VNV NATION LIVE!!

Venue:- The Scala, Kings Cross, London.

Date:- 26th February 2017

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”I am going to write this review without any research, just raw as it materialised from the inner parts of my brain!! I’ve not been to the Scala since the early part of this century and that was to see Brendan Perry, he of Dead Can Dance. It was packed then, it is packed to the rafters now!! I’ve known of the existence of VNV Nation since that latter stages of the 90’s but i have never consciously gravitated towards their music. Sure, i may have heard something at the Slimelight or The Electric Ballroom or Reptile but I’ve not done an internet search or sifted through their Cd’s in a music shop or been drawn towards their  stuff on Spotify etc!!  What can i say about them here? They are the musical equivalent of Black Forest Gateau!! i like Black Forest Gateau, if there is a BFG at a party i’ll gravitate towards it! i will cut myself a slice and consume with glee!! i will quiver at the sugar rush and then go back for  a second slice!! I will do that eye rolling thing and start bellowing ”oh, oh, oh my gosh!!” One mouthful into the third slice and i start to feel sick, the urge feeling in the back of the throat starts to assert itself so i have to put the plate down and walk away from the offending article!! That’s VNV Nation!! Pounding bass drum and textured synth filigree, but the vocals seem samey! i feel that there is no resolution when the vocals go off on a roll, i feel there is a build up of tension but no release!! i personally end up feeling frustrated, it’s like a good thing and getting too much of it, you know what i mean?? The vocalist is a showman though, he can work a crowd! He had the knack of rebooting flagging enthusiasm and getting the crowd to sing at various points. Also i was brought onside at the beginning when he said that people could film/photograph the show but don’t block the view of those who have spent good money to see a band and not see a QHD/AMOLED image of the band on a bloody smartphone screen!! i do find that annoying! Wardruna were saying the same thing when i saw them back in November i think it was, for the most part the crowd respected this request!! As an aside, the crowd were very polite tonight!! Apologising for getting in my way when i took photos, holding doors open, picking things up when i dropped them etc!!”

”To sum up i’d say that VNV Nation are a band that i will listen to on occasions but i do not thing they will become a favourite!!”

7/10

LINKS:-

https://www.facebook.com/VNVNation/

http://www.anachronsounds.de/

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WAVE GOTIK TREFFEN 2016

Friday 13th May to Monday 16th May

Leipzig, The Federal State Of Saxony, Germany.

”My first experience of Wave Gotik Treffen, or WGT for short was an interesting, fascinating but overall tiring one!! A lot of walking was done and as i sit here writing this i can feel the aches and pains in my muscles quite acutely! Where do i start? Well, Leipzig is a nice city 99 miles south of Berlin that you can get to either by Deutsche Bahn (DB) train or by Flixbus. My Flixbus ticket was  6.90 euros one way from SudKreuz in Berlin and i can say that the journey was a much more enjoyable one than an equivalent journey on National Express. The internet actually works, you can press a button on the overhead consul if you need refreshments and the seats are very comfortable! It was a hot sunny day when i arrived in Leipzig and the first thing i saw, apart from trams was a humungously long queue of goths, some dressed in their best finery in the stifling heat waiting to collect their wristbands. Unfortunately i could not collect my wristband opposite the Hauptbahnhof, i had to get a number 11 tram down to the Agra Messpark on Bornaische Strase. After being met on Goethestrase by Richard, my first stop was at The Absintherie Sixtina. The Absintherie Sixtina is well known haunt in Leipzig that not only sells beer but as you’d expect from the name it sells absinthe. 100 types of absinthe can be bought varying in strength from 45%abv to over 80%abv! if you want to try an absinthe devil at 62%, a cannabis absinthe at 80% or a segarra absenta at 44% then this is the place to go! Leipzig is a nice city. Around 500,000 people live here, it’s a  mixture of old German architecture and modern,with an excellent transport system which is efficient and quick, non of this stop start bullshit you get in London!!. The Hauptbahnhof is an impressive building so is the Augusteum and Paulinum! You can even buy bottles of beer on some commuter trains and as i experienced after becoming familiar with one of the guards, when i took the last train back to my digs early in the morning the guard would pipe up with ” Beer!! beer??” She’d even open it for me!! I love Leipzig!!”

”There is a nice market in Leipzig also selling fresh produce, meat, fish, vegetables etc surrounded by all the usual stuff you’d expect to see in London but the only recognisable names i saw were Subway, Burger King and Primark. The Primark there did not have that cough inducing dust floating around in the air after you’d pick up a garment to scrutinise it’s polyester content so i did not leave retching like a smoker on 60 a day after my visit! The Gothic Shops i saw had some interesting stuff in them, items from Dracula Clothing, New Rock and Killstar to name but a few! A bit pricey but no more pricey than you’d expect to pay for stuff in London. For company i had the pleasure of an lady from Hampstead, London called Cathy, we were chalk and cheese in regards to musical tastes but having another person to speak to in english was a godsend!! We had a walk about through the city centre taking in the sun and the sights, watching the goths watching each other, preening like peacocks in the mid May Sun whilst the locals went about their business with a mixture of fascination, bemusement and indifference! After all they have had 25 years to get used, assimilate and embrace the festival which brings in a lot of money over a four day period, give the city a bit of spice and at the same time bring in your conventional tourist who also take in the spectacle!! Leipzig is a city that i will be visiting again, maybe in December for the Christmas Market.”

”Speaking of Markets, The market at the agra park was a case of merchandise overload for me!! Everything and anything that i would have bought if i had an unlimited budget was there! New Rock boots, hoodies and tops from Anki Designs Berlin, Andrea Hamer handmade bags, The quality of a lot of the garments was top notch and there was a lot more flair in design than products i’ve seen back in London, I felt invigorated because the designs had vigour!! To take everything in and try on a few of the wares would require me to have spent a few hours over a couple of days but  i had a job to do and that was take in as much of the festival as possible and get an overview, my overview was positive!!”

”One thing that did not impress me one jot was the graffiti in some of the streets encircling the city centre. Take Bornaische Strase for example!! Everything was covered in this god awful tagging!! Bus stops, tram stops, windows, lamp posts, door steps, seats, you name it and it was graffitied. It made the place look dirty, like an unwashed posh lady who had had way to much to drink and decided that it was a great idea to have some other pissed person doodle on her arm!!! Not nice!!”

”In regards to the festival a lot of travelling/walking was involved to get around the city so if you wanted to see a lot of bands at different venues then things could become a logistical nightmare! I was staying 30 odd miles outside the city so i either had to be at the central station for 1:20am or stay at a club all night. I don’t have the stamina that i used to have so all nighters were a no no!! Luckily all armband wearers had free travel on the trams and buses which was a great bonus!! I got lost a few times so knowing i’d not be out of pocket for getting lost was a very welcome indeed!! Nice touch Leipzig, maybe you could give festivals in the UK a few tips!!?? As an example, i wanted to see Dark Fortress and My Dying Bride at The Felsenkeller (Trams 3/14) but due to a decision which involved me taking an S Bahn train from the Hauptbahnhof to Lindenau instead of the number 14 tram i turned up late, missed Dark Fortress and then was was told by Richard, who i was staying with, that Monday was a bank holiday and if i wanted to get home i’d have to get back to the Hauptbahnhof  for 12:10am. Why did they have to have a bloody bank holiday in the middle of a goth festival?? : ) My Dying Bride were brilliant by the way!!!

 

My DyingBride ©CimmerianPhotography/WickedSpinsRadio

My DyingBride
©CimmerianPhotography/WickedSpinsRadio

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

They played on the Saturday night! Sound wise they were no different to when i saw them back in April at The Islington Assembly Rooms! The performance was energetic and rich with no scent of tiredness at all!! And the crowd were well up for their set. Whilst i sat in the photographers pit waiting for them to come on i could here ”Oh my god, oh my god!!” along with screams of anticipation from fans who had travelled far and wide to see the band!! The venue was packed to the rafters, which is nice to see!! I like the venue, i’ll be back there in the future!! Another venue i went to is The Taubchenthal in Markranstadter Strases (Trams 1/2). Another nice venue with a balcony around the stage, a bar and a terrace overlooking a courtyard, i was here to experience the delights of Lena Lovich!! Again, the venue was packed to the rafters and there was no room to get anywhere near to the stage so i stood on the balcony and took a few shots after asking someone to move for a few moments!! Lena’s set was a vigorous one for someone of her advanced years, it’s nice to see artists actually enjoying their sets and giving their all instead of going through the motions. I’m not really au fait with her music apart from ”Lucky Number” and ”Money” which i heard way back when i was at school. The  album ”March” is worth a listen methinks!!”

 

Lena Lovich ©CimmerianPhotography/WickedSpinsRadio

Lena Lovich
©CimmerianPhotography/WickedSpinsRadio

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pete Murphy ©CimmerianPhotography/WickedSpinsRadio

Pete Murphy
©CimmerianPhotography/WickedSpinsRadio

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

”Pete Murphy was good, i enjoyed him.His set at The Agra Hall was a good one! Some people did not think it was that good due to the size of the venue but i disagree. There was too much delay on the violin though in my opinion.But the arena was packed with adoring goths with more arriving all the time and the atmosphere was a good one, i got chatted to by a few people but alas the language barrier put the shutters down quite quickly. The photographers pit was a pit of vipers with photographers from god knows where vying for position to get the best shots, some had no idea of photographers etiquette which does annoy me on occasions but most were considerate if not aloof with other snappers!! One photographer seemed to have the same itinary as me because what ever gig i went to she was there, apart from Lena Lovich and Christine Plays Viola! There was a begrudging respect coming from her but no friendliness!!”

 

Nouveau Vague ©CimmerianPhotography/WickedSpinsradio

Nouvelle Vague
©CimmerianPhotography/WickedSpinsRadio

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

”Nouveau Vague just before Pete Murphy were really good also in my opinion!! I think that their set would have gone down well in the Absintherie Sixtina if it was a bit larger or the Altes Landratsamt, which is near to the Hauptbahnhof. This is because their laid back, nonchalant, Bossa Nova tone would have gone down well with a nice glass of absinthe and the sound would have been obviously more intimate!! All the Goth classics such as ”Marian”, ”A Forest” and ”Bela Lugozi’s Dead” were airy but with a subtle dark overtone that reminds the listener of it’s original incarnation!! Billy Idols ”Dancing With Myself!” has a ”whatever” feel vibe to it, brilliant! This was a very good set indeed!!”

 

Enslaved ©CimmerianPhotography/WickedSpinsRadio

Enslaved
©CimmerianPhotography/WickedSpinsRadio

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

”Enslaved were good at the Kohlrabizirkus (S1 Train from Hauptbahnhof to Leipzig MDR) but the venue was too big! The Kohlrabizirkus is a former market that reiminds me of the Roundhouse in London, it is a large cavernous space used for music, comedy and trade events! The band before Enslaved, i think they were called Crematory had a larger crowd that fanned out to the back of the venue behind the mixing desk, this fullness soon thinned out when their set finished, they were German so i suspect that is why the crowd was bigger! Enslaved, for those who don’t know are a Norwegian band formed in 1991 in Haugesund, they now reside in Bergen. Their name was inspired by an Immortal Demo called ”Enslaved in Rot” I’m not really familiar with their output, everything on this night was experienced for the first time! The enthusiasm from the crowd was a little more subdued throughout Enslaved in comparison to the previous band but they put on a good show that all in all went down with the crowd.”

”The last band i saw before making the two hour trip back to Berlin was Christine Plays Viola were very good too, played in a venue near to the Hauptbahnhof called The Landratsamt! I’d say this place is the size of Dingwalls in London or maybe the Electric Ballroom and is used as a conference hall, restaurant and entertainment venue. Tonight, Christina Plays Viola were the first band on a bill which included German band Lament, Swedish band The Mary Onettes, the Uk’s And Also The Trees and Germany’s Pink Turns Blue. It’s a shame i could not hang around for the full nights entertainment but Christine Plays Viola’s Joy Division crossed with early Simple Minds infused with a Billy Mackenzie topping was a good aperitif!! Haunting, hard and melodic, the soundscapes insinuated themselves into my pores with an intensity that sent shivers down the spine on occasions especially the track ”Slaughter Of The Black Sun” from the album ”Vacua” I enjoyed their offerings and the crowd, which  was quite large enjoyed it too, thoroughly warmed up i hope they enjoyed the rest of the evening!!”

”To sum up, this was my first Wave Gotik Treffen, there was a lot to see and a lot of places to go.To take in the city, its sights on the outskirts and the festival would need 2 days either side of the festival. Travelling around  from venue to venue was a pain if you needed to get to venues in polar opposite to each other but once once you have your bearings and are familiar with the tram routes scheduling times are cut down considerably! Next year, if there is a next year my experience will be significantly improved now i know the lay of the land, i’ll see more bands, more exhibitions, more landmarks and hopefully more Goths!!!” Would London embrace a Goth festival on this scale and offer free buses for fours days??? Hahahahahaha, What a stupid question!!!”

 

Assorted Photographs:-

 

PsylofashionStandAgraPark

Agra Market

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Agra Market

Agra Market

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Agra Market

Agra Market

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Agra Market

Agra Market

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Agra Market

Agra Market

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Venue and Travel Map

Venue and Travel Map

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Itinary

Itinary

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Itinary

Itinary

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Itinary

Itinary

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Itinary

Itinary

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Links:-

 

http://www.wave-gotik-treffen.de/english/

https://www.flixbus.com

https://www.bahn.com/i/view/index.shtml

http://enslaved.no

http://www.petermurphy.info

https://www.facebook.com/nouvellevagueofficial

http://lenelovich.net

http://mydyingbride.net

http://christineplaysviola.bandcamp.com

http://www.andrea-hamer.de/en/home-en/

http://www.anki-design.de/english/gallery_en.html

http://www.sadgoth.com

 

 

Metal To The Masses Heat 3

Venue:- Nambucca, Holloway Road, London, UK.

Unheard Before The Wake:- Melodic Death Metal

Bad Frankenhausen:- Heavy Metal

Xelas:- Melodic Death Metal

Mercury Rising:- Hard Rock  (Did not see)

”Four Bands playing short sets of around 3/4 songs and then they wait to see who has been voted into the next round by the crowd and judges! I have not seen or heard of any of the bands on tonight’s bill but i did enjoy Xelas and Unheard Before The Wake, very Cradle Of Filth/Dimmu Borgir etc!”

 

Bad Frankenhausen

Bad Frankenhausen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unheard Before The Wake

Unheard Before The Wake

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unheard Before The Wake

Unheard Before The Wake

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unheard Before The Wake

Unheard Before The Wake

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Xelas

Xelas

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LINKS:-

https://www.facebook.com/unheardbeforethewake/info/?tab=page_info

http://unheardbeforethewake.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/badfrankenhausenband/info

http://badfrankenhausen.bandcamp.com/music

https://www.facebook.com/xelas.band

http://xelasband.bandcamp.com/releases

 

 

 

THE SISTERS OF MERCY AND BLACK MOTH LIVE!!

Venue:- The RoundHouse Camden 18th October 2015

 

 

The Sisters Of Mercy

The Sisters Of Mercy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

”Now that i have slept and metabolized all the doom bar i drank last night and fortified myself with chicken livers i can offer my thought on last night proceeding s at the RoundHouse!! Black Moth were more enjoyable than The Sisters Of Mercy!!! Their sludge rock sound was a lot more interesting to listen to because it was fresher and played by a bunch of people that have not been hamstrung by age and thus still have a spring in their step. Andrew Eldritch sounded tired and it felt like he was going through the motions at times. The music did not have the oomph it had back in the day and all i could hear at times was screeching!! I mean seriously, how long can you keep on serving the same fare to your admirers without adding something new to the mix to freshen and spice things up?? But people are not there for new stuff are they? They are there to hear the old classics that were the sound track for a generation of goths back in the early eighties to the early nineties! ”First and Last and Always” , ”This Corrosion”, ”Lucretia” , ”Temple of Love” etc did not sound the same to me and i did not have the same level of enthusiasm for them as i used to. I think the high priest of Goth forgot the words to Temple Of Love too if i am not mistaken! I think i’ll listen on vinyl/cd/mp3 from now on and get my kicks that way!! i got bored after taking a few photos, which was bloody difficult from where i was standing on the right hand side of the stage not only because of the dry ice but also because of the jostling!! I could not be bothered to fight my way into the front row so i took some shots from the side and went in search of some ale, way too much ale for a Sunday night but hey….”

 

 

Harriet Bevan Of Black Moth

Harriet Bevan Of Black Moth

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BlackMoth

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

” I’m not at all familiar with Black Moths output but they sound a bit like BRMC crossed with Black Sabbath crossed with The Stooges. I just listened to their track ”Room 13” on YouTube, it’s a cracking track!! Harriet Bevan’s vocals sound like something i’ve heard before but when i think i have got my answer it slips back into the recesses of my brain with a teasing smirk accompanied by the refrain ”No you haven’t!! No you haven’t!!….!! They were definitely on the money tonight and looked like they were enjoying themselves, to start with not many people were in the auditorium to experience them but gradually the place filled up and eyes and ears aligned themselves in stage direction showing genuine interest!!”

 

 

The Sisters Of Mercy

The Sisters Of Mercy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

”To sum up, i am glad i went!! i am glad to have had the experience!! It was nice to see a harem of Goths all under one roof and it was nice to bump into old friends from the past! will i go again in 10 years time, if Andrew Eldritch still has some energy left? Who knows……….”

 

 

 

 

LINKS:-

http://www.thesistersofmercy.com/

https://www.facebook.com/The-Sisters-of-Mercy-Official-Fanpage-162263750576884/info/?tab=page_info

http://www.themothpit.co.uk/

https://www.facebook.com/themothpit?fref=ts

http://www.last.fm/music/Black+Moth

Dolls Live At The Lexington, Islington, London, 11/7/15

Dolls

Dolls

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

”Saturday night i decided to take up a friends offer of a ticket to go and see Dolls at The Lexington. I like the venue, its the right size for an intimate gig where you can see the stage with squinting from the bar and the venue is conveniently located on Pentonville Road just a short walk/bus ride from Kings X and Angel Stations.”

”I’ve seen Dolls before at  The Old Queens Head not far away, they are a duo consisting of Jade on Vocals/guitar and Bel on drums. Think White Stripes/K T Tunstall meets PJ Harvey and you get an idea of what their sound is like. A very good sound, very energetic and raunchy, the bass parts being filled in by the drums and the guitar.Dolls would conjure up the ideal sound track to movies in a similar vain to Natural Born Killers or From Dusk Til Dawn or even Kalifornia, texture wise think of unsanded wood and the cold touch of a freshly washed wine glass when you drag your fingers across the surface followed by a clear ”piiiing” when you flick the rim with a finger.” You see, i entered the Lexington’s downstairs bar bought an ale which was nice, made my way upstairs to the  venue area, watched Dolls who were on for about 30 minutes thereabouts and then descended the stairs for more ale, and stout. Sometimes you go out for a meal and you know instinctively that one course is enough!! That course hits the spot and anything else would lead to bloating. Dolls and ale, perfect!!!

You can check out their track ”Killing Time” here:-

 

And more info on the duo here:-

 

https://www.facebook.com/thisisDolls?fref=ts

 

4/5

The Purple Turtle Camden Penultimate Night, 26th June 2015

The Purple Turtle Pic

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

11406692_10153001418211819_3276351944194765606_o

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

”For those of you who don’t know, The Purple Turtle in Crowndale Road Camden is closing down!!! Well, it is unless something is done to keep it open. The lease has expired and Camden Council refuse to renew it!! The reason is not clear but one that sticks out is that they want to sell the building to faceless developers who will then knock down the block and replace it with another soulless, characterless glass tower that caters to the dead in the head people who’s only motivation in life is the satiation of their ego and the pathological hording of money!! We the alternative denizens of Camden who add the spice to an otherwise bland and tasteless existence came out enforce to support this venue, it’s staff, the bands who have made this place their home for,over 20 years and of course Mick Wood, the hard working and dedicate promoter of all thing METAL!!! and ALTERNATIVE!!!. There was a good turnout this evening, the venue was heaving by 10oclock and many recognizable faces showed up to support the night. DJ’s Jo The Waiter aka Calum Gray and Vade Retro Reptile were there to supply the tunes after the bands had finished along with Arcadia Noir from Reptile. RIP Sanity were there, a guy who used to run Storm Studios was there, i forget his name and many others. Speaking of the bands, there were eight on the bill, mostly metal orientated but with a smattering of punk! First on were The Day Of Locusts which i missed followed Empire Warning who i also missed! Third on were The Healthy Junkies who i didn’t miss. I’ve seen these guys a few time s before around Camden and they performed a good set of their dirty glam punk n roll, they were followed by The Die Kur, a band i used to play bass in until i decided they were not for me. Things have moved on since i played with them eight years ago thereabouts, tonight’s set was less industrial and more of an oily visceral metal, i’ll have to update myself of their sound as i’ve not been keeping tabs recently but their most recent album is out now and is called ”Manifesto”. Next on were Mercy House! A band i have not seen or heard of before so again i’ll have to do some research on them before giving a more rounded view, but they did sound very Cult Like and the set was full on , when i say full on, the bassist had bloody fingers from playing hard, i had a brief chat with him after about that and he said he tends to go over board when playing sometimes!! Dedication to the art or masochism?? Following Mercy House came Sumer, another band i’ve not seen before but i’ve had people singing their praises quite often. Again, i’m not in a position to give a full appraisal but they were really really good. Whatever other people class them as is their business but i’d class them as atmospheric prog silver metal!! Worth checking out if you have not already done so methinks! The last band on were call Leevil! You can check out Leevil’s output on Soundcloud where you can also read this description:- ”The sound of a bloke going mental in a toilet for 14 years”I did not see them because i went outside to get some air! The thing about the Purple Turtle is that the air conditioning is/was always dire especially so when the building is packed. I wondered why i bother showering before i came out because i was soaked through, if i could have removed my skin i’d still have been hot!! It was at this point that fatigue set in and i left for home. The concentration levels had blunted and a chat about physics just about finished me off!

All in all a bloody good night!! Lets hope that over the next few day there is some good news saying that the venue will be staying open, we live in hope!!

 

Arcadia12x9

Arcadia Kaan

 

Mercy House2©Wordpress

Mercy House

 

 

Die Kur

Die Kur

 

 

Mordecai

Mordecai

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Healthy Junkies

Healthy Junkies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are some links to the bands who played this fine evening:-

https://www.facebook.com/events/1636221186589443/

https://sumer.bandcamp.com/music

https://thedayoflocusts.bandcamp.com/

https://diekur.bandcamp.com/

https://mordecairock.bandcamp.com/track/turning-tricks

https://themercyhouse.bandcamp.com/

https://healthyjunkies1.bandcamp.com/