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DEN C.T BUG
DEN C.T BUG was the first project to appear on the small stage. I understand that the first band doesn't have to be too memorable, but it seemed like the singer Kim Hoffmann and the keyboards player Markus Pawlikowski didn't want to be memorable at all. Musically I would compare them with the early VNV NATION, but visually the band wasn't too impressive. May be there was simply no real boost for Mr.Hoffmann to rock before just 50 people gathered to see him, but to me it was kind of boring to watch this performance, all I could remember later is their club-hit "Nachtzug" they did. Nice, quality music, but unfortuantely nothing more than this.
GOLDEN APES professed some sort of thoughtful and soft gothic rock which sounded very appropriate that evening. There was already a bit more people in the audience and it looked like everybody had a great time. I remember seeing the band at NCN back in 2008, but that time they huddled on the small stage. In 2011 they got all the attention the main acts on the big stage usually have. Concerning the music I would call it rather music for listening, because there's nothing going on on stage, the musicians just did their stuff and the singer Peer Lebrecht smoked a lot and 90% of time stood with his eyes closed. Still the sound was great and crystal-clear and I enjoyed the gig, though it wasn't really my kind of music.
The German formation named NO MORE is not so simple to describe. It was born - scary to say - in 1979 and was powerful enough to shake the whole world with the underground hit-single "Suicide Commando" and if you know such the band SUICIDE COMMANDO, then yes, it was named after this song. In 1986 NO MORE broke up... to rise again from the ashes in 2008. The band's line-up went shorter to just duo, which consisted of Andy Schwarz (guitar/vocals) and Tina Sanudakura (keyboards). Since then NO MORE released one more full-length album called "Midnight People & Lo-Life Stars" (2010). When the band took the stage it became clear that we were going to see and hear something unusual. Andy got the front spot with his guitar and Tina took her place behind a strange-looking keyboard with the glowing round out-of-this-world installation and (oh yeah) a theremin. The music was minimalistic post-punk influenced with dark wave and also with a lot of digital effects and emotional anguished vocals. Very, very interesting and highly recommended.
That was a band I was really waiting for! I saw them at the previous Wave Gotik Treffen, but they used so much fire effects on stage that no protographers could work, so I was really looking for the chance to see and shoot them at the NCN. Who is GOTHMINISTER? It's a great goth-metal band from Norway with a lot of really catchy and good tunes and a lot of show effects. The singer Bjørn Alexander Brem is actually a big fun to watch, he's all about show - KISS-inspired make-up, bombs, smoke, fire, scary dolls and a stylized speaker's desk Bjørn loves to sing from. The band released some very nice albums and the last to date album "Anima Inferna" broke the records once more. Unfortunately they just couldn't use any real effects this time, may be because they played at the day light, obviously no fire effects would make sense. It was probably decided to go for a little smoke and it was really funny to watch when Bruno Kramm of DAS ICH ran around the stage, firing and throwing some little smoking things here and there. Nevertheless Brem and Co kicked some serious ass trying to make the best rock show possible. The new songs "Liar", "Anima Inferna" and "Stonehenge" were accompanied with the old hits like "Monsters" and "Happiness In Darkness". I would rate this gig 10 of 10, one of the best performances of this year.
WHISPERS IN THE SHADOW
I've heard about WHISPERS IN THE SHADOW before, because once upon a time I was a huge L'AME IMMORTELLE fan and WHISPERS was a project of Ashley Dayour, a famous LI's guitar player. I've tried to catch them many times, but it was the first time I got lucky and finally saw them live. The band was formed long ago in 1996 and since then they were very active, touring and releasing no less than 6 albums, many compilations and several live albums. The smoking fresh EP "The Lightbringer" was released in 2011 and today WHISPERS IN THE SHADOW is a fully functional 5-memeber band. When Ashley and Co appeared on the small stage it became clear that it would be quite the shadow theatre, because there was almost no light at all. Ashley wore a big hat completely covering his face, so you could hear his voice, but couldn't see his mouth or eyes. All the emotions were shown with the voice and gestures only and I heard somebody made a joke about it like they could name the band SCREAMS FROM THE SHADOW as well, because you could hear the band, but the only visible person there was a guitar player Lazy Schulz. The band's music is hard to describe, it's very conceptual dark wave and at the same time I could hear some decent influence of the old gothic rock. To me it wasn't so easy to comprehend, because I've expected something more melodic, but still it was very powerful and emotional. At some point I felt WHISPERS really suffered from the lack of space, they all move a lot and they would surely look great on a big stage. All in all a good show with interesting music and time well spent.
TYSKE LUDDER is an old electronic band from Germany which started spreading its waves of sonic destruction in the very beginning of 90s. After several years taken to reconsider the style and also to change the label they hit the European stages again in 2004. The latest release named "Diaspora" was born in 2011 and the NCN performance was a kind of part of "Diaspora" tour. TYSKE LUDDER plays something I would call hard electronic music and may be somebody would call it EBM. What makes them different from other bands is probably the most emotional approach to the composition I've ever heard from an EBM band, and I say it even though I'm absolutely not a fan of this music style. The most of their songs I've heard had unusually complex arrangements and I would simply say it's not that boring "boom-boom-boom" some other EBM bands do. The show was also quite strong - the stage was decorated with "Diaspora"-themed banners and even two big inflatable aerostat-balloons were set on both sides (I saw one of them was taken by some little kid - what a nice gift from the band!... at least I hope it was a gift...). The show started with an intro going straight to the "Tempelberg". The singer Claus Albers ran to the stage waving with a big Israeli flag. "Eugenix" and "Wie der Stahl gehärtet wurde" followed and the audience was completely unleashed!
Unfortunately I had to run for my last train home right after the third song and I missed the night performances of [:SITD:] and - the worst loss of the whole festival - KIRLIAN CAMERA. I was really sorry about that, but that was the end of the 1st NCN day for me.
Pictures | Report: Albert Buchatskyy
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