I have been working hard on the video below as part of my work with SushiCat Productions. It’s very much inspired by my time at Wave Gotik Treffen (particularly in the Sixtina Absinthe bar!) Yes, Absinthe still inspires those dark and tormented souls… to do something very silly!
So the count down has begun in earnest! In 6 days the 21st annual Wave Gotik Treffen will begin. Four days of 209 of Gothic, Metal and Industrial bands, clubs, talks, art, theatre and events.
As ever the schedule is packed! Details of the programme can be found on the Official Wave Gotik Treffen site, iPhone or android app (Be aware: both apps are apparently clunky to use!) or my personal recommendation of NecroWebs PDF planner and Google Map (also see my guide to WGT recommended Places in Leipzig).
Here’s my picks from this years schedule:
On Thursday (24th May), as ever there is Sadgoth’s pre-WGT Meeting at the Bayerischer Bahnhof. Kicking off the festival with this yearly pub/restaurant is great to meet up with people particularly if you are a festival first timer.
Over the entire festival the Stasi Museum Runde Ecke is running an exhibition entitled: “When The Cemetery Was My Living Room” – The Gothic Scene In The DDR and access to this seems to be free for WGT wristband holders (else €3). Goths, like many other youth cultures were persecuted by the Communist regime in Eastern Germany so this exhibit should be interesting. The museum is running several scheduled guided tours through the exhibit as well. See the Official Programme for further details.
On Friday (25th May) from 3pm is the Victorian Picnic, again this year at the Clara-Zetkin-Park (by the lake near the Parkbühne venue). This is a great place to see/be seen with fabulous, often home-made Victorian, Steampunk, Medieval and Lolita fashions.
On Saturday (26th May) the Agra is the place to be with Grendel (6pm), Aesthetic Perfection (8:30pm) and Combichrist (11:10pm) all performing there. Also on is the brilliant British electro-industrial band Global Citizen at the Moritzbastei at 8:30pm.
On Sunday (27th May) the mourning halls of the Südfriedhof (South Cemetery) is open to the public for free from 10am-4pm. The cemetery is one of the largest in Germany.
Final day on Monday (28th May) bands at Agra are demonic Mexicans Amduscia (7:50pm) and the band you definitely don’t want to be in the front row for (they have promised “loads of blood” on their Facebook page!) Germany’s own Agonoize at 10:30pm.
Monday at Darkflower should be awesome (if you can get in) with the finale party from Out Of Line Electrostorm. Star DJs are listed as Lola Angst and Erk from Hocico/Rabia Sorda playing tunes from 8pm – 6am.
See you there!!!
This post was also published on alternative clothing brand Jed Phoenix’s website.
Resistanz festival started in 2011 as the big new festival on the Industrial Music scene. Last year’s festival was well organised and drew some impressive headliners. This year was no different with Icon of Coil and Grendel at the top of the bill.
Looking around the venue, the layout was a little different this year. The mixing desk had been moved meaning a better view if you happened to be stuck by the bar when bands came on. There were also fewer food stalls but more seating. There was more room for stalls this year too, the sellers having been moved from upstairs to their own dedicated hall off the out-door area. Jed Phoenix and her team were of course on hand with an array of tempting outfits out on sale.
While I could discuss all of the bands, I’d rather talk about my favourite performances in olympic Gold, Silver and Bronze medal style:
Bronze Medal goes to Dutch sampling extraordinaires Grendel. Grendel always feel like a bit of a guilty pleasure for me; they’re appeal lies in their catchy tunes and samples of cult movies. While they aren’t unique in this Grendel do seem to do it better than some. They’re performance at Resistanz while solid was far from charismatic, but I challenge anyone not to sing along with the Full Metal Jacket samples on their track “Soilbleed”. Add in the experience of being “Rickrolled” (initially in internet meme which seems to have recently leapt into the real world) to Rick Astleys “Never Gonna Give You Up” and you can’t help but love their performance at Resistanz.
Runners up (and only by a pinch) are the bonnie Scottish duo Surgyn. Despite having been placed first on the bill these guys blew me away. I had heard their debut album Vanity before getting to the festival and really liked it but these guys were also incredible live. Flawless melodic vocals, pounding electronic beats, incredible stage makeup, on-stage surgery and a fabulous rapport with the audience made Surgyn one of my favourite Resistanz performances.
Surgyn performing their track “Sharp as Stars” from the album “Vanity”:
A difficult decision but the gold medal has to go to Austria’s euphoric Future Pop ensemble Mind.In.A.Box. While their previous album “Retro” was a geeky homage to classic video games, their new album “Revelations” continues their story of “The Dreamweb”, already played out across their first three albums. This isn’t just a concept album, it’s a concept back catalogue!
Mind.In.A.Box blew the audience away at Bradford’s Infest Festival last year and despite some serious technical difficulties somehow still managed a fantastic set. Battling against feedback and broken vocoders is no trivial matter when you are an electro band but then again Mind.In.A.Box are not your average electro band. Frontman Stefan has a rich and melodic natural voice so was able to carry off vocals sans vocoder with some small edits to their setlist. In their encore 8 bits Stefan usually transposes his voice to sing in the voice of the vintage game heroine the song is about but with the vocoder out of action Stefan again sung the song in his natural voice but with help from bassist Adam. This turned Resistanz’s version of 8 bits into something more like a sing-along Metal anthem!
Mind.In.A.Box performing their track “Remember” from the album “Revelations”:
The National Theatre definitely have a recipe for a fantastically popular play. Take one classic novel with strong themes that still resonate in the present day, a script adapted by Nick Dear who was also responsible for adapting Agatha Christie’s Poirot for the small screen, 2009 Oscar winning director Danny Boyle and two popular leading men; Benedict Cumberbatch (BBC’s Sherlock) and Jonny Lee Miller (Trainspotting). The additional factor of the leads switching the roles of Frankenstein and Creature each night, though potentially somewhat gimmicky, also seems to be drawing the crowds to the production’s sold-out run. This is a review of Jonny Lee Miller as the Creature and Benedict Cumberbatch as Frankenstein.
The set and staging is stunning. From the very start, as the creature viscerally breaks forth, naked from it’s womb-like cocoon, spending aching moments struggling to teach itself to stand. As it escapes Frankenstein’s lab in Ingolstadt and begins to experience the world around it, the birds in the hay bales and the rain-soaked grass are beautifully realised. The steam train which travels towards the audience to signify the beginning of the Industrial Revolution all contributes to the epic and cinematic feel of the production.
The leading men are very much the centre of the production and hold the piece together. Jonny Lee Miller’s Creature is very much a man-child in his wonder and clumsiness at the beginning of the play but soon develops into an unpredictable yet strangely graceful brute. Despite this, out of the creature and Frankenstein it is the creature to which most of the audience’s sympathy is directed. Cumberbatch’s Frankenstein is quite manic in his scientific obsession but moves elegantly. Both leading men are brilliant, although I personally think Cumberbatch is the slightly more impressive of the two.
There is an interpretation of Shelly’s text that the creature and creator are two sides of the same man and, although perhaps it is a product of the actors switching roles, with Jonny Lee Miller and Benedict Cumberbatch you really believe this. You almost feel as though Frankenstein’s degenerating relationship with his fiance Elizabeth (Namoie Harris) is played out through both Frankenstein and the creature. At first Frankenstein loves Elizabeth, then ignores and belittles her, until the creature finally sexually abuses and murders her.
The supporting cast seem little more than props in this production although there are some memorable performances. Namoie Harris’ Elizabeth Lavenza and Victor Frankenstein’s younger brother William played on different nights by child actors William Nye and Jared Richard, both stand out a little more from the supporting cast.
The play sticks pretty well to what I so-far know of Mary Shelly’s original text (which I am currently in the process of reading) with the necessary cutting of the initial lead-up to Victor Frankenstein telling his story.
Being based on what is regarded as a classic Gothic novel with an over-arching theme of both the creature and Frankenstein being outsiders, this production would automatically be highly relevant to the Gothic and Alternative sub-cultures. Additionally, the industrial revolution brings a steam-punk flavour to the production. The music also seems industrial inspired, with driving rhythms somewhat reminiscent of a Skinny Puppy track.
All in all, this is an unmissable production particularly to those of the Gothic and Alternative sub-cultures. The National’s adaptation of Marry Shelly’s masterpiece is definitely deserving of all the hype and kudos.
Frankenstein runs until 2nd May 2011 at The National’s Olivier Theatre and tickets are available via The National Theatre’s website. If you can’t get tickets to see it at the theatre, the production is being broadcast live to cinemas both nationwide and internationally on the 17th March 2011 7pm (with Cumberbatch as the creature and Jonny Lee Miller as Frankenstein) and 24th March 2011 7pm (with Jonny Lee Miller as the creature and Cumberbatch as Frankenstein). Visit the National Theatre Live site for venues and booking.
Long time no post – but here’s an update of what we have in store to go to and report back on for 2011
Top of my list for festivals this year is Amphi Festival. I have never been to Cologne’s famous Goth and alternative festival but this year’s lineup is just irresistible: it looks as though it’ll be In Strict Confidence‘s only Festival and also on the lineup Covenant, Suicide Commando, Grendel, [X]-rx, Hocico, Nitzer Ebb… check the entire lineup on the Amphi Website.
Coming in at a close second is Wave Gotik Treffen. It’s the 20th Birthday of the worlds biggest Goth Festival and that can only mean it’s going to be bigger and more crazy than ever! The WGT official site has only sent out one newsletter so far stating that there will be a grand opening gig on Thursday 9th June with some of the original lineup from the first festival in 1991. Other rumoured bands have been listed on WGT’s Last.FM events page include The Murderdolls but the lineup isn’t quite capturing my imagination yet. Something tells me though that considering there were almost 200 bands in the lineup last year, I’m sure there will be something for everyone this year.
We also have the British festivals: no announcements on Infest (Bradford) other than the dates which seem to indicate that it is definitely going ahead. We also have Resistanz in Sheffield which has a similar lineup to Amphi Festival (meaning I might not go to Resistanz – maybe only Amphi Festival).
And finally I have a ticket to see Danny Boyle’s (Trainspotting, Shallow Grave, 28 Days Later, Slumdog Millionaire) adaptation of Mary Shelley’s gothic classic Frankenstein at The National. Benedict Cumberbatch (The BBC’s Sherlock) and Jonny Lee Miller (Trainspotting). Should be reporting on that too!
Happy New Year!
So the sheer number of Alternative Festivals this year, coupled with a malfunctioning camera (which has now been replaced by a phone!) means that it was impossible to report on Waregem, M’era Luna Festival, Infest and Dark Mills Festival.
So instead, here are a list of festivals, performances I saw, brief ratings and some pictures and videos I took. I have seen more bands recently including The Birthday Massacre, Luxury Stranger and Bitter Ruin and that I think it’s unlikely I’ll review at this point so please visit MissJade’s YouTube Channel to see videos from these gigs!
Waregem Gothic Festival – Belgium, Waregem 16th, 17th and 18th July
Friday 16th July:
- Funker Vogt – 3/5
- Umbra Et Imago – 1/5
- Covenant – 4.5/5
Saturday 17th July
- Anne Marie Hurst – 2/5
- Front Line Assembly – 3.5/5
- Skinny Puppy – 5/5
Sunday 18th July
- Vic Anselmo – 5/5
- The Eden House – 4.5/5
- Alien Sex Fiend – 1.5/5
- VNV Nation – 5/5
Festival Highlight: VNV Nation
Best ‘Unknown by MissJade before the festival': Vic Anselmo
Special Mention: Covenant (for being massively off their heads on stage!)
M’era Luna Festival – Germany, Hildesheim 7th & 8th August
Saturday 7th August
- Angelspit – 5/5
- Brendan Perry – 1/5
- Stolen Babies – 3/5
- Laibach – 1.5/5
- Rotersand – 5/5
- Nitzer Ebb – 3/5
- Unheilig – 3.5/5
- Sisters of Mercy – 4/5
Sunday 8th August
- Hanzel & Gretyl – 3/5
- Zeraphine – 3.5/5
- Skinny Puppy – 4/5
- Placebo – 5/5
Festival Highlight: Placebo
Best ‘Unknown by MissJade before the festival': Stolen Babies
Special Mention: Hanzel & Gretyl (for performing their crazy slightly non-PC German jokes in Germany)
Infest – UK, Bradford 27th, 28th and 29th August
Friday 27th August
- De Vision – 2/5
Saturday 28th August
- Agonise – 2/5
- [x]-Rx – 4.5/5
- Rotersand – 5/5
Sunday 29th August
- Patenbrigade: Wolf – 4/5
- Nachtmahr – 3/5
- Project Pitchfork – 3.5/5
Festival Highlight: Rotersand
Best ‘Unknown by MissJade before the festival': [x]-Rx
Special Mention: Nachtmahr (for being hilarious by saying that they had made the woman put the cat in the wheelie bin!)
Dark Mills Festival – Merton Abby Mills, London Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th September (only 4th attended).
Saturday 4th September
- Rome Burns – 4/5
- Diva Suicide – 4/5
- Maleficent – 2/5
- Vic Anselmo – 5/5
- Beautiful Deadly Children – 2/5
Festival Highlight: Vic Anselmo
Who I also had my picture taken with!
Best ‘Unknown by MissJade before the festival': Diva Suicide
Special Mention: Rome Burns (for being lovely people!)
Apologies for the late writeup – Wave Gotik Treffen took so long for me to write about that in the meantime I have seen KMFDM at the O2 Academy, been to Waregem Goth Festival, M’era Luna Festival, The Edinburgh Fringe Festival (where I saw The Tiger Lillies) and am soon heading off to Bradford’s Infest! Hopefully I can get some more write-ups done before then.
After the mayhem of the previous night’s partying at “Eine rituelle Zusammenkunft” Mittelalter Rock club it was a late start for us. We headed down to the Werk II for Austrian psychobilly rokers Kitty in a Casket.
(Unfortunately it was at this point my camera died! Se here is a crappy picture I took on my iphone. Apologies for the lack of photos/videos!)
I couldn’t help thinking that lead singer Kitty Casket reminds you somewhat of a cooler, more rock and roll Avril Levine. She’s a small, slight woman who jumps around and prances about on stage. The rest of the band: Slappin’ Suspender, Billy The Bat and Mike Mean Machine (I bet their parents don’t call them by those names!) all performed well and although I do enjoy Psychobilly music, I do find it hard to get really excited about.
After some time milling around in the Medieval Village (above the Moritzbastei), we headed to the Kohlrabizirkus (which we had by this point rather maturely nick named “the boobie building” in honour of the two cones sticking out of it’s roof making it look like Madona‘s bra). We went to the Kohlrabizirkus to see the fantastic In Strict Confidence.
The German Electro-rockers In Strict Confidence gave a tremendous performance. They performed infront of some of their fantastic music videos such as when performing “Forbidden Fruit“, “My Dispair” and “Silver Bullets” and front-man Dennis Ostermann has a wonderful voice when performing live. Beautiful female vocals provided by Nina di Lianin and additional guitars were provided by Haydee who, when not rocking out on her guitar performed with fire staffs and poi. This, along with Nina di Lainin‘s skinny figure being hugged by a tight, red latex dress with matching elbow-length gloves provided plenty of spectacle to the event.
In Strict Confidence were definitely one of my favourite performances of the festival, especially as it is impossible to see them play in the UK. Their new album “La Parade Monstrueuse” is also fast becoming one of my favourite albums this year!
Having seen our final performance of Wave Gotik Treffen, we headed out to find an end-of-festival party. Although almost every venue was holding a party, we decided to go to the Moritzbastei as we hadn’t yet been inside the venue. What a venue it is! The Moritzbastei is an old fortress which is made up of brick rooms linked by a series of catacombs. Each room has been converted into bars, seating areas and dance floors giving a very unique feel to the venue. The music policy was fairly eclectic and a remix of Depeche Mode‘s “Master and Servant” particularly stood out from the night. We partied late into the night, saying a final goodbye to friends before heading to bed in order to catch our train from Leipzig Hauptbahnhof to Berlin in the morning.