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Zitadelle Spandau, Berlin, Germany
6th June 2010
Zita Folk Festival 2010: Coppelius, Faun, Tanzwut, Saltatio Mortis, Letzte Instanz and Subway to Sally

It was the second day of this hot weekend and we made our way to the Zitadelle Spandau in Berlin to see some nice bands in the folk and medieval genre. The day was promised to be filled with good music since the bands COPPELIUS, FAUN, TANZWUT, SALTATIO MORTIS, LETZTE INSTANZ and SUBWAY TO SALLY stood on our plan for today but the first thing we did this early afternoon was: getting an ice cream! After that, we couldn't resist looking at the bats that were shown in one of the buildings. Quite interesting and totally cute! Well prepared (we put on sun cream, of course!) and full of anticipation, we took off to see the first band for that day: COPPELIUS.


The German author E. T. A. HOFFMANN (1776-1822) and his acts are an important source of inspiration for the Berlin band COPPELIUS that named itself after the mean advocate in the novel “Der Sandmann” (The Sandman). The sestet, consisting of the butler Bastille (vocals), Max Coppella (vocals, clarinet), Graf Lindorf (vocals, cello), Comte Caspar (vocals, clarinet), Nobusama (drums) and Sissy Voss (double bass), didn’t only commit itself to the era of the German Romanticism, but also set a high value on being authentic concerning appearance and language. By releasing the EPs `Coppelius´ (2003), `1803´ (2004) and `To my Creator´ (2005) followed by the long-players `Time-Zeit´ (2007) and `Tumult!´ (2009), the band gained a lot of fans who are fascinated by the extraordinary sound and the special performance on stage. /

Music & Performance
Some people say that COPPELIUS' performance is more important than their music. And somehow, I always thought this prejudice was kind of right but this day, I was told better. The band had so much energy and was in such a good mood that nobody could resist. Bastille was in excellent shape and good-looking (finally, his hair is long again). He prepared everything on stage and showed his acting skills during the show. COPPELIUS played a wide range of songs like ‘Schöne Augen’, ‘Operation’, ‘Der Handschuh’, ‘To my creator’ and ‘Habgier’. With this big variety they managed to show all their skills. Max Copella hit every tone and underlined the great music. From time to time, Bastille also sang along with the band but he always kept his status as their butler which was actually quite entertaining for everybody. He also didn't hesitate to get in direct contact with the fans by jumping down from stage. And somehow, he managed it to get back on stage again. Comte Caspar also sang some parts and you have to say that he didn't quite hit all his notes but somehow it didn't really tarnish the band's performance. After all, you can say that they finally convinced me after this great performance which also showed their musical talents.

Music: 9
Performance: 10
Sound: 8
Light: - (daylight)
Total: 9.2 / 10


The German band FAUN has been founded in 1999 by Oliver Pade, Birgit Muggenthaler (SCHANDMAUL) and Werner Schwab, but as time passed, it experienced some line-up changes. The constellation of the group has changed, as vocalist Lisa Pawelke left the band to concentrate on her music studies, and the group welcomed Sandra Elflein, who was contributing vocals as well as violin play. Their first output, ‘Zaubersprüche’, appeared in 2002 via the Curzweyhl label, which releases their albums to the present day. It features calm ballads from the Late Middle Ages and Romanticism, and is completely acoustic and recorded without the use of modern instruments. Their latest work is last year's ‘Buch der Balladen-Faun Acoustic’. Right now, FAUN consists of Oliver Pade, Fiona Rüggeberg, Rairda Margareta Eibl joining the band for leaving member Sandra Elflein, Rüdiger Maul and Niel Mitra. /

Music & Performance
FAUN began playing their show and the majority of the audience was'n moving but this could also be because of the burning sun, I am not sure. Well, I have to say that this didn't really surprise me since their music was pretty boring after those powerful appearances we had before. And after the first song, Oliver “SaTyr” Pade said something like “Heat stroke is a great and free drug, so let's dance now at these temperatures!” I was shocked. How could he say something like that? And no, it was no joke; that is at least the impression I had. And if I just didn't get it, I'm sorry.
There is no doubt about the skills of the members of FAUN. They know how to play their instruments and I am sure there are people who like the quiet and smooth sound of FAUN but after the show of COPPELIUS that was loaded with energy, I just felt like sleeping. Additionally to that, you couldn't hear the wheel fiddle at all that was played by Fiona Rüggeberg which was pretty sad since it is such a great instrument. Also, the new singer Rairda was introduced. She just entered the band in May 2010 and it was one of her first performances ever with FAUN. She probably matches the structure of the band but I didn't like her voice but I think this was just my personal taste.

Music: 7
Performance: 7
Sound: 7
Light: - (daylight)
Total: 7 / 10


TANZWUT is a German Rock and Medieval Metal band composed of members from the folk band CORVUS CORAX. Their name is the German term for "dancing mania", but is directly translated with "dance-rage". TANZWUT are known for their heavy use of bagpipes, an unusual instrument for a metal band. The group has achieved international success, filling concert halls as far away from their home country as Mexico. The band's recent releases have been gravitating towards a more industrial metal approach, incorporating the use of more down-tuned guitars, harsher vocals and darker atmospheres. TANZWUT's live performances have a medieval theme, expressed through their stages, costumes and choreography.

Music & Performance
Right from the beginning of the show, the band showed a lot of energy and fun on stage. Unfortunately, you couldn't hear Teufel (vocals) because the microphone wasn't turned on. After that was fixed, TANZWUT really started their show. They animated the audience to sing along and dance with them and the people couldn't resist moving during the songs. Of course, they played music that was inspired by the Merseburg Incantations. Also, the DIE ÄRZTE cover ‘Bitte Bitte’ was played and I guess everybody was hoping that song to being played since it is a well-known club song. To show recent songs, they played ‘Schattenreiter’ from their recent album that has the same name. Personally, I think they did way better on stage than on CD. This might be caused by the great energy they showed on stage. All in all, this was a great performance by TANZWUT this day. And after the show everybody was back in the right mood for another three bands at this festival day!

Music: 8.5
Performance: 9
Sound: 7.5
Light: - (daylight)
Total: 8.5 / 10

Saltatio Mortis

The band was formed in 2000. All members play medieval instruments, but their music is more than just medieval. The line-up is set with Alea der Bescheidene (vocals, bag-pipe, shawm), Falk Irmenfried von Hasen-Mümmelstein (bag-pipe, shawm, Indian Wui, lyre), El Silbador (bagpipe, shawm), Bruder Frank (bass, chapman stick & electric upright), Samoel (guitar, lute), Jean Méchant (vocals, drums, percussion) and Lasterbalk der Lästerliche (Davul, programming, percussions, bass drum). Their recent output is called ‘Wer Wind sät’. /

Music & Performance
Since the band’s last output didn’t have the same impact on me as ‘Aus der Asche’ from 2007, I was eager to find out how the songs would turn out since SALTATIO MORTIS are actually a great live band. It also was the first time for me to see them perform after the line-up change which took place in early 2009.

So I got myself a place in the eighth or ninth row to watch the seven musicians enter the stage to play the first stokes of ‘Rastlos’, but as powerful the song may be, it’s first time I noticed how moderate the overall volume of the festival was, so the pleasure was, as the sound, quite subdued. The band on the other hand did a great job. Even Alea who claimed not to be in good voice that day, did a extraordinary performance on ‘Salome’ which gave the shivers, even if Doro Pesch, who provided some of the track’s vocals on the record, was missing somehow. The sun made it even hotter for the band on stage, so the upper outfits dropped soon. Anyhow, Alea whirled, jumped, kicked and performed as there was no tomorrow. Despite the warmth the audience had a good time, entertained by the obligatory boozing aftermath story’s which are shared with the people and I enjoyed the gig very much, because the newer songs turned out very well and were completed by a great amount of older tracks. The highlight definitely was the sing-along “oh-oh-oh” to ‘Spielmannsschwur’ which turned out to be fatal for LETZTE INSTANZ that played afterwards.

Music: 8
Performance: 8.5
Sound: 8
Light: - (daylight)
Total: 8.2 / 10

Letzte Instanz

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 INSTANZ to distinguish themselves from other bands that got the name RESISTANCE. Before they even released their second album, the 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’, again three members of the band (incl. the singer) left the band. 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 with different orchestration followed by the live CD ‘Die Weisse Reise’ and the next full-length ‘Schuldig’. In 2010, the band will return with the new studio album ‘Heilig’. LETZTE INSTANZ is Holly (vocals), M. Stolz (violin), B. Cellini (cello), Oli (guitar), Holly D. (guitar), Micha (bass) and David Pätsch (drums). /

Music & Performance
LETZTE INSTANZ showed all their skills and delivered a feeling that was incredible. They didn’t only play recent songs of the new album but also some old famous ones like ‘Das Stimmlein’ (where the audience was a big part of with their singing and jumping) or ‘Wir sind allein’. Some solos of the violin and the guitar just perfected the music at this concert. The mix of the cello which was new one by the way, the violin, the bass and guitars, the drums that where played by David Pätsch (after Specki TD left the band) and the stunning vocals completed the sounds to a music that development an atmosphere nobody could escape. At this time, the temperatures went down to a decent level and everybody was able to enjoy this great music. The new drummer proved himself and the sound was good. Of course, the cello is a little too quiet but this even is the case on CD. Maybe LETZTE INSTANZ should think about changing that. After all, their music was phenomenal and everybody wished it would have lasted even longer. They played a lot from the current album ‘Schuldig’ like ‘Mein Engel’, ‘Flucht ins Glück’ and one of my favourite songs ‘Der Garten’ which didn't have a female voice this time, unfortunately.

LETZTE INSTANZ also animated the crowd to sing along to their song ‘Finsternis’. Too bad that this part of “oh oh oh oh oh” is very similar to the one in SALTATIO MORTIS' ‘Spielmannsschwur’, so the tune still was in the air and Holly had to correct the melody. However, all in all, it was a great show. And of course, they ended the concert with one of their most famous songs ‘Rapunzel’ which had parts of the BLUR song ‘Song 2’. What a great ending to a great concert!

01. Mea Culpa
02. Mein Engel
03. Flucht ins Glück
04. Maskenball
05. Ohne Dich
06. Der Garten
07. Mein Gott (new song)
08. Finsternis
09. Komm!
10. Das Stimmlein
11. Mein Todestag
12. Wir sind allein
13. Rapunzel (Blur - “Song 2”)

Music: 9
Performance: 8
Sound: 9
Light: 8
Total: 8.6 / 10

Subway to Sally

SUBWAY TO SALLY was founded in Potsdam, Germany, in the early 1990s. It is a rock band with folk and medieval influences, later also with gothic and metal elements added to the mix. With their continuous inclusion of oriental sounds and elements of classical music (noted for instance by the use of the arrangements of the backup vocals) and the use of instruments less frequently seen in metal bands, such as bagpipes, shawm, violin, hurdy-gurdy and lute, the band has acquired the label of medieval metal. They have released 9 studio albums, two live albums and two live DVDs. Their fame is mainly in the German-speaking countries, having played only a handful of concerts outside of that. /

Music & Performance
After a longer waiting time, SUBWAY TO SALLY, the day’s headliner, appeared in the spotlight of the Zita Folk stage. With a huge live experience (and probably a four-digit number of played gigs) they appeared very professional and experienced, but tried their best to rock the stage and give the audience a good show. A device that always works for that is fire. May it be sparkling fountains or man-high pillars of flames, the crowd will always cheer like it’s the latest invention. But I won’t do them right if I assumed cheap showmanship. The performance and the music were good as always. Beside me, a lot of people claim that the latest two outputs, especially ‘Bastard’ from 2007, lack of the feeling and maybe even the quality former records, but in my opinion they are on a good way remembering old strengths with ‘Kreuzfeuer’. Anyway, to please everybody, they played a great best-of show leaving nearly no album uncovered, with a solid choice of songs from their back catalogue. That SUBWAY TO SALLY is capable of variety, they recently showed on their ‘Nackt II-Tour’ by transforming heavier songs into acoustic versions.

So that night they tried the other way round by converting ‘Krähenkönig’ into a metal song - with success. But they had to struggle with technical issues since the microphone of front man Eric Fish dropped out nearly the whole song ‘Feuerland#. The encore of course consisted of ‘Sieben’, one of the band’s most-known song, and ‘Julia und die Räuber’, the band’s hymn which can be heard sung hours before and after the concerts. In that they were supported by Falk, Cordoban and Alea of SALTATIO MORTIS, who entered the stage once more to support Eric on the bagpipes.

01. Kleid aus Rosen
02. Henkesbraut
03. Feuerland
04. Krähenkönig
05. Kleine Schwester
06. Judaskuss
07. Kruzifix
08. Besser du rennst
09.Falscher Heiland
10. Sieben
11. Julia und die Räuber

Music: 9
Performance: 9
Sound: 7
Light: 7
Total: 8.4 / 10

All pictures by Anne Kuhfuß

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