Interview: Marc Heal

“It’s funny, having worked so hard to make a living out of music I found once I’d got there that I’d broken myself in the process. I needed a break to do some, uh, emotional housekeeping.”

Live: Katatonia – Brudenell Social Club, Leeds 07/05/2017

KATATONIA (+ TheGreat Discord, Ghost Bath) Brudenell Social Club, Leeds 07/05/2017

Wave Gotik Treffen - The Preview June 2017

The gathering of 2017s Wave Gotik Treffen, is but a month away. Time to get the fascinators out and the boots polished!

Review: Mortiis – 'The Great Corrupter'

MORTIIS 'The Great Corrupter' OMNIPRESENCE PRODUCTIONS

Review: Freakangel – 'How The Ghost Became'

FREAKANGEL 'How The Ghost Became' DIGITAL WORLD AUDIO

Thursday, 31 March 2016

Review: Petrol Bastard – 'The Very Worst Of Petrol Bastard'



PETROL BASTARD
'The Very Worst Of Petrol Bastard'
SELF-RELEASED 

What can I say about Petrol Bastard that hasn't been mentioned before in many colourful ways?

Two guys from the north decided to create an anarchic punk-industrial mix up that have ever since been a permanent piss-stain on the UK's alt. scene. Labelling themselves as a "Tesco-brand Prodigy" and trying their best to offend as many people as possible be it with their music as well as dry humping the audience at their gigs, these guys have managed to create a post modern jizz-fest on their own laurels.

So, after three albums, one compilation, a fucked up demo, and an EP later, here comes Petrol Bastard: 'The Very Worst Of...'. Now I know what you're thinking: "but dude, they don't charge for their music and there's nothing new on this fifteen-track shit-fest, why would I be interested in that?" Well I'll tell you why.

Since the early days of PB the aim has been clear from the start; have fun and fuck the haters (sometimes literally). This compendium of sleaze is a fine example of their best (or on some case least worst) of Ben and Jon's work. Where you would feel 'Jhad Trombone' was very hit and miss, you could argue that there are some midget gems in there (such as 'Violent Assault On Priory Way'), and in the last year the guys have been making serious headway.
The album begins with a siren. If that doesn't grab your attention then I don't know what will, and with it being an updated version of 'Shoot The Dog' you can be rest assured things are going to get loud. All re-mastered by 'Hardcore Motherfucker' Johnny Violent, it proves that you can polish a turd by adding more beats, more bass and highlighted vocals that makes even the most repetitive of songs that little bit more enjoyable.
Mixing old with new is a great concept, as the album doesn't follow a chronological pattern, heading from 'Circuit Board' to the rip roaring 'Fuck Off' and the anthemic 'Hey Petrol Bastard'.
If of course you're well versed with the works of PB then prepare to find all your favourites. From 'Beefy Granddad' and 'Bitch Better Be A Meat Eater' to 'Oi Lad' and 'Batley', there's bound to be something for everyone.
Petrol Bastard are what the industrial scene is crying out for at the moment, even if they don't know it yet! With the lyrical tenacity of Jim Thirlwell, the sordid insanity of TKK and the catchy humour of KMFDM, they are daring, talented and post-modern to the hilt.
Coming off an amazing set at the final Resistanz Festival, the pair are now in the making of creating their fourth album. If you haven't experienced the force that is Petrol Bastard then this is the album for you.... It's not as bad as you think!

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Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Live Review: Amorphis – Rescue Rooms, Nottingham 24/03/2016



AMORPHIS (+ Poem, Textures)
Rescue Rooms, Nottingham
24/03/2016

Returning last year with the incredible 'Under The Red Cloud', Finnish progressive metal outfit Amorphis showed that even after 25 years they are just as essential as ever. Cue a big European tour in support of the album and not only are the band proving they have what it takes in the studio, they're also blowing a host of imitators right off the stage as well.

The small but cosy Rescue Rooms plays host tonight with an early start to accommodate it's ludicrous 10pm curfew time. No sooner have the doors open than Greek progressive metal quintet Poem taking the stage a mere five minutes later. The band plough through a short but sweet set that balances technical prowess with soaring melodies and dashes of intense heaviness. It may not be as well-rounded as the headliner's sound but it is interesting nonetheless and the band receive a warm welcome from those already in the venue. It is just a shame they had to go on so early and only had 25 minutes on stage as they deserved more of an crowd.

Up next Textures hit the stage with their somewhat mad and frenetic blend of technical wizardry and sheer brutality. From the outset it is an all-out assault on the eardrums. Fast riffs, quick changes and heaps of groove are thrown around with impunity for convention. It can make them a little hard to take in in such an intimate environment, but they certainly bring an energetic extremity to the stage that pumps the growing crowd up more and more. With a little longer on stage the band can engage with the audience a little more and throughout the set they look like they are having an absolute blast. Having been around for fifteen years in their own right the band put on a tight and powerful performance worthy of any veteran act.

But tonight's main event is definitely Amorphis. The Finns pack a set with recent hits and find time for a few classic cuts as well. It is just one of those shows that will leave both old and new fans deeply satisfied. The band are tight and energetic from the word go as they launch into new cuts 'Under the Red Cloud' and 'Sacrifice'. Vocalist Tomi Joutsen sounds even better live than on the albums as he switches between death growls and clean vocals seemingly without any effort.

The band's technical ability and on-stage prowess is only surpassed by the crowd's growing frenzy as tracks such as 'The Wanderer', 'Dark Path', 'Silent Waters', 'My Kantele', and 'House Of Sleep' dominate the set list.

The band power through the set with only a small problem with Joutsen's custom steampunk microphone briefly holding things up. Luckily with the use of a spare mic the problem is quickly resolved without it impacting any of the songs.

For the band's encore a thunderous rendition of new track 'Death Of A King' welcomes the band back to the stage in epic fashion, proving that this will evermore have to be an encore track. Similarly epic renditions if 'The Silver Bride' and 'The Smoke' bring the evening to a close as the band bow an leave the stage proving once again they are one of European metal's strongest and most under-appreciated acts.  

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Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Review: Soul Dissolution – 'Pale Distant Light'



SOUL DISSOLUTION
'Pale Distant Light'
THROATS PRODUCTIONS


Belgium's Soul Dissolution mix melancholic atmospheres with post-black metal intelligence for a simply stunning mix of bleak melodies, haunting ambiance, strong riffs and tortured vocals. Comparable to the likes of Drudkh, Allagoch, and Alcest the duo of Jabawock and Archaran craft a compelling journey through their début offering 'Pale Distant Light' that will tantalise both black metal fans as well as fans of progressive extreme metal in general.

The album opens with the subtle and delicate introduction to 'Waiting' before indulging in some slow tempo riffing and an anguished vocal performance to set the pace for the album. The likes of 'this Red Painting In The Sky', 'Anchor', 'Final Dissolution, Part 1 – Hatred Spawned From Longing', and 'Final Dissolution, Part 3 – Pale Distant Light' provide a solid number of intelligent but still catchy tracks rooted in the black metal formula but augmented with subtle electronic and progressive embellishments.

The band's skill really comes into its own with the purely melodic instrumentals 'Immanence Of Unfulfillment', 'Final Dissolution, Part 2 – Fields Of Stone', and 'Echoes Of Dissolution', which resemble Anathema in the delicate melodies and progressive ambience. The band's final parting shot is a solid if not to adventurous cover of October Tide's 'Sweetness Dies' which adds some hard riffs and epic feel to close the album in good measure.

The production is very solid and clean. It doesn't suffer from that typical underground black metal sound invoked by some bands to cover up any shortcomings in recording quality. Instead this is an album that aims high and achieves its objectives.

'Pale Distant Light' is a great album that promises a lot more to come from this partnership in the future. This is a début that should make those who listen to it take notice and hopefully the band will be quick to follow this up with an album that pushes their ideas even further.  

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Review: Atomic Neon – 'The Bodanegra Session'



ATOMIC NEON
'The Bodanegra Session'
HOLY HOUR RECORDS


For nearly ten year's Germany’s Atomic Neon has been flying the flag for darkly brooding gothic rock. Having only just released their latest album 'Down' on Black Rain Records, the band return with a slightly different take on their sound in the form of 'The Bodanegra Sessions'. The album consists of tracks recorded between 2012 and 2016 featuring Rio Black on vocals as usual but all music written by Bodanegra.

Blending the madcap melancholy of The Cure's early years with the steady malevolent mechanical beats of The Sisters Of Mercy, and injecting the result with subtle electronics the album is a pop-friendly but dark throwback to the 80s.

The album lacks the band's usual fully augmented sound but what they do present on this special release is nonetheless valid. Songs such as 'Dark City', 'He Looks Like A Vampire', 'The Walking Dead', '… And The Night!', 'The Fall', and 'Buried Machine' are enjoyable tracks with steady dance appeal and more than a big dose of nostalgia thrown in for good measure.

The production is pretty basic compared to the band's usual standard and it leaves the album with a kind of unfinished vibe to it. It does sound unrepentant in its retro chic which holds it back as a modern gothic album – however if you were to stand this alongside releases from the 80s it would more than hold its own.

This is an odd curve-ball from Atomic Neon, and perhaps one more for collectors/fans rather than the casual listeners, but there is still plenty of enjoyment to be had here. It certainly isn't as strong as the band's 2015 album 'Down', but it has a charm that is hard to deny.  

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Wednesday, 16 March 2016

SLAUGHTER IN THE AIR, PROTEST ON THE WIND: BOWIE AND IGGY IN BERLIN



Of course, perhaps an even bigger loss this year has been that of David Bowie, probably one of the most important performers in western popular culture over the past 50 years. Without wanting to list every facet of Bowie's talent it is probably enough to state that his contribution was primarily important because he introduced the idea that an artist's style - their very lack of substance - was important. With Bowie we were freed from the idea of rock culture as being wedded to a dreary kind of masculine authenticity - we were free to celebrate and revel in an absence or a reinvention of self. Bowie was an artist who put on many masks and personas, who obscured his ideas even in the public eye and became inmpossible to classify in terms of look, sexuality, politics or genre.

Probably the period which best encapsulated this dissessentialied approach was the period he spent in Berlin in the late 1970s. Fleeing to West Berlin with his best friend Iggy Pop to escape his drug addiction and personal isolation in Los Angeles, he was driven there by the emerging combination of Krautrock artists such as Neu!, the rising electronica of Kraftwerk, the traces of the city's Weimar cabaret past and the nihilistic philosophy of Nietzsche - but what he and his friend would create out of this was something else entirely.

At the time and then into the '80s and '90s west Berlin represented it's own cultural underworld; walled in and surrounded by East Germany, accessible by a single road or air corridor, occupied by French, British and American troops, not even officially a part of the Federal Republic of Germany, and home to a burgeoning scene of punks, anarchists, outcasts, military deserters, drug addicts and bomemian followers of every kind of alternative lifestyle. In this strange island of hedonistic nihilism Bowie and Iggy embarked on one of the most important creative streaks in music.

Recorded first was Iggy's solo debut 'The Idiot', produced by Bowie and which showcased a bleak blend of industrial funk and electro-fuzz melancholy. This was effectively a dry run for 'Low', the album which kicked off Bowie's own Berlin trilogy and showcased a collision of noise-rock cutaways and Eno-inspired depressive ambient. Not to be outdone Pop responded with 'Lust For Life', a vital slab of raw punk rock and manic energy which contained several bonafide classics of it's own. Then "Heroes", Bowie's arguable masterwork, showcased that winning combination of soul rhythms, funk guitar, punkoid noise from Robert Fripp, ambient discord from Eno and Bowie's own arch lyricism.

These albums were not only inspired by the echoes of past & present contempory German culture but ended up chanelling the spirit of West Berlin into something which helped define the city for generations to come. Was any song more indicative of the collapse of the Wall than 'Heroes' itself?

And although Bowie may be gone, and the political entity of West Berlin has gone, you can still feel and see traces of the world that drew Bowie there and inspired him - from the punks in Kreuzberg to the remnants of the wall outside Hansa Ton studios. Take a walk amongst the ruins, and see for yourself.

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Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Review: Novembre – 'URSA'



NOVEMBRE
'URSA'
PEACEVILLE RECORDS


Italy's Novembre have been plying their atmospheric death doom style since 1993 and after a long period of inactivity since their last effort, 'The Blue', the band make a welcome return with 'Ursa'. The band's seventh full-length studio album is a classic mix of epic, poignant and always atmospheric doom metal. The title of the album, '
URSA', come from an acronym meaning “Union des Républiques Socialistes Animales” (which was the title initially chosen for the French translation of George Orwell’s ‘Animal Farm’), hints at the more outwardly aimed subject matter of the album. The album sees Carmelo Orlando begin to draw inspiration from the world around him and mans indifference to the disaster we are heading for.

The album opens in spectacular form with the near eight-minute long 'Australis' which sees the band blend the best of their abilities into one sumptuous opener that sets the bar high for the rest of the album. Thankfully the likes of 'The Rose', 'Easter', 'URSA', 'Agathae', and the (just as stunning as the opener) 'Fin', which closes the album, continue this strong start through the rest of the album. Soaring guitars, thunderous rhythms, delicate clean vocals and death vocals, playfully blend light and dark, heavy and melodic throughout the songs with ease.

The production has a definite progressive rock edge to it. There are strong swirling ambient elements that slither through the rock and metal instrumentation to create a trippy sense of space on every song. The album feels vast in its melodies and crushing in its heaviness. It is equal parts hope and despair expressed in sound.

The album is a spectacular return from a band that has been sorely missed in the doom metal scene. Novembre are on top form and 'URSA' is a fitting new addition to an already impressive back catalogue that promises a lot more to come. Long-time fans should undoubtedly great it with enthusiasm and it should also convert a new wave of fans as well. Worth the wait. 

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Review: My Silent Wake – 'An Unbroken Threnody'



MY SILENT WAKE
'An Unbroken Threnody'
STONE GROOVE RECORDS


For a decade Welsh doom act have proven themselves a bastion of hope in the UK scene. Along with the likes of The Drowning and Tor Marrock they have put Welsh doom on the map and 'An Unbroken Threnody' celebrates a career that takes in thirteen slices of definitive material gleaned from their expansive discography.

Marrying the death doom of early Paradise Lost, the intense and forlorn gothic of My Dying Bride and the unashamed progressive explorations of Anathema, the band distil the essence of UK doom into an effective package.

Songs such as 'And So It Comes To And End', 'Bleak Endless Winter', 'Oblivion', 'Shadow Of Sorrow' and 'The Dying Things We Are Living For' are perfect examples of their bleakest and heaviest moments while the likes of 'Journey's End', 'Mimir's Well' and the stunning 'Sturm' show off their more spacey, delicate and progressive leanings incorporating clean vocals, acoustic guitars and medieval instrumentation to great effect.

In terms of production there are noticeable differences in the quality of the earlier recordings compared to the most recent ones. But the album has been mastered in a nice way that doesn't let these distract from the overall flow of the album.

'An Unbroken Threnody' is a great retrospective celebration and introduction to one of the UK's best doom bands. A band that based on the quality and scope of the song writing on display in this collection will leave heads scratching as to why they are not a much bigger name. But for those already in the know this is a nice compilation to have that distils some of their strongest tracks into one album, while also providing a nice starting point for potential new fans.  

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Friday, 11 March 2016

Review: Khraken – 'Subliminal Seduction'



KHRAKEN
'Subliminal Seduction'
SELF-RELEASED


Canada's Khraken may only have been around since 2012 but as the new release 'Subliminal Seduction' demonstrates, the project has quickly established itself as a formidable dance act. Incorporating elements of ebm, techno and house, Khraken comfortably straddles the avant garde construction of Aphex Twin as well as the dance floor ready style of Front 242 in an efficient and near minimal way.

The EP is all instrumental and has a warm analogue feeling throughout. But the songs grab and hold your attention with ease. The opener 'Terms' swirls and meanders around a central beat in a way that is reminiscent of a stripped-back Juno Reactor. 'Trespass' follows on with a glitchy lead and a far more forceful central beat that recalls early industrial dance crossovers and has a much stronger dance presence. 'Cells' goes into a more avant garde territory in terms of its lead synths that sounds like early Aphex Twin playing with ideas over a strong dance beat. 'America' returns to the glitchy lead and combines it with a nice ebm beat for a subtle but nonetheless addictive dance track. The final offering on the EP, 'Documents', closes the proceedings nicely with a more ambient sense of space present in the mix and that minimal take on Juno Reactor vibe revisited for a cool way to finish the album off.

The production is strong, simple and clear. It is an album that does exactly what it needs to do, balancing warm analogue sounds with crisp modern execution. Each song on the EP shows off the full range of Khraken's technical ability, but the final track 'Documents' stands out with a more cinematic sense of space created that would also have fared well on some of the other songs.

This is a strong EP for fans of old school sounds. The ebm, industrial, techno and house influences of the late 80s and early 90s are prevalent throughout. But there is no sense that this dates the songs in anyway. They still feel fresh and modern, and are executed with precision. Khraken will undoubtedly be a name to watch out for over the next few years.  

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Thursday, 10 March 2016

Of Talent & Money


There was a time when talent in an artist
was actually something that audiences would seek. Audiences wanted to experience a live performance of any kind of Art -through shock, awe, desire, etc. There was a time when cultural entertainment wasn't an industry. It was a business, yes, and it's been a business for a very long time. There was this place you would go to, pay an entrance fee and look at art on the walls, or catch the live performances of a variety of artists. Or, you would attend an event, and musicians would be paid to be there and perform at the best of their abilities.

It was about the money, yes, but on perhaps a lot more of a balanced scale with the execution of the talent.

So what of talent? What defines talent? It's easy to respond to the question What is marketable, but the question What is talent is perhaps harder to answer objectively.
The dictionary defines talent as:
1- an ancient unit of weight and value
2- the natural endowments of a person
3- a special, often creative or artistic aptitude
4- mental power: ABILITY
5- a person of talent
SYN: genius, gift, faculty, aptitude, knack

So talent, in itself, is an acknowledgeable fact. It is not about whether you like it or not, it is the ability you will recognize in someone. This person can sing-act-dance-draw-paint well. You cannot say they don't if you don't like it. Taste is subjective. Talent is objective.

These days, when observing the pop-tart culture, we can definitely state that before talent, the major production companies of any form of art will choose to focus on the money-making potential of the artists they select for the masses to enjoy -or rather, pay for.

Entertainment has become an industry -force-fed, fast-food entertainment; lots of bright lights to blind the general public from the emptiness of the lack of content, the lack of the actual, raw experience of genuine talent. The mass media will provide you with their own specific, financed selection of talent, and you choose amongst what they're offering you what you are willing to spend your money on.

 It's not so much that people aren't seeking talent anymore, but it appears that the selection of talent presented on a mass scale these days doesn't account to much. So where can one seek and find pure, authentic, raw talent? In the alternative culture of course, the one place where artists can freely develop as rich of a creative universe as they want, and can. and enjoy their own evolution through their personal creative process.

The days where artists were given free reign on their own artistic development are long gone, and even though it may seem that some of them are given more of a leeway, underneath it all will lie a clause in a contract stating that they have to keep looking a certain way, or to make sure they never write about a certain subject, and above all, that they keep selling and/or endorse this or that product.

The artists themselves thus pay the price for mass distribution, by forfeiting their personal creative evolution. Such is the nature of life, events, and their stories; the double-sided coin.
And money runs the world.

So on one side of the spectrum, you've got the artists that the majors will choose to invest in, and on the other side, you've got the artists who have to pay out of their own pockets to keep producing themselves and releasing their Art for the world to see.

Self-funded shows abound on the underground scenes or every form of art. Artists will pay for venues to hold their events, and charge 5 to 15$ at the door as fair ticket prices -and keep it on the cheaper side, so that anyone can afford it, and even attract a potential new comer amongst the passers-by on the street that night. They will buy all their equipment, supplies and costumes, and pay for every single piece of work they produce -and the more you aspire to be able to live of this talent of yours, the more you will [be willing to] invest/spend on your art.
And the quality of what you choose to produce and release will also, subsequently, depend on the amount of money you'll be willing to invest in yourself.

What the word "industry" instead of "business" when placed after the word Entertainment instituted in our culture is basically how much are you willing to pay for this or that artist; how much are you willing to sacrifice in their name? How can we turn this artist into something that'll  make people spend their money, so as to make other people make money, by indirectly making people spend more of their money on other products that they will somehow subconsciously link to these artists-products?

Observe here an entire economy process.

What kind of a culture are we forging here, when basing ourselves on the entertainment for the masses?
*
The difference between the pop-tart culture and the alternative culture is thus not so much the talent itself as it is, seemingly, finance.
Right.
And the execution of the talent, of course.
But this remains in the hands of the artist, so it comes down to what the artist enjoys more: the amount of money they're making out of their art, or the exploration and evolution of their creative selves. The price of making it.
But for whom are you indeed "making it", and what are you making, exactly?

It then comes down to the amount of people who will experience the shape of your name written on the wall of history. And yet, when contemplating said-wall of history, one cannot even begin to count the number of artists who only became truly famous/successful when they died.

They died, but their talent, and its finest executions, lived on and marked a point in history.

So in the end, it is about talent, when considering the evolution of Art History as a whole.
Or culture itself, as a whole.

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Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Review: Mortiis – 'The Great Deceiver'



MORTIIS
'The Great Deceiver'
OMNIPRESENCE


With two brilliant singles in the forms of 'Doppelganger' and 'The Shining Lamp Of God' as well as a new video for 'Demons Are Back' it is immediately evident that Mortiis have set out to take no prisoners with their long-awaited follow-up to their last outing 'Perfectly Defect'. The spiky industrial infused alternative rock formula pioneered on albums such as 'The Smell Of Rain' and 'The Grudge' has been sharpened and refined into some of the best work of the band's career to date.

Distilling the best aspects of the Nothing and Wax Trax sounds into one loud and aggressive monster. The band power through twelve focused and catchy tracks that blend hard guitars and electronic embellishments to perfectly frame
Håvard Ellefsen's maniacal vocal performance.

The previously mentioned 'Doppelganger', 'The Shining Lamp Of God', and 'Demons Are Back' are joined by tracks such as 'The Ugly Truth', 'Bleed Like You', 'Feed The Greed', and 'Too Little Too Late' which give the album a strong backbone that balances aggression and accessibility with ease. While tracks like 'Hard To Believe', and 'Road To Ruin' shake the expected formula up a little more by incorporating elements such as overt acoustic guitar work and more electronic led sections for a stripped back but nonetheless brilliant performance.

The production is excellent. Clear and modern with just the right amount of dirty electronic noises to leave a bad taste in your mouth. The band are undoubtedly on top form on this album. They have taken their time, focussed hard on the song construction and the end result is going to please not only long-time Mortiis fans, but also fans of industrial rock in general.

It has been a long time coming, but 'The Great Deceiver' was worth the wait. Hopefully this album will see the love it deserves returned to it and a follow-up album sooner rather than later. But in the here and now this is a great album and one that the band should be very proud of. 

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Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Live: Peter Hook And The Light – Warehouse 23, Wakefield 05/03/2016



PETER HOOK AND THE LIGHT
Warehouse 23, Wakefield
05/03/2016


The man behind the bass of Joy Division and New Order has taken the spotlight for himself over the past few years to give the fans what they want. Faithful, loving and passionate performances of their favourite hits by the two Manchester groups he was so influential in. There is no support scheduled for tonight's performance. Hook at 60 years old instead divides the night into three distinct sets. Set one takes in an array of Joy Division hits, while sets two and three explore the New Order albums 'Low-Life' and 'Brotherhood' in their entirety.

Hook and the band emerge onto the stage to the sound of Kraftwerk's 'Trans Europe Express' before unleashing a tight set of Joy Division classics including 'Dead Souls', 'New Dawn Fades', 'Disorder', and 'Isolation' before rounding it out with New Order's 'Ceremony' (technically a Joy Division song first it was released by New Order as a single 35 years ago). The band worked the energy up in the room with ease before leaving the stage for five minutes before the next set.

Set two saw the band perform New Order's fourth album 'Brotherhood' which spawned the hit 'Bizarre Love Triangle' and featured memorable cuts such as 'Paradise', 'Broken Promise', 'All Day Long' and 'Every Little Counts' which all received with eagerness by the crowd.

After another five minute interval the band return with set number three which offers up New Order's third album 'Low-Life' in full. Songs such as 'Love Vigilante', 'The Perfect Kiss', 'Sooner ' and 'Sub-Culture' continue to incite a party atmosphere in the room while the stunning rendition of instrumental 'Elegia' goes to show what a great musician Peter Hook is.

The band leave the stage again for a little while longer as the crowd chants for more. Obliging the encore consists of three more New Order tracks with 'Thieves Like Us', 'True Faith', and 'Temptation'. There might not have been any 'Blue Monday' or 'Love Will Tear Us Apart' but all in attendance seemed satisfied nonetheless.

You could level an argument at Peter Hook and the Light that it is just an exercise in nostalgia. Well based on the crowd at Warehouse 23 there is still plenty of demand for these songs, and while critics may say they sound too much like New Order, to paraphrase Peter Hook on the night, they may as well “as the other lot don't”.  

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Monday, 7 March 2016

Preview: Wave Gotik Treffen 25th Jubilee 13th - 16th May


At the early may morning brought by summer, the city of Leipzig rises with top hats being hatted, corsets being laces and black boots being slid on.  As come the 13th of May, Wave Gotik Treffen becomes the heart of the East German city.

Past

The dates for WGT (pronounced Ve Ge Te) change throughout the year, as the festival runs in line with the pagan celebrated day of Whitsun, that occurs seven weeks after Easter also known as Pentecost in Christianity. It first began in 1992 and continued on ever since. The festival sees on average 20,000 attendants, and unofficially usually more.

25th Jubilee Celebrations

To kick off  this special year, WGT decided this year to rent a theme Park based in Leipzig! This 27 hectare theme park will be free to festival goers, with the wristband covering the price of the entry into the park, where amusements will operate until midnight. Never have Gruftis been seen white water rafting or turning a roller-coaster into a black snake!
http://www.belantis.de/

The main party will be held in the Belanteum venue from 1am to 5am with DJs from the Leipzig scene, such as 'Moonchild', Mystic Mountains and Knüpfi.

Currently still in development are firework displays and whatever madness comes out of the WGT forum!


Location

There is a main festival area for WGT, though the whole long weekend is spread around Leipzig, with music catered to all, from Neofolk to EBM. The large events take place in the ‘Agra’ messe-park, whilst smaller artists are scattered around various venues. Not only that but within the city there is so much more going on that has nothing to do with music you’ll be spoilt for choice!

Experiencing WGT

The sheer area that the whole festival takes up and consisting of already over 100 confirmed performances taking place, it is impossible to get to all the artists you want to see. But maybe this is WGT staying true to what it is also about; meeting up.
There are graveyard tours, tailors, discussions, blacksmiths, night clubs and Victorian picnics occurring all around the city, hence WGT should be seen as maybe an all-rounder festival, where music is not priority no1, but at the same level as all the other options at the festival.

Music Confirmed Artists

With the quantity of venues being more than 20, building up those high heel muscles may be complimentary to your festival plan. Looking ahead in advance of the music artists and location is highly recommended. The festival schedule is known to change right up until the actual date, though already acts from the depths of ‘Velvet Acid Christ’, the rattling industrial of ‘Suicide Commando’, to the String theatrics of ‘Coppelius’. ‘Die Krupps’, ‘Girls under Glass’ and many others are already confirmed for this year, standing at 110 music artists currently confirmed.

Obviously the venues vary in size and checking ahead goes a long way, as some venues may require you to be there one artist in advance, as you could end up not seeing yours. Headliners will take place at ‘Agra’, though still being there earlier gives kudos.

A List of the Venues can be found here

Shopping

Halle 1 is the epicentre of the Goth stalls. Open from midday on Friday the variety of garments accessories and miscellaneous on offer is vast. All genres are usually fruitfully catered for and clothing if wanted should be taken, as by the time you come back, it will already be gone as some of the bespoke quality that comes to Wave Gotik Treffen is unsurpassable.

Opening times for Halle 1:
Friday 12pm-1am
Saturday 11am-1am
Sunday 11am-1am
Monday-11am -11pm

Tickets

Festival tickets can be purchased off the official WGT site and are €120.

Free Public Transport

One great thing about the festival is that public transport throughout Leipzig is free for those with their wristband, though do bear in mind trams will be busy, and a few 20,000 people in black could possibly have the same travel time as you!

Getting There

Airports to fly to would consist of Leipzig/Halle, Dresden, Berlin or Frankfurt. Leipzig/Halle is a small airport, so it could be easier or cheaper to fly to one of the other several and take advantage of the German rail network to get to your destination.

Driving is easy enough if you are willing to do so, though be aware of the need to purchase emission stickers for €5, if driving through Leipzig city centre to the main ‘Agra’ Messepark. Otherwise you should be fineJ.

Parking tickets for the festival can be also purchased off the official WGT site at €15.

Accommodation

The Festival has camping grounds which cost €25 for the ‘Obsorge Ticket’. Though seeing as the events go on throughout Leipzig, there is much accommodation available to suit you and could also allow you to be closer to what you came to see at WGT.

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