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echoandthebunnymenMaria Hendrikapark, Oostende, Belgium
24th to 26th June 2022
Sinner’s Day Summer 2022 Day 1 with Atmospehere, Algiers, Torul, Forced To Mode, W. H. Lung, IAMX (Machinate), The Mission and Echo & The Bunnymen

Sinner’s Day as an indoor festival has quite some years of tradition already, in various locations though. Last year, there was a special one-day summer edition taking place for the first time, just the day before W-Fest, in August 2021. This year, the summer edition of Sinner’s Day was extended to a full three-day festival taking place at the Maria-Hendrikapark in Oostende, Belgium. The line-up offered old heroes and newcomers, Wave legends and hard-hitting electronic music. Something for anyone.

Since we had a 5-hour ride and heavy traffic on this Friday morning, we missed the first two bands - ULTRA SUNN and TRANS X - and arrived in the park just during the change-over for the third band. The weather forecast was quite mixed, but when we arrived at the park, the sun was shining, promising a nice festival day. The area was really nice… a small festival ground directly at the lake, a bid seated area - the Raven Nest - with sun protection, beverages and food stalls, merchandise booths and the Batcave tent, where DJs were spinning their records all over the day. Really a promising first impression. I liked it. Soon after we arrived, it was time for the first band of the day for us.

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ATMOSPHERE is a project by SEVZERO, bringing the atmospheric sound of JOY DIVISION. So we were greeted with the first cover band of the day and the music of a legend. The six-man band is inspired, 40 years after his death, by front man Ian Curtis and with ATMOSPHERE they presented songs like ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’, ‘Disorder’ or ‘She Lost Control’ in an experienced rendition of the late 70s Post-Punk sound. Next up were ALGIERS from London, Atlanta and New York. ALGIERS is the musical response that dark times demand. ALGIERS are a political band without any doubt and they combat the potentially crippling waves of frustration and despair with a soulful roar - a call-to-action set to an eclectic, positively electric beat. Surely a band that might not totally fit into the line-up, but I liked it and I am always happy about something uncommon… a big plus I always experience with Belgium festivals.

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On we go with Slovenian TORUL - a very likeable band. Just before they started their set, they hugged on stage and shared a beer… and I had to grin. The band established themselves in the international Synth Pop / Electro / Dream Pop / Indie scene over the last years, releasing five albums in that time. Even though they changed the singer some years ago, they are an experienced trio with lots of live activities over the years. Still I had the impression they were a bit reserved during their show, maybe because the crowd was still quite manageable or because of the bright light… or fearing another heavy shower like just before during the changeover? Well, nothing was reserved anymore when the next cover band, FORCED TO MODE paying tribute to DEPECHE MODE, entered the stage. FORCED TO MODE present their “Devotional Tribute” at the highest possible level, so this is not just another tribute band. As always, their show was very entertaining and people sang along to big hits like ‘World in my Eyes’. ‘Stripped’, ‘Personal Jesus’ or ‘Somebody’. There was a special moment during ‘Enjoy the Silence’ which they dedicated to Andrew Fletcher, who just passed away a few weeks ago. Just like their heroes, the finished the set with ‘Never let me down again’. Always fun.

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W. H. LUNG was up next - a band I had never heard of. The Synth Pop and Motorik Krautrok band from Manchester is quite new, founded in 2017. First planned a studio only band, they anyway soon played live, among others there were British festivals such as Greenman and End of the Road. They drew their inspiration from bands like LCD SOUNDSYSTEM, TALKING HEADS or PRINCE. Sounds like a wild mix and it really was. I had mixed emotions about their gig but well, good to see something different again. Different was also the following IAMX “Machinate” show. The “Machinate” concept is totally different to the usual IAMX stage line-up, presenting Chris Corner all alone on stage with a lot of machines, keys and analogue / modular synths. This might not sound very impressive, but it is. The huge tower of machines, videos in the back and lots of mirrors create a special atmosphere. Now add lots of smoke, flickering lights and a wild dancing and screaming Chris Corner to the scene and you get a feeling of what to expect. The sound of the machines changes of course the original IAMX songs and this is not anyone’s cup of tea. But I loved it. Chris Corner is a sound magician and the show was so full of energy. One of my festival highlights for sure!

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With THE MISSION, another legend entered the stage and for me, especially after the show, they head deserved the headline position on that day. The band was already formed in 1985 when Wayne Hussey and Craig Adams left THE SISTERS OF MERCY and formed THE MISSION together with Simon Hinkler and Mick Brown. Today, they are one of the big Gothic Rock bands and still alive and able to present a fantastic show. The set contained only hits. The men around Hussey started with ‘Beyond the Pale’ and then, hit after hit followed… ‘Hands across the Ocean’, ‘Like a Hurricane’, ‘Severina’, Butterfly on a Wheel’ or ‘Wasteland’ excited the fans. For ‘Tower of Strength’ on or another visitor climbed on another ones shoulders to build the well-known towers… With a fantastic ‘Deliverance’, THE MISSION said goodbye to Sinner’s Day. Great!

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Last of the bill today was ECHO & THE BUNNYMEN. First of all sorry for the (not so good) pics since photographers were not allowed to enter the pit for this show. The style of this British Rock band evolved from psychedelic-tinged New Wave to melancholy Pop in the late 1970s and early 1980s. I found their show a bit uninspired, but I guess that’s also the image! But people liked it and after last song ‘Lips like Sugar’, the BUNNYMEN even had to play a two-song encore - ‘The Cutter’ and ‘The Killing Moon’. Overall, a perfect festival day and even the weather was nice to us and much better than forecasted with only a short shower.

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All pictures by Daniela Vorndran ( /

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