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newwavesday intro D4S6413 kleinTurbinenhalle, Oberhausen, Germany
18th May 2019
New Waves Day 2019 with The Arch, Then Comes Silence, !In2thesound!, Pink Turns Blue, And Also The Trees, Chameleons Vox, Gang Of Four, Peter Hook & The Light

Celebrated one time, already established. The New Waves Day celebrated its outstanding premiere in Oberhausen in 2017 and brought scene heroes like THE MISSION to the stage in front of thousands of fans. On May 26, 2018, the second editions took place with headlines FIELDS OF THE NEPHILIM. This year, the organizers even topped it and presented a line-up which made every fan of the alternative 80s into raptures. Pop & Wave met Punk and Industrial.

Also this year’s line-up proved impressively: The New Waves Day is the long-awaited counterweight to the many alternative events, which are dominated by electronic sounds, unholy hit and medieval songs. The one-day festival thus succeeded in giving the origins of a scene a stage and thus uniting supporters of various musical genres in one place. Fans travelled from all over the world to celebrate their heroes and themselves.

The Arch

THE ARCH opened the festival day. An atmospheric concoction of electronic and guitar-sounds characterizes a unique style of floating elegies and driving Post-Punk. That Belgium has been an epicentre of alternative music production for years, has hardly remained unnoticed to the experts, but still only few bands have managed to let ascend their hits to sustainable evergreens. Note THE ARCH who for years have been well established on dark-wave-events with their hits ‘Babsi ist tot’ and ‘Ribdancer’. THE ARCH is finally back with their highly anticipated album ‘Fates’, which contains 13 new songs, which show the versatility of the band. ‘Fates’ takes us on a journey to the alternative music-culture, in which the power and intensity of the interaction between guitar-driven and electronic music is once again made visible!

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THE ARCH open the evening quite unspectacular. They play their two hits at the beginning and at the end of the set. The songs sound unfortunately live thinner than on the album. The penultimate song, ‘Ribdancer’, convinces the most, but also does not tear the set all the way up. All in all a successful performrance because the musicians enjoy what they are doing and this feeling is also on me and the audience. The guitar riffs and the electronic soundscapes create a gloomy yet lively mood. // / // Setlist: 01. Babsi ist tot / 02. Body & Angels / 03. Fates / 04. Joan’s in Prison / 05. Blood Crystals / 06. Eyes Wide Open / 07. Ribdancer // Rating: 5 / 10

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Then Comes Silence

THEN COMES SILENCE are the Swedish captains of Post Punk. The quartet from Stockholm is a fresh breeze of Gothic renaissance, kicking darkness around with hammering rhythms and melodies that makes hearts melt and blood freeze. The fascination for doom and darkness pervade and influence every tune and word. The music of THEN COMES SILENCE takes the listener on a journey from swinging Post Punk to the shadows of Goth-gaze and into scraps of coal hearted psych. The sharp soundscape is intense, massive and pounding. The lyrics flirt with death and sorrow. It’s Goth, Psychedelica, Rock and Post-Punk in a symbiosis.

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When the gentlemen enter the stage, dense fog is hanging in the air. The first chords immediately show where it would go musically: sated Gothic Rock with brilliantly played guitar riffs, carried by a bass sound and powerful, straightforward drums. Alex’ deep vocals fit seamlessly into the sound. Quickly movement comes into the audience. With passion the band presents songs like ‘Strange Kicks’ or ‘Warm Like Blood’. At ‘She loves the night’ they prove their brilliant talent for suspenseful and dark arrangements. The catchy ‘Strangers’ sounds great and is another dark pearl of the evening reflecting the current enthusiasm for the good, old sound in the Gothic scene. // / // Setlist: 01. Dead cry for no one / 02. Good Friday / 03. Spinning faster / 04. Warm like blood / 05. Animals / 06. Rest will follow / 07. Strangers / 08. Strange Kicks / 09. She loves the night // Rating: 8 / 10

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!IN2THESOUND! is a tribute to the legendary Post-Punk band THE SOUND. Do you remember Adrian Borland? Do you remember THE SOUND? On New Waves Day 2019, !IN2THESOUND! were guests. They were supported by JoJo Brandt, another musician from the band THE CONVENT. !IN2THESOUND! was launched just over a year ago by drummer Mike Dudley and singer Carlo van Putten. Both are closely related to the late 1999 musician Adrian Borland, frontman and founder of the Post-Punk band THE SOUND. While Mike Dudley was the man on the drums there from 1979 to 1987, Adrian Borland and THE CONVENT singer Carlo van Putten met many years later and founded the band WHITE ROSE TRANSMISSION in 1995. In 2016, a planned documentary film about Adrian Borland brought the two men, Mike Dudley and Carlo von Putten, together and they decided, together with Stefan Bornhorst and Carsten Lienke (THE CONVENT), to found a tribute band in honour of their mutual friend and to revive his legacy.

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Here it fits easily. Perform as a tribute band and convey a feeling as if the original was on stage. The musicians act like a well-rehearsed team, like friends who make music together. The instruments complement each other and do not stand in each other’s way. It follows one hit after the other and I cannot get out of the excitement. Unfortunately, the sound is not mixed for my ears (I cannot hear all frequencies) and so a lot of tension is lost. In any case, they have done THE SOUND honour and brought a memory with a great sense of aesthetics into the present. // // Setlist: 01. Silent Air / 02. Fatal Flaw / 03. Skeletons / 04. Possession / 05. The Fire / 06. New Dark Age / 07. Winning / 08. Sense of Purpose / 09. Heartland / 10. Monument // Rating: 7 / 10

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Pink Turns Blue

PINK TURNS BLUE are an influential band from Cologne, Germany. Formed in 1985, they quickly put out their first LP, ‘If Two Worlds Kiss’, expressing a sound reminiscent of New Wave with very dark undertones and use of synthesisers, only to become one of the pioneers of the developing sub-genre of Darkwave. Before the first album, Thomas Elbern left the band to form ESCAPE WITH ROMEO. After many hits like ‘Michelle’, ‘Walking On Both Sides’, ‘Your Master Is Calling’, ‘The First’, ‘I Coldly Stare Out’, ‘Touch The Skies’, ‘Catholic Sunday’, ‘Missing You’, ‘If Two Worlds Kiss’, ‘Moon’ and ‘Seven Years’ they split up in 1995. In 2003 they reformed to appear on a few festivals. Because of the success of the re-union, they released a best of album called ‘Re-Union’ and in 2005 their studio album ‘Phoenix.’ The latest Album is called ‘The AERDT - Untold Stories’. The current line-up of the band consists of Mic Jogwer, Ruebi Walter, and Paul Richter.

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The set starts with the song ‘Something Deep Inside’ and a large selection of their best hits follows. With ‘Walking on Both Sides’ the fans begin to dance with closed eyes to the beat of the music. Also the catchy guitar on ‘I Coldly Stare Out’ underlines the mood skilfully and on ‘After all’ a light dance starts. Remarkably, how PINK TURNS BLUE can conjure up a fascinating atmosphere with only three instruments. The only show effect is basically the light play on the stage, which changes from red to pink to blue. At the latest at ‘Missing you’ the fans are there and they are able to keep their breath on ‘Tomorrow Never Comes’. Time flows by and with ‘Your Master Is Calling’ the last song of the set begins. They did not play the club hit ‘Michelle’ on that evening, what a surprise! A very nice and pleasant concert! // / // Setlist: 01. Something Deep Inside / 02. Walking on Both Sides / 03. I Coldly Stare Out / 04. After All / 05. Missing You / 06. Tomorrow Never Comes / 07. Can’t Be Love / 08. Your Master Is Calling // Rating: 7 / 10

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And Also The Trees

Established in 1979 in a small village in Worcestershire & inspired by the ideology of a still-developing Post-Punk movement, AND ALSO THE TREES from their very beginnings were different. Unlike more urban contemporaries like PIL & GANG OF FOUR, they were influenced almost exclusively by the landscape & history of the rural environment that surrounded them, an influence that has remained throughout their entire existence to this day. Rooted in the Post-Punk and New Wave movement of their day, AND ALSO THE TREES have always been different to their musical companions from the big cities of the UK and Europe. More poetic and romantic and with a naturalistic, almost pagan attitude, AND ALSO THE TREES found their own identity next to the more aggressive, more direct urban contemporaries. In June 2009 they released ‘When The Rains Come’, an acoustic album of songs from throughout their history stripped down to the bare bones and presented with remarkable poise and simplicity. The new album, ‘Born Into Waves’, was officially released on March 18th 2017.

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Anyone who has ever seen the English on a stage knows that you will be offered high-quality music in the following concert. ‘Slow Pulse Boy’ follows the song ‘Wallpaper Dying’, which goes in the direction of the band’s classics and is enthusiastically accepted by the audience. That is also the case with the songs ‘Dialogue’, ‘Your Guess’ or ‘Virus Meadow’. The partly quiet songs are immediately engaging and singer Simon Huw Jones uses this, along with his sometimes dramatizing gestures, for himself and the band. Of course, a number of classics from the decades-long repertoire of the quintet are colourfully mixed into the set. Songs like the already mentioned ‘Dialogue’ or ‘Prince Rupert’ make the well-filled Turbinenhalle rocking and singing. The clear but slightly too loud sound makes such a wonderful music enjoyment possible. This comes to an end in the howling guitar of Justin Jones and the song ‘Rive Droite’. // / // Setlist: 01. Slow Pulse Boy / 02. Wallpaper Dying / 03. Dialogue / 04. Your Guess / 05. Virus Meadow / 06. The Suffering of the Stream / 07. Missing / 06. Prince Rupert / 09. Rive Droite Rating: 7 / 10

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Chameleons Vox

CHAMELEONS VOX was conceived as the continuation of THE CHAMELEONS UK, arguably the most widely influential guitar band ever to come out of Manchester England, and the project continues to evolve. CHAMELEONS VOX features vocalist and composer Mark Burgess collaborating with various people that include CHAMELEONS drummer John Lever, Neil Dwerryhouse and Chris Oliver on guitars, and lately long-term collaborator Yves Altana. CHAMELEONS VOX are now reaching a whole new generation of fans to swell the considerable loyal following that the band has established and have so far played sell out concerts in the UK, Germany, Holland, Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal; and across the United States of America. Anno 2019 CHAMELEONS VOX are playing for the 3rd time in a row at the NEW WAVES DAY!

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Some of the voices during that evening claimed that keeping CHAMELEONS VOX alive is only just trying to make some money out of succeeding and putting together any kind of musicians. A view that I cannot quite share and I think fans of the old CHAMELEONS at least got their money’s worth. The voice of Mark is powerful and to the point and form a complete picture together with the magnificent, double, floating guitar bed, the crisp drums and the driving bass of Burgess himself. You get what you expect and could therefore fully enjoy the concert. But if you did not know the band, you probably would have been a bit bored. // / // Setlist: 01. Singing Rule Britannia (While the Walls Close In) / 02. A Person Isn’t Safe Anywhere These Days / 03. Monkeyland / 04. Looking Inwardly / 05. Mad Jack / 06. Soul in Isolation / 07. Seriocity / 08. In Answer / 09. Swamp Thing / 10. Second Skin // Rating: 6 / 10

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Gang Of Four

The co-headliners of this year’s New Waves Day are none other than GANG OF FOUR, consisting of Andy Gill (guitar), Tobias Humble (bass), John “Gaoler” Sterry (vocals) and Jonny Finnigan (drums). The pioneering Post-Punk band was formed in the Punk Rock fallout culture of late seventies Leeds - a place where art was a mirror and guitars were machine guns. They redesigned Rock in the Punk aftermath, taking the incendiary energy of the form and criss-crossing it with Funk, stripping away the baggage of Rock excess and creating a new stripped-down music that was full of agit energy, heavy grooves, shrapnel guitars and politically charged lyrics matching the fervour of the times. The band then bounced around the music business releasing a series of albums that have been a direct inspiration to a diverse selection of bands who wanted to deconstruct rock music without losing its sense of excitement, from the surrounding Post-Punk generation to the big bands that followed. GANG OF FOUR disbanded in 1984 but reformed later that decade, since then releasing a series of albums that emphatically demonstrate their capacity for invention and twisting energy.

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When GANG OF FOUR guitarist Andy Gill is on stage at the beginning of the set on Saturday night, he throws down his guitar. He picks it up and holds it over his head before throwing the guitar back on stage again. He starts summoning long screams of feedback from his guitar when the band starts. The band crackled with energy. Singer John “Gaoler” Sterry spikes across the stage. When the band starts off, Gill uses his patented, razor-sharp guitar riff. Suddenly it is clear how Gill’s guitar playing is inspired by British bands like BAUHAUS and WIRE. Gill is the only original member of the band and most of the time poses in front of his amplifiers. The younger band members hop on stage while drummer Tobias Humble hits his kit.

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From Gaoler come still some sharp guitar riffs. His guitar shrieks and squeaks in Thomas McNeice’s bass line. At some point, the band is obsessed with McNeice’s evil bass. Long-time fans immediately recognize the legendary opening chords for ‘Damaged Goods’, probably the band’s biggest hit. The crowd is hopping, dances and sings to the elegant simplicity of the song. // // // Setlist: 01. Anthrax / 02. Great Men / 03. Isle Of Dogs / 04. Parade / 05. Toreador / 06. Paralysed / 07. What We All Want / 08. Change The Locks / 09. Damaged Goods / 10. Uniform / 11. Tourist / 12. Natural / 13. Poverty / 14. Why Theory? / 15. Army / 16. Essence // Rating: 5 / 10

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Peter Hook & The Light

PETER HOOK & THE LIGHT was headlining the festival. It’s the third edition for the New Waves Day but a first for PETER HOOK: The legendary JOY DIVISION- and NEW ORDER co-founder has confirmed his appearance in Oberhausen in 2019 making this show one of his rare concerts in Germany. Rumours were true and Hook was celebrating his New Waves Day premiere in Oberhausen with a very special set of JOY DIVISION classics. PETER HOOK & THE LIGHT was a concert no one wanted to miss! After the suicide of singer Ian Curtis, Hook founded with the remaining band members Bernard Sumner and Stephen Morris the formation NEW ORDER. During his time with JOY DIVISION, Hook was described as a “bassist who thought he was playing lead guitar”. Thirty years have passed since JOY DIVISION’s pioneering album ‘Unknown Pleasures’. The album, like its successor ‘Closer’, is considered a milestone in music history, which has shaped many other bands from THE CURE to THE CHEMICAL BROTHERS. In 2010, on the 30th anniversary of Ian Curtis, Peter Hook has assembled a group of fellow musicians and friends to celebrate Ian’s life and contribution to modern music. With his band THE LIGHT he revived JOY DIVISION in a complete performance of the album ‘Unknown Pleasures’.

For many fans, JOY DIVISION is and remains the epitome of good music. Unfortunately it is not possible to see this band live for nearly 40 years and the NEW ORDER times are long gone… at least they were up to now when the band announced new live shows. However, Peter Hook tries to uphold JOY DIVISION’s legacy and while he looks fitter on every performance and his vocals improve, he just cannot quite match the sound of bygone days. But he is damn close. Goose bumps are present throughout the set. It is the 39th anniversary of the death of Ian Curtis and every song is like a funeral oration in his honour. Every song sounds different than it is used to from the record and yet it sends a shiver down your spine. Everything seems clearer and more structured, yet it tears you apart with each new line, as if you were listening to the pieces for the first time. A flood of emotions filled the room and the show is still over so fast. No chance for a break between the songs, but many impressions that will inspire us days later.

The only real downer this evening is the incredibly presumptuous photo contract by Peter Hook. I do not know if he personally or his management single-handedly fabricated this crap, so from here to those in charge: some photographers come to their own expense to a concert, have spent thousands of euros on equipment and can use years of experience for outstanding photos, which they then put on the net for free to the visitors to hold beautiful memories and those who could not be there to give an impression of the evening. And then they are presented with a contract that says: “You are allowed to take pictures, but you have to provide the originals in the highest resolution for everything I want to provide and get NO MONEY for it. At least we try to credit you as photographer…” Now it’s enough for me as an editor. Something like that pisses me off. How conceited you can be.

“I’m the hottest, since you’re lucky that you are allowed to photograph me and your work is worth nothing! Since then be glad to adore me as a deity.” A filthy crap is that and the most outrageous thing I’ve ever experienced. I just hope Peter Hook is not behind it but some completely dumbfounded intern who has no idea. However, we as Reflections of Darkness did not sign this contract and therefore won’t show you any pictures of the show here. // / // Setlist (all played songs were JOY DIVISION songs): 01. No Love Lost / 02. Disorder / 03. Isolation / 04. Shadowplay / 05. Warsaw / 06. Heart and Soul / 07. Twenty Four Hours / 08. Dead Souls / 09. Atmosphere / 10. Atrocity Exhibition / 11. Insight / 12. New Dawn Fades / 13. She’s Lost Control / 14. Digital / 15. Transmission / 16. Ceremony / 17. Love Will Tear Us Apart // Rating: 8 / 10

After the festival, the party continued: Headline Concerts and Kulttempel Oberhausen presented the New Waves Day 2019 - Official Aftershow Party! Post-Punk - New Wave - Goth - Indie - Classics feat. guest-DJs: Jürgen Jakob (Cold Beat Berlin / Ex-Strobelight Records / Judgement Day Festival), Philipp Strobel ([aufnahme + wiedergabe] / DEATH # DISCO) and Thomas Thyssen (Pagan Love Songs / When We Were Young @ WGT 2005-2015).

All pictures by Daniela Vorndran ( /

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