Salle de Fête stage on Saturday were DE/VISION. DE/VISION is a German Synth Pop band, founded in 1988. Steffen Keth and Thomas Adam who were two of formerly four founding members are up to this date active with their project. The debut album ‘World Without End’ was released in 1994 and just last year, 2018, DE/VISION released their 15th album with ‘Citybeats’. Therefore for sure we can call DE/VISION a stable factor in the music biz. DE/VISION create hits beyond the borders of the Dark / Goth scene, breaking limits and surprising their own fans. Trying to describe the music genre it’s a combination of catchy Synth Pop melodies, a little retro touch and Electro experiments with the soft voice of Steffen Keth.
The atmosphere at Salle de Fête was great, dreamy dancers everywhere, a touch of nostalgia in the air and great melodies around. A journey through about thirty years of music, ‘I Regret’, ‘Your Hands On My Skin’, ‘Try To Forget’, ‘Who Am I’ and all the other songs lead the audience into a time capsule where time and all the rest do not matter and that makes a perfect end for all those who decided to make DE/VISION their last concert of the Plage Noire 2019. // https://www.facebook.com/DEVISION-24741337633 // Setlist: 01. Intro/Synchronize (EXT. Short Cut) / 02. Rage / 03. They Won’t Silence Us / 04. Essence (Ext. Short Cut) / 05. mAndroids / 06. Brothers In Arms / 07. I Regret / 08. Where’s The Light? / 09. Time To Be Alive + Try To Forget / 10. Who Am I / 11. Foreigner / 12. Binary Soldier / 13. Your Hands On My Skin / 14. Under Heavy Fire / 15. Flavour Of The Week / 16. A Storm Is Rising
And here we are at the very last gig. The headliner for Saturday at the main stage in the Chapiteau tent. AND ONE welcomed the audience with a huge banner saying “Keiner fühlt’s wie ihr” (“No one is feeling it like you”) and this is a perfect phrase for this weekend. AND ONE do not need much of an introduction. Hits all the way during the last 30 years, guarantee for full dance floors and Steve Naghavi’s entertaining talent is for sure also responsible for the great success of the live shows. The gig started with ‘Krieger’, the song that made sure just the night before that the dance floor was full, now led to an immediate great atmosphere.
With such a high density of hits, the setlist felt like a best-of, be it ‘Deutschmaschine’, ‘Steine sind Steine’, ‘Military Fashion Show’, the nostalgic ‘Killing The Mercy’ or the well-known ‘Shouts Of Joy’ as the very last song of Plage Noire 2019. Steve Naghavi ensures with his sharp comments, sometimes funny, sometimes provoking, but always honest, the unique atmosphere that just gets better and better with every song. AND ONE enjoy a well-down provocation, but also prove that there are many good reasons for them being around and successful for such a long time. // https://www.facebook.com/ANDONEoffiziell / https://www.andone.de // Setlist: 01. Krieger / 02. Get You Closer / 03. Bodynerv / 04. Für / 05. Unter meiner Uniform / 06. Love You To The End / 07. Deutschmaschine / 08. Killing The Mercy / 09. Most Of The Tears / 10. Second Voice / 11. Steine sind Steine / 12. Panzermensch / 13. Sometimes /14. Techno Man / 15. Military Fashion Show / 16. High / 17. Shouts Of Joy
The last day of Plage Noire ended for us at the after-show party. Plage Noire Festival convinced once more with the amazing mix of the long, beautiful beach, great live shows and extra program that gave everyone the chance to experience a highlight. Curious to see what kind of program Plage Noire is going to offer us next year.
All pictures by Marko Jakob
Written by Nastja Iz except End Of Green by Marko Jakob