Archive for the ‘review’ Category

(Deutsch) Rückblick : Jägermeister WHT in Hamburg

01:24 PM


Jägermeister Wirtshaus Tour : Frankfurt

03:23 PM


A premier under time pressure: Just when Frankfurt should witness the first ever Jägermeister Wirtshaus Tour event not by land, but on a house boat called the Yachtklub, it was Good Friday and its official German party ban called Tanzverbot forcing the night to come to early midnight end. But the booked bands were professionals and Munich’s Frittenbude declared that they wanted to play until the boat would capsize. (Fortunately) this didn’t happen but the crowd did quickly turn sweatily wet anyway – big-game hunting instead of fly fishing. Then Tom Deluxx took over the helm and earned his swimming badge as well.

The next event on May 19 at Stuttgart’s Calwer Eck is going to be even bigger, since Bag Raiders, Peaches and aUtodiDakt form the line-up. The photos of Franfurt were taken by Geert Schäfer and the team of i-ref also filmed the whole party:

In association with Jägermeister.

Review : JM WHT in Cologne

02:16 PM

Outside of the window of the Stapelhaus in Cologne, the Rhine calmly carved its way through the inner city, but inside condensed sweat was pouring down the panes. The Subs and Proxy got got invited by the Jägermeister Wirtshaus Tour and the venue was packed to the top, with our four winners and their companions somewhere in the mass.

But we don’t know, if it rather were the hard beats or pheromone-rich pubic hair commitment by singer Papillon (see below), which got the crowd going crazy that hard during the first’s appearance. Then again, we already expected that there would be no time for a cool-down or some relaxing when Proxy entered the stage – however shy he may appeared.

Also two guys showed up, of whom we would have thought they would not prefer a liquor over a dry Martini: HURTS came down to Stapelhaus after their own gig in town that night to have their aftershow-party there. But where did they win their guestlist invites?

On April 21 Frittenbude from Munich and Tom Deluxx from French Bordeaux will await you at Yachtklub, Frankfurt a.M. Check das-wirthaus.de or Facebook to register for the first competition.

PHOTOS: Gert Schäfer: 1,3 / Thang Dai (Electru): 2,4

Is Tropical x Tweak Bird x Berlin

07:25 PM

There wasn’t much known about the three guys from Is Tropical, before they visited Berlin to play at Comet Club on Friday the 15th. And apart from a first single it was hitherto only a deal with Kitsuné and the fact, that they keep hiding their faces with bandanas, which attracted proper attention.

But the pleasure of opening the evening was on the side of Berlin’s I’m not a Band. And the two enchanted the few people who found their way to Comet Club. Lacking of an album release as well, I’m not a Band played their set sovereignly, but not boredly. The delay of Is Tropical couldn’t confuse them, too. So they played encore by encore, collecting plus point.

The headliner of the evening then entered the stage with a big delay. Without a word of explanation to the waiting crowd but with their bandanas on, the three started their gig. The ones who didn’t pay attention to the sound-check could see the face of Is Tropical’s drummer nonetheless because his bandana got lost as fast as the whole band’s enthusiasm.

One hour later and at a different venue Tweak Bird was supposed to be more thrilling. All those who brought along their earmuffs to the sold out West Germany were well-advised to do so, since the powerful drums and the hardcore guitars sounds got some long-grown hair to swing. Though, the good set lost some of its substance and creativity towards the end, because the Bird brothers kept maltreating the four very same chords over and over again.

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Melt! Liveblog: Der Samstag

08:59 PM

Hello again! After our first live blog in 2009 we are finally back at the fantastic Melt! Festival to cover the 13th issue as it happens – including photos (by Christoph Paul) and some first impressions (by Thomas Vorreyer).

Sunday, 16:40: The end is near … After it’s implementation in 2008, the third issue of festival day number three, the Sunday, invites us to a smaller (three instead of five stages) but even denser cast day. While Kings of Convenience are currently stroking their strings behind us, the Post War Years, Fucked Up, Crookers, WhoMadeWho, Slagmalsklubben and of course Goldfrapp and festival headliner Massive Attack are getting ready to hit the stages over the day and night.

Alas, we got a bit kept away from the blog yesterday because of interviews and more. So here’s eventually our review of the complete Saturday:

Despite of the mild weather the day kicked off quite slowly and turned out to don’t enjoy as much as highlights as the Friday before. Although, our dear Friendly Fires, who told us their gig at Melt! 2008 during the rain and storm mayhem was their first ever, played one of the by far best shows of the entire weekend. The band machine appeared to be very well oiled by now and the crowd cheered them, waving and dancing as one. During the new song “Running Away” even transformed-to-balloons condomes danced over our heads – interview follows soon. Of course, the dance-rock of Holy Ghost was lenient in comparison, while Hurts suprisingly well filled the light, late afternoon slot between these two on the Gemini stage with the usual big-gesture pop grandezza.

In the meantime the main stage got covered in some rougher sounds: Blood Red Shoes stormed powerfully, but solid as always through their set and Dendemann demonstrated the numerous international guests, that in Germany intelligent and brave hip-hop and mullet cuts can indeed go hand in hand. Parallel to this Darwin Deez stole their hearts of the younger crowd in the Intro tent, before The Big Pink entered it to blow the not fully filled tent away. But yet their grandiloquent guitar-synthie rock may would have fit the man stage better then the bit dry Jamie T did – interview follows.

Next: dance attack! Soul-pop singer Jamie Lidell, DJ Shadow, Sinden and German band Die Sterne played live parallel to each other. And it might hasn’t been a knockout victory, but a clear one by scores for Lidell, who thus had best sound at the Gemini. Here then Hercules and Love Affair took over the mic and beats with an almost all-new set basing on their new, yet-unreleased, second album. Sadly, the new line-up and their stringently chruny Chicago-to-Detroit oldschool mix, including the even sphericly re-arranged old hits “Blind” and “You Belong”, were a bit too many news for the crowd and the set undeservedly did not enflame everyone fully. Still, they all stayed at the stage to get loose of their coresponding dance reserves at Chromeo, who turned their gig with some nice audio and visual show extras into a really good on, before the DJs A-Trak, Tiga, Carl Craig and of course German tiro Moderat (Fotos) took over the direction for the rest of the night.

Chromeo, DJ Shadow, Hercules and Love Affair, Melt! crowd (2), The Big Pink, Jamie T, Friendly Fires (2), Dendemann, Hurts, Blood Red Shoes, Holy Ghost, Jamaica

Saturday, 16:00: The Melt! Saturday has just begun and while we are looking forward to the likes of Jamaica, Holy Ghost!, Darwin Deez, Maskinen, Hercules and Love Affair, Chromeo, Tiefschwarz and Hurts (and to interview Friendly Fires and the Big Pink), let’s have a short and final retrograd look on Friday night. After Jónsi some strange sitar sounds led us to Yeasayer, where Chris Keating showed up with a vocal performance with all the sexiness and extravaganza immediately reminding us of Prince and, yes somehow, Michael Jackson in their greater days. One haven’t seen and heard such thing in  quite a long time and would have perfectly fit on the big main stage, where The XX were facing the mammoth task to present their intimate and minimalistic compositions within such a great frame. Apparently, they did it master it well. Key role was taken over by Jamie once again, who was enthroned behind a great, white X on black ground and a laser light roof drawn over the Ferropolis. He not only did rearranged the band’s songs but relined them with some heavy beats. And who watched Oliver trying out some unexpected, standard rock bassist moves, can may predicted the possible new direction this band will take from now on. Who, who already did follow this electronic path on his own, is Kele Okereke off Bloc Party. While his muscle-bound body satisfied completely, his set did only partly considering quite a few lengths in it. Too, not totally convincing where Foals, who played a – compared to their own benchmark – just average set despite a very driven Yannis Philippakis. Headling their own day stage at beach Modeselektor then didn’t reach the maximum as well, although guest appearances by Bonaparte promised a lot more action. Alas, it turned out to be just the addition, but not the desired multiplication of their forces. But still there was a 100% great end with the energetic live set of autoKratz in the Intro tent.

Autokratz (2), Modeselektor, Foals, Kele (2), The XX (2), Yeasayer

Friday, 23:32: Another round of diverse gigs lies behind us. We smiled at all the adolescence in the front row of Two Door Cinema Club, left the stage to dance to a brilliant dubstep-electro DJ set by Jamie XX at the beach (!) and got pulled away to the main stage again by our German heroes Tocotronic. Here, Dirk von Lowtzow almost enthusiastically greeted the crowd and praised the resistance once again and just for fun, while Rick Mc Phail was miming a modern god of guitar. This spectacle got followed by a delicious visual sandwich: a blue flash light orgy and loads of cheesiness by Delphic, lightening and thunder at HEALTH, who fantastically re-structured “Crimewave” into a new, even bigger version, and finally Jónsi, whose great, but complex and intimate setting and show was maybe ab bit too intimate for the big main stage and the oval in front of it. Now we are looking forward to Yeasayer, Four Tet, The XX, Kele, Foals, autoKratz, Modeselektor ft. Bonaparte and many others.

Jónsi, HEALTH (2), Delphic, Tocotronic (2), Jamie XX, Two Door Cinema Club

Friday, 20:36: Words race with drops of sweat towards the keyboard – this Melt! Festival has already crossed its melting point. It’ sunny and super hot here and after the Audiolith Pferdemarkt yesterday at the festival side and the Introducing party in Berlin (photos below) Bonaparte and Midlake could finally open the big party to everyone, while the Big Wheel Stage was surrounded by a sweating mass covered in dust and seduced by the fine tunes of Oliver Koletzki. Then – parallel to Ja, Panik and Pantha du Prince – Sweden’s finest, the Shout Out Louds, hit the stage. Too bad they prepared an undercooled set to fight the heat. But they were some highlights still: the undestroyable beauty of “Impossible” for instance or their short cover of “Walking Like an Egyptian”, which now stands in a line with “Train in Vain” from their 2007er Melt! appearance. Now Two Door Cinema Club, Jamie XX and Tocotronic are about to begin. Looks like everyone reached working temperature immediately.

Shout Out Louds, Converse Mainstage

Post War Years and Alexander’s Festival Hall, Introducing (yesterday in Berlin)

Review: Lykke Li @ subject60 Tour

02:46 AM

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The electricity, the tension in the air; all these little sparks pattering on you, electrifying you – that’s Lykke Li‘s biggest talent, to load up the space with emotion. But what to do if space means a huge, empty former fabric hall? Between the new Volvo S60 and some TV starlets, journalists, bloggers / bloggerettes and other invited guests, the Swede introduced as the night’s host opened the subject60 tour last week, right next to Berlin’s Gleisdreieck. With her on stage: A guitarist along with his acoustic guitar and a percussionist with a tom-tom drum and a cymbal.

Played with such a minimalistic bed, songs like “Little Bit” almost got a new, brittle charm, while the singer was once coquetting with the at first not totally attentive audience and once beating the cymbal herself, shaking her long, blonde hair. And there it was, all of the sudden, the tension – only with a slight aggresive and hence interesting touch.

But after all, it was her songs (and not the free drinks), that warmed one’s heart. Divided into two mini-sets with each five tracks, not only well-tried (semi) hits, but the new song “Possibility” and the even newer, since until then unknown “French Lover” found their way on stage, both convincing. Fashion blogger and co-host Yvan Rodic and all the other guests thereby got the a complete audio-visual pleasure (she perfectly combined some black Acne with reckless footgear).

No wonder, that we’re already looking forward to her next album, which should be out in February. Tonight, Lykke Li will bring the subject60 tour to the old sorting office at London’s New Oxford Street. Catch her, if you can!

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subject60 tour:
02.06. London, UK
10.06. Mailand, Italien
16.06. Paris, Frankreich
24.06. Madrid, Spanien

ALL PHOTOS BY KATRIN HUTH

Ulterior & UK Decay

11:37 AM

Throwing one of the few, good old rock’n’roll monsters of our time in one room together with some heroes of goth punk creates a attraction around this place you can’t withdraw from. And if this overlaps not only with the first band’s Berlin premiere gig, butwith the first gig for 28 years for the second one, the world– at least the one of rock’n’roll – spins around this certain place in  Berlin for an entire evening.

As seen at Slaughterhouse, where the gentlemen of UK Decay met the whippersnappers of Ulterior last Saturday. The younger demand the rock attitude for themselves. Beside lots of vodka behind, beer in front and leather on the stage, singer Paul McGregor represents a true reminiscence of the young-Axl-Rose look. So the obligatory bandanna was naturally part of his appearance just as the long hair – till now!  In spite of their delay and the fact that they surprisingly played on first position, a rock’n’storm blew through Berlin when Ulterior with a now short-haired McGregor entered the stage. Presenting their songs in a powerful, rough way, they may did not surprise anyone, but made a rather good show.

After some poses, beer and booming guitar sounds the spook was quickly put to an end. And the audience, which was shaken shortly but vehemently, got a recreation, since following act The Wars was not able to be more then an intermezzo between two great bands.

When UK Decay entered a stage in Berlin for the first time since 1982 the tension was literally within one’s reach. Having an even more than generous break before, they did their bit for it as well. But who cares about 30 minutes after almost three decades? No one! With a skillful jump the British four-piece kicked off and clashed their songs against the crowd. No wonder, their fans received them with excitement and awe, because UK Decay presented their 17 song set both, confident and enthusiastically.

And against all – wrong – expectations the oldies of UK Decay managed to hold their ground against the younger colleagues of Ulterior. A perfect evening for rock’n’roll one might say.

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Intro Intim with Hurts

08:11 PM

Great pop anthems dominated the musical picture when Hurts were about to enchant the audience at Magnet Club last friday. The duo from manchester performed their first gig in germany and also one of their first concert at all within the Intro Intim. Nevertheless Theo Hutchcraft and Adam Anderson didn’t seem to be nervous. With a perfectly fitting attitude and a minimalist stage show their impressive music took the center. Among the shades of Hurts who will be able to rise up as the new pop sensation, So So Modern who opended the evening had to consider theirself satisfied with a supporting role.

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photos: Christoph Paul

Vampire Weekend: Live in Berlin

01:03 PM

When you wanted to work-out with some movement against the winterly coldness on the last friday evening, Berlin’s Astra was the perfekt place to go to. Because Vampire Weekend had been inviting for a dance and many music lovers followed their request.

Beside their new longplayer Contra they brought along a great temper on tour. Already at the beginning of the evening they had been putting all on athletic peak perfomance – with their indiepop and afrobeat sounds – who were not drenched in sweat amid the densely packed crowd so far.  Every single exact drawn and crystal clear written song had the potential to be a hymn, but one couldn’t get rid of the feeling they have been using their pop pattern a little bit to often. Although your can discover some ska influenses beside the African ones already mentioned, the audience refused the request of singer Ezra Koenig to do some pogo. Very polite, as he noted later.

FOTOS: Christoph Paul

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Cubic revolutions: Apparatjik live

01:22 PM

apparatjik-11

It’s not that we don’t like Josh Homme or Dave Grohl, we honestly do, but it’s a still refreshingly appealing idea to us to see a modern supergroup (a band formed by members of other already known and /or successful bands) without one of the rock heroes. Fortunately we have the chance to see such an act, when Apparatjik, a common project by musicians Jonas Bjerre (Mew), Guy Berryman (Coldplay), Magne Furuholmen (a-ha) and Martin Terefe with some audiovisual artists, the Eye On Committee, arrive in Berlin to perform for their very first time live on stage at CTM.10 aiming to overthrow the classic conception of a gig, what leads into one of the most remarkable nights in a long time.

While Damon Albarn’s pop identity Gorillaz are hiding behind computer generated projections or shadow plays of themselves and Pet Shop Boy Neil Tennant’s cubic mania makes him sing with a transparent one on his head, Apparatjik take the next step by locking themselves in a big cube with an edge length of about 10 ft and dissipating the traditional stage-audience constellation by placing their came-to-life Rubik dream in the hall’s center.

There it stands alone and silent on the second floor of the WMF when the public is allowed to step inside the room. On the plane strained over the cube’s side complex, black-and-white scientific diagrams, which were already shown on the bands website, are gleaming and the speakers are transmitting a strange sound like wind blowing through a cave grot. Fascinated and with high expectations people are grouping around the strange object in their middle, which seems to have put them under its spell.

The scene reminds of a cult moment or the landing of a spaceship until it, and with it the room, turns suddenly blue and light parallelograms and triangles appear and disappear on the screen. Within the moment of realization and mentally adapting the cube again gets enlightened by a white flashing light inside of it synchronized to a heart, cutting synth beat and percussions, which just started to play. The concert begins. But where’s the band?

The light becomes steady and one can hear Jonas Bjerres voice resoundingly and softly laying itself above the rising and then falling music. On the screen wildly jumblede shadows of playing musicians get recognizable. Apparatjik are inside the cube! Then chain gears are screened – an apt metaphor for the band’s name, an alteration of the almost silent working, conflict avoiding ideal Soviet bureaucrat, the apparatchik.

Most of the animations were already shown online, for instance the cut out heads flaring over colourful landscapes. Later the giant faces merge into each other until they are puppet-like disfigured and alienated. In between one gets a lot of more eye candy, sometimes with the shadows of the artists standing inside the prison prism looming on them, sometimes without them, so one can hardly tell, how many people are really inside and what’s their current position. In addition the trapped-ins are constantly changing their hats and walk around in a circuit.

Thereby Apparatjik reduce the omnipresent idea of the pop star as a white screen or projection surface for the ideals, dreams and wishes of his / her / their fans to absurdity. Tonight it’s the artist and star itself, who becomes a literally a projection. And with the same meticulousness and effort, with which normally the perfect image of the star gets established, it gets  desconstructed tonight falling apart into hundreds of different single perspectives, each owned by one person in the audience placed in the 3D constellation. On top of it, it’s Bjerre (if he’s indeed behind the plane), who sings the following to it: “Is that what you wanted? Did you choose?” (Supersonic Sound)

But apparently the commercial mass phenomena  called pop star is well known to Berryman, Furuholmen and – with lowered sights – Bjerre – from their daily band life at Coldplay, a-ha or Mew. And after all it’s their skillful sense for pop as a musical concept, which they obtained and which made them able to not only realize this project, but reach their first-bands’ level of success.

Mainly they are playing pleasing up tempo pop rock songs with key synthesizer additions and Bjerre using the more higher realms of his voice. It sounds a bit like German band Polarkreis 18 in the end and is surely not half as visionary as their visual ideas but it leads to a bunch of both catchy and sophisticated songs “Snow Falls”, “Arrow And Bow” or “Antlers”, which wouldn’t just only be great singles, but do unfold some impressive forces beyond radio airplay.

In Berlin the whole extravaganza ends after a bit more than half an hour with breaking with Watzlawick‘s first axiom of communication by proclaim the “End of Communication“. Afterwards all spectators have to leave the room and the cube again so it’s still disputable whether Apparatjik challenged one to get involved in the project or to perform a final iconoclasm when Bjerre sings, “You can’t hide in the shadows!” (Arrow And Bow)

Visit the Youtube channels of The Mewing Kitten and RW23102009 for further and additional, filmed impressions of the gig. Apparatjik’s album We Are Here is available through their webseite, put you’ll have to find the link there first. Have fun!

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WORDS & PHOTOS: Thomas Vorreyer