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Tanzbrunnen, Cologne, Germany
19th to 20th July 2008
Amphi Festival Day 2 Main Stage: Mediaeval Babes, The Lovecrave, Letzte Instanz, Das Ich, L´Âme Immortelle, Suicide Commando, Project Pitchfork, And One  

The second festival day started a lot cooler than the first one and we were wondering if it would stay at least dry during the day. At the end, we had to fight a few short showers, but nothing too long luckily and so, people could enjoy another festival day. The day on the main stage offered a lot of different styles starting with MEDIEVAL BABES presenting some Celt music over the harsh electro of SUICIDE COMMANDO to the poppy tunes of AND ONE. [DV]

Mediaeval Babes [CL]

The idea came about, when founding member Katharine Blake met the musician Dorothy Carter in Berlin, where Carter played hurdy-gurdy and dulcimer and Katherine was immediately drawn to the sound of the medieval instruments. When she returned to London, she got together with some friends of hers, sang some songs together and a year later the first album ‘Salva Nos’ was released in 1998, which climbed into the classic charts of the UK, just like the follow-up ‘Worldess Bylze’ which even cracked the number one. Their current album is called ‘Mirabilis’ and was released in May 2007, but a new album is close to its release now. THE MEDIAEVA BABES are Katharine Blake, Emily Alice, Claire Rabbitt, Melpomeni Kermanidou, Esther Dee and Bev Lee Harling. /

Music & Performance
The MEDIEVAL BABES opened the main stage on Sunday. They performed half an hour medieval / Celt choral singing, supported by acoustic instruments. The six female singers were all dressed in green dresses and their microphone booms were decorated with ivy. The weather again was much better than announced and the already present people were in a good temper to start that festival day.

01. Miseria Nomine
02. Love Me Broughte
03. Kinderly
04. Snake
05. I Sing of a Maiden
06. Yonder Lea
07. Ecce Mundi Gaudeum
08. Return of the Birds
09. How Death Comes
10. Averil

Music: 6
Performance: 6
Sound: 8
Light: - (daylight)
Total: 6.3

The Lovecrave [CL]

Founded in 2004, the band gained a bunch of attention with their first album ‘The Angel an the Rain’ released in November 2006 by the German label Repo Records and soon they found themselves playing as support of THE BIRTHDAY MASSACRE; as well as on acclaimed gigs at the famous Wave Gotik Treffen, followed by an acclaimed performance at the M’era Luna in 2007, followed by an own tour through Europe. THE LOVECRAVE are Francesca Chiara (Vocals), Tank Palamera (Guitars), Simon Dredo (Bass) and Lakk (Drums). /

Music & Performance
THE LOVECRAVE entered the stage after the change over. Singer Francesca and the band with the classical rock line-up - guitar, bass and drums - did a dynamic powerful performance. The set consisted of six songs all in all even including a new song from the upcoming album. The crowd was infected by the spirit of the band and was dancing and clapping hands and especially celebrated the hit ‘Can you hear me’.

01. My Soul
02. Nobody
03. And Scream
04. Can you hear me
05. Little Suicide
06. Vampiri

Music: 8
Performance: 8
Sound: 8
Light: - (daylight)
Total: 8

Letzte Instanz [JU]

LETZTE INSTANZ arose from the band RESISTANCE and was founded in 1996 in Dresden. After they approached some labels under the name RESISTANCE they signed a record deal with the label Costbar and recorded their first songs which are included on the first album. Later the band then changed their name to LETRZTE INSTANT to distinguish themselves from other bands that got the name RESISTANCE. Before they even released their second album, singer Hörbi and bas player Kaspar left the band. Sebastian Lohse aka Robin Sohn and Rasta F. took over as singer and bass player. After the release of their fourth album ‘Götter auf Abruf’ three members of the band (incl. the singer) left the band as well. After a long search they found a new singer with Holly and meanwhile recorded two other albums with ‘Wir sind Gold’ as the latest regular studio album. In December 2007 the acoustic album ‘Das Weisse Lied’ was released presenting newer and older songs in a different instrumentation. /

Music & Performance
There are many bands who combine Rock, Folk and (more or less) medieval instruments, especially in Germany where this kind of music is pretty popular, and while this genre is surely not up to everyone’s taste you can be sure that such bands know how to put up a good show. SUBWAY TO SALLY, IN EXTREMO or SCHANDMAUL are fine examples, and LETZTE INSTANZ is yet another band which belongs to the spearhead of “Mittelalter-Rock”, as it’s labelled in Germany. Having seven band members on stage is quite a contrast to all the Electro bands which perform as a duo or maybe trio, and this impressive number of musicians did not just display their fine acoustic skills but they also know how to entertain an audience, even when it is a mixed one with many people who did not come to see LETZTE INSTANZ, like at this festival.

And for all the casual attendees, LETZTE INSTANZ had a special treat in store - a cover version of ALICE COOPER’s cult hit ‘Poison’! This was of course very well received, just like their own hit ‘Das Stimmlein’. A good gig, their fans were more than happy (although I’m sure that they found the gig a bit too short) and everyone else at least had to acknowledge that a band like LETZTE INSTANZ is always able to create a good atmosphere.

01. Intro
02. Maskenball
03. Tanz
04. Du und Ich
05. Unerreicht
06. Ohne Dich
07. Sonne
08. Jeden Morgen
09. Das Schönste Lied Der Welt
10. Mein Todestag
11. Eisherz
12. Wir sind allein
13. Poison
14. Das Stimmlein
15. Rapunzel

Music: 7
Performance: 8
Sound: 7
Light: - (daylight)
Total: 7.3

Das Ich [JU]

The band around Bruno Kramm and Stefan Ackermann is one of the biggest exceptions in the German - and also in the International - music scene and since the early 90s also belongs to the most important bands of the Gothic Scene in Germany. Despite them only singing in German, they play gigs all over Europe and America. Hits like ‘Gottes Tod’ are guarantors for full clubs since they’ve been released but they’re not only able to fill clubs, they cause you to think with the Stefan’s spit-out penetrating lyrics and challenge with their demanding compositions,  blending, neo-classic, avant-garde and playful electronics to a matchless mixture. DAS ICH is Bruno Kramm (music, backing vocals), Stefan Ackermann (lyrics, vocals) and live member Kain. /

Music & Performance
A red skinny devil enters the stage, and another devil with big red horns (amazing what you can do with long dyed hair and enough hairspray! *g*) takes his position behind his keyboard. The line-up is completed by a guy in a butcher’s outfit, stained with artificial blood. DAS ICH are on stage, and their outfit might imply that they’d put on a fulsomely serious and ultra-evil show. Nope - DAS ICH were on stage to have a good time and a big party! Only a few seconds into the first song, ‘Schrei’, Bruno Kramm shouted out that he wants to see everyone’s hands up in the air, and the crowd willingly followed his demand. Most other bands would look ridiculous with such a discrepancy between stage outfit and music on the one hand, and the attitude on stage. DAS ICH get away with it. Simply because they take things with tongue in cheek and although they are surely serious artists they know that people come to a show to have fun.

So why trying to look miserable and evil? DAS ICH simply look crazy and weird, and their performance was crazy and weird as well - and, as mentioned before, it was also fun! :-) They have a number of hits up their sleeves, and in Germany most people from the dark scene are quite familiar with tracks like ‘Gottes Tod’ and especially ‘Destillat’, which was the highlight of DAS ICH’s set. A very entertaining show, also because of the moveable (!) keyboard racks which allow keyboarders Kramm and Kain to walk around the entire stage and which makes DAS ICH’s show one of the least static performances I’ve ever seen by an electronic band.

01. Schrei
02. Kain und Abel
03. Schwarzes Gift
04. Kannibale
05. Sodom und Gomorra
06. Kindgott
07. Gottes Tod
08. Destillat

Music: 8
Performance: 8
Sound: 8
Light: - (daylight)
Total: 8

L’ame Immortelle [CL]

Probably Austria’s most successful export when it comes to music from the dark side of life. Founded on a party in 1996 by Thomas Rainer and Hannes Medwenitsch it doesn’t take long for them to produce some first songs under the name Technocratic Conquest, eventually changed to L’AME IMMORTELLE (The Immortal Soul). Later on, Sonja Kraushofer joins the band as singer and the first album ‘Lieder die wie Wunden bluten’ was recorded and released in 1997 and a year later the second one ‘In einer Zukunft aus Tränen und Stahl’ including the hit ‘Bitterkeit’. Several very successful albums like the two very emotional outputs ‘Wenn der letzte Schatten fällt’ and ‘Dann habe ich umsonst gelebt’ were released, before they switched over to the Major Gun Records due to their immersive grown popularity and released two more or less successful albums there. For their newest release ‘Namenlos’ they’ve returned to their former home Trisol. /

Music & Performance
L’AME IMMORTELLE started their set with one of the most famous songs of them ‘Bitterkeit’ and quickly the crowd was infected by their soulful and powerful performance. Sonja and Thomas were supported by the usual live band, consisting of guitar, bass and drums, at some songs Thomas played additional keyboard. The setlist included eleven songs, older songs like ‘Bitterkeit’ or ‘Live will never be the same again’ and newer songs like ‘1000 Voices’ or ‘Es tut mir leid’. The song "Live will never be the same again" has been dedicated to Roberto, a dead friend and technician of them. After ‘5 Jahre’ the playing time was over and the band left the stage.

01. Bitterkeit
02. Fear
03. Stumme Schreie
04. Phönix
05. Es tut mir leid
06. 1000 Voices
07. Blutrot
08. Aus den Ruinen
09. Live will never be the same again
10. Requiem
11. 5 Jahre

Music: 7
Performance: 8
Sound: 8
Light: - (daylight)
Total: 7.7

Suicide Commando [KM]

Over 20 years in the business and still no sign of resignation for Johan van Roy who founded SUICIDE COMMANDO in 1986 and till 1993 remained a pure studio project until he signed to German Label Off-Beat and started his victory march through the clubs and in the hearts of many music fans. His first two albums ‘Critical Stage’ and ‘Stored Images’ already included two of his biggest club hits ‘Where do we go from here’ and even more ‘See you in Hell’, but that wasn’t the end of the line in the years to come, one club hit followed the other and SUICIDE COMMANDO toured extensively through Europe and the US. In 2006 his seventh album ‘Bind, Torture, Kill’ was released on the now defunct label Dependent Records, named after the serial killer Dennis L. Rader also known as the “btk-strangler” and in 2007 he celebrated his anniversary with a special box called ‘X20’. /

Music & Performance
Suicide Commando played, so to say, their “traditional” show- with lots of dynamic, smashing pieces, visualizations that at times could seem like nauseating and despite the fact they introduced themselves as “Tokio Hotel” there was nothing new or something the average fan of the project would see or heard of. Still it was pretty energetic performance and as such made some people dance to songs like the opener ‘Bind Torture Kill’, ‘Dein Herz, meine Gier’ or the all-time classic ‘Hellraiser’.

01. Bind Torture Kill (extended torture)
02. Menschenfresser
03. Conspiracy with the devil
04. Dein Herz, meine Gier
05. Cause of death: Suicide (2008 RMX)
06. Raise your god
07. One nation under god (Off beat version)
08. Hate me
09. Love breeds suicide
10. Fuck you bitch (TB mix)
11. Hellraiser

Music: 8
Performance: 7
Sound: 8
Light - (daylight)
Total: 7.7

Project Pitchfork [JU]

This band is of the leading ones in the alternative electronic music, initially consisting of Peter Spilles and Dirk Scheuber. Later also Jürgen Jansen, Achim Färber and Carsten Klatte joined the line-up. The formation wasn’t just known for critically-acclaimed albums, successful tours and appearances on every conceivable festival but also for some prominent support acts like RAMMSTEIN or COVENANT. After some very successful years at the beginning of this millennium, the popularity decreased with the more introverted albums ‘Inferno’ and ‘Kaskade’ but nothing has changed in East Germany and in Russia, where a tribute to Pitchfork sampler has been created in 2005. /

Music & Performance
Last time I saw PROJECT PITCHFORK live I was not too happy about that gig. It was a “Best Of” show but it was not only this concept that made clear that PITCHFORK’s heyday was long gone, and the band was rather going through the motions than delivering a passionate performance. At the Amphi Festival PROJECT PITCHFORK’s set list was also kinda “Best Of”, but yet things were somewhat different. After a short intro they started with the classic ‘God Wrote’ - the times when they began each and every show with ‘Timekiller’ seems to be finally over - and the sound was rough, raw and unpolished. And actually it was great this way! In the past PROJECT PITCHFORK were know for excessive lightshows, this time they performed in sunny daylight, so the focus was on the music solely. In a strange way their show benefited from this, and it was quite evident that Scheuber, Spilles and their band mates enjoyed themselves a lot on the stage. The setlist included many classic PITCHFORK tracks like ‘Requiem’, ‘Alpha Omega’ or ‘Song Of The Winds’, a song from the 1992 album ‘Entities’ and one which many old fans were happy to hear again. But there was also new material - for example ‘Earth Song’, a track which they recorded with SARA NOXX and which was released earlier this year.

NOXX joined PROJECT PITCHFORK on stage to perform this song with them at the main stage of the Amphi, but I have to admit that this was the only real downer of the gig. SARA NOXX looked a bit lost on stage, as if she simply did not want to be up there - quite a contrast to Peter Spilles, who was much more into it. I was never too much of a PITCHFORK fan but I’m the first to admit that they delivered a compelling and strong performance at the Amphi. A less polished and rawer sound, a band that really was into what they are doing and a pretty huge audience which was up for a good party made this gig so much better than the last time I witnessed a PROJECT PITCHFORK concert.

01. Intro - Drone Assembly
02. God Wrote
03. Carnival
04. Song of the Winds
05. Earth Song
06. Revolution Now
07. Requiem
08. Conjure
09. Fire & Ice
10. Longing
11. Alpha Omega
12. Carrion
13. Timekiller
14. Existence
15. Mine

Music: 7
Performance: 8
Sound: 9
Light: - (daylight)
Total: 8

And One [CL]

If the name AND ONE is mentioned in the line-up of a festival or a concert, then wild partying is guaranteed and usually when Steve Naghavi enters a stage, hell breaks loose on and in front of the stage. Songs like ‘Technomann’ or ‘Deutschmaschine’ can’t be missed out on any party and still belong to the fixed repertoire of most DJ’s but only the music excites thousands of people since many years, it’s also Steve’s “special” form of lyrics that always cause discussion amongst fans and press alike. Just remember the text of ‘Pimmelmann’. After a longer absents, amongst others caused through the events of 9/11 and their harsh consequences for Steve Naghavi, AND ONE returned in 2003 with a new album ‘Aggressor’ and three years later ‘Bodypop’ the ninth AND ONE studio album sees the light of day. AND ONE is Steve Naghavi, Chris Ruiz and Gio Van Oli. /

Music & Performance
During the change over the stage was hidden behind a black curtain which was dropped at the first song. The stage setting was the same like at the last tour, Chris and Gio one after another behind their special keyboard cases and additional two further keyboards on the both sides. The show was started with ‘The sun always shines on TV’, a cover version of the A-HA hit, followed by ‘Stand the pain’, ‘Recover You’ and another cover version - ‘Fools’ by DEPECHE MODE. Quickly the crowd was infected by the rousing performance, Steve was running and jumping like usual, dancing in his distinctive kind and entertaining the crowd with songs and jokes. During the song ‘Timekiller’, a cover version of PROJECT PITCHFORK who performed the song themselves one hour ago at their show on the same stage, Dirk Scheuber and Peter Spilles entered the stage to the surprise of Steve and sang along, Steve welcomed them and they sang the song all together, really funny.

In the second half of the show prevailed own songs and at the end of the main set, Chris Ruiz left his place behind the keyboard and took over the vocal parts for ‘Fernsehapparat’ and ‘Take some more’. Of course the crowd requested an encore which was given with three more songs and after ‘Military Fashion Show’, ‘Techno Man’ and the last single release ‘So klingt Liebe’, AND ONE finally left the stage.

01. The sun always shine on TV (A-ha)
02. Stand the pain
03. Recover you
04. Fools (Depeche Mode)
05. Timekiller (Project Pitchfork)
06. Sometimes
07. But not tonight (Depeche Mode)
08. Get you closer
09. Body nerve
10. Traumfrau
11. Deutschmaschine
12. Steine sind Steine
13. It’s a sin (Pet Shop Boys)
14. Für
15. Fernsehapparat
16. Take some more
17. Military Fashion Show
18. Techno Man
19. So klingt Liebe

Music: 10
Performance: 10
Sound: 10
Light: 8
Total: 9.9

Written by Daniela Vorndran [DV] and overall editor, Sebastian Huhn all band intros, Karolina Moszkowicz [KM], J. “Niggels” Uhlenbruch [JU] and Carsten Leopold [CL]

All pictures by Daniela Vorndran ( / /

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