11th October 2009
Skunk Anansie, Chairlift, The Rakes, Eternal Tango
On 11th October 2009, the time had come and the 23rd Rocknacht was about to begin. Short after 5 PM, the doors of the E-Werk in Cologne opened and the first attendees entered the venue. 4 bands were to perform this evening, headlined by SKUNK ANANSIE who reunited after 8 years and have produced a new album due out in November. Now, I was confronted with a real downer also not meeting with positive reactions from the audience. 3 cameras had been built up in front of the stage and prevented a constantly clear view on the protagonists on stage. It was disturbing and unnerving and as much as I understand the necessity of recording the show, there must be a better solution to do that.
The Luxemburg-based Post Hardcore formation ETERNAL TANGO consists of David Moreira (vocals), Pit Romersa (drums), David Schmit (guitars), Joe Koener (guitars) and Tom Gatti (bass). Founded in 2002, the band released its first recording `Spyglass´ two years later followed up by the debut long-player `First Round at the Sissi Café´ in 2007, extensive touring and a video for `Narya Narya...´. The single of the same title made it into the Top 20 of the international German club charts. Last summer, the guys introduced the most recent single `Pink-White Sheets´. According to their announcements, a new album will be released in autumn / winter 2009/2010. http://www.eternaltango.net/ / http://www.myspace.com/eternaltangoband
Music & Performance
As announced, the five guys of ETERNAL TANGO entered the stage sharp at 6 PM. At the time, the hall of the E-Werk still was only scarcely filled with people watching the show. Nevertheless, the little crowd visibly enjoyed the performance of the Luxemburg guys. This also had sort of an energizing effect on the band driving them on even more. Shortly before the end of the performance, there’s been a little confusion about whether they still had enough time to play 1 or 2 more songs, but this evenings schedule was really tight. 40 minutes after they had started, it was already time for them to say goodbye to the crowd and the stage reconstruction for the second band of the evening started.
Total: 7.6 / 10
THE RAKES are a British Indie Rock outfit formed in 2004. Their debut album ‘Capture/Release’ was released one year later and spawned two successful singles. In the meantime they had already risen to fame and been compared to the big names of the genre. The second album ‘Ten New Messages’ followed in March 2007. They made the triple with their newest album ‘Klang’ (Sound) in March 2009. THE RAKES are Alan Donohoe (vocals), Jamie Hornsmith (bass guitar), Lasse Petersen (drums), Matthew Swinnerton (lead guitar) and Chris Ketley (guitar, piano) http://www.therakes.co.uk/ / http://www.myspace.com/therakes
Music & Performance
Only 15 minutes later, it was already time for the British Indie rock band THE RAKES to step into the spotlights. Their repertoire encompassed songs out of all in all 3 albums of which ‘Klang’ (Sound) is the newest one. Of course they insisted on performing some of the new material live that evening and what we got to hear would animate to buy the new record without having to regret it afterwards. Meanwhile, the number of attendees had increased, however it was still far away from looking like a sold-out show. But maybe some would not appear before the headliner’s performance was up. Anyway, those who didn’t turn up really missed a good show. Time flew and at 7:55 the show was already finished and the stage crew appeared to prepare everything for the next act.
Total: 7.4 / 10
The future guitarist and singer of CHAIRLIFT met by chance at the university and quickly discovered common musical interests and soon they found with Patrick Wimberly the perfect man too complete the line-up and CHHAIRLIFT. The result of the sound nerd’s studio work now can be heard in their first album ‘Does You Inspire You’. CHAIRLIFT is Caroline Polachek, Aaron Pfenning and Patrick Wimberly. http://chairliftmusic.com/ / http://www.myspace.com/chairlift
Music & Performance
Following the reconstruction break, the performance of this evening’s third band CHAIRLIFT followed. After I had obtained some information about the band from the internet, my expectations were quite high regarding their performance. Just before their concert started, I grabbed a copy of their album ‘Does You Inspire You’ at the merchandize booth. However, the show then turned out to be quite disappointing. The otherwise pretty singer Caroline Polacheck acted on stage in a dress that really didn’t fit her well. She was wearing an overgrown silk shirt and leggings topped off by a whimsical hairstyle. A look over to the audience revealed that they didn’t hit quite well with them. Some of the people in the hall just sat down on the floor or left to do other things.
Also the applause seemed rather polite than excited. Maybe all this was also due to an ill-assembled setlist as songs like ‘Bruises’ or ‘Evident Utensil’ which were played later in the set received better reactions. Perhaps it would have been better to place them at the beginning. But of all the possible reasons I’d say the most apparent one is that it was simply the wrong style of music for this event. Anyway, who’s into music of acts such as BJÖRK should definitely risk an ear. You won’t e disappointed!
Total: 6.6 / 10
The popular Britrock band SKUNK ANANSIE consisting of lead singer Deborah Anne Dyer aka Skin, Mark Richardson (drums), Ace (guitar) and Cass (bass) was formed in 1994. Their unusual name was taken after an African tale of a spider-man called “Anansi“. One year after, they were voted “Best New British Band“ by the readers of Kerrang!-magazine. The first albums `Paranoid and Sunburnt´ (1995) and `Stoosh´ (1996) made the world-wide breakthrough. In 1999, SKUNK ANANSIE released the long-player `Post Orgasmic Chill´ which should be the final album before the band disbanded in 2001.
After the split, the band members turned to solo-projects: Skin recorded `Fleshwounds´ and `Fake Chemical State´, Cass collaborated with Gary Moore releasing the album `Scars´ and Mark recorded sessions with various artists. Last year, Mark surprisingly confirmed reports that the band would be reformed in 2009. Meanwhile, they have started their “Greatest Hits Tour“ across Europe and announced the upcoming album `Smashes and Trashes´ featuring three new songs and 12 well-known hits. http://www.skunkanansie.net / http://www.myspace.com/skunkanansiemusic
Music & Performance
After the last band had left the stage, the hall quickly filled up again and people were anxiously waiting for the comeback of SKUNK ANANSIE. It was short past 10 when the band finally came on stage and they literally rocked the house as if they had never been away. A more than grandiose performance captivated and roused the audience right away. Besides older material such as ‘Hedonism’ and ‘Because of You’, also the new songs from the upcoming album went down very well with the audience and me. This is definitely an album that I’m going to add to my collection. Given the mentioned reaction of the people at the E-Werk, the decision to come back together and make music again proved to be the best thing to do. Let’s hope they won’t disband again for such a long time and that there will be much more great mew good music and live performances. Thanks for this show!
Total: 8.7 / 10
All pictures by Marcus Nathofer