I guess it takes some commitment to drive 500 miles to get to a music event. This is the fifth time Smith and I have done this. It is possibly going to be the last for a while, we kinda feel we need to seek out new things, but we shall see. M’era Luna does have an excellent atmosphere and I think we’ll be back at some point in the future.
As is now the standard we left on the Thursday and drove to a hotel in Bochum. We should have got there in time to have a meal out and see the town but instead there were power issues with the Eurotunnel that delayed our journey on the train by three hours, that was quite frustrating, but we did walk a couple of miles along the main road and find zero bars. Yep, zero. There were two gambling dens but zero bars. I’m not sure if that’s the Germany I imagined.
Friday morning means driving the last two and a half hours to Hildesheim and getting to the festival. This part of the journey went well. The traffic was queueing to get into the car park and so Smith ran to join the queue to get us a decent tent spot. It’s quite amazing how quickly the massive campsite fills up with tents. I got parked and dragged most of the kit to the tent. After that, we chilled and wandered and thought about getting ready for the disco that evening.
Tickets for the disco were different from years before, we had to buy a wristband which was the standard 5 Euros. As we arrived in the disco there was some decent heavier music being played and it was DJ’d by a guy from the band Unzucht. After a short while it did change style as someone else took over and the music went a bit shit. Smith and I had drunk quite a bit. He lost his glasses. It was about 0200 when we quit and I went for a shower. That night I wandered back from the showers down the runway to the tent, the air was warm and I was happy.
I guess you haven't lived until you've walked half a runway dressed in only a towel.— Ian Parish (@iparish) August 10, 2019
Saturday was going to be hard work. There is always one night when there’s a little too much alcohol consumed. Last year it was the Prodigy gig and Saturday night. This time we overdid it on the Friday! Hangover protocols were now in place. But, there were bands to see starting at 1100 and so things had to get ready. I sometimes feel I physically suffer for my art.
Saturday’s theme for me was future-dystopian-cyber outfit. This was pretty much all home-made and I was very happy with the results. Smith had problems with his horns and so I watched the first band by myself.
Null Positive – main stage. Female fronted metal band, bit like Arch Enemy. quite enjoyable. Two female”dancers” on stage, playing with smoke and fire.
The gas mask on my outfit was really pulling into my head and making me experience pain. Plus the hangover wasn’t helping.
Sudenklang – main stage. I didn’t write anything else here so I don’t remember how good or bad they were.
Centhron – hangar stage. Fast beats, bit boring. It was during this set that I decided to go and get rid of the gas mask. It was hurting me and the backpack was annoying. Also, it was a warm day and I had about three layers on. I returned to the tent [about 15 minutes walk away] to get changed into boring normal clothes. I had been photographed and so thought it time to feel comfortable.
Feeling normal but much cooler than earlier. pic.twitter.com/UKhBuhcJ3q— Ian Parish (@iparish) August 10, 2019
Corvus Corax – main stage. Four bagpipers medieval/folk stuff. It’s basically metal but with bagpipes. It’s not very inspiring stuff and the singer was terrible but the Germans love this shit.
We heard Oomph! while we ate food and I don’t remember being impressed. It’s a terrible band name also!
Agonoize – hangar stage. Bit disappointing really, I had heard some of their stuff and I was hoping for a really “edgy” show. The singer squirted blood three times, he pretended to cut his wrist and let the “blood” spray out for most of the songs. Finished with Breathe as a tribute to Keith, but it was a terrible version.
Lacrimosa – main stage. 1.2 songs. Yeauugh.
SITD – Hangar. solid but only got going after second singers song. Lead singer doesn’t know words to some songs and was reading. The sound at front not great, the system speakers are quite wide and so a lot of the dynamic was missing from being close to the front.
Die Krupps – Hangar stage. Saturday headliners. We watched from slightly further back and the sound was much better. This band are really good and their show has been excellent every time I’ve seen them. I’d happily go and see them again. I’d recommend them to anyone.
That was the end of the Saturday for us. I think ASP were playing the main stage as we left, I wasn’t bothered at all about seeing him. It had been a long day. We had both had problems with the sun cream running into our eyes and causing massive hayfever type symptoms. Overall the music had been great but I felt dead.
From the above picture you can see I walked quite a bit that day. I also hadn’t slept much, which was going to be the pattern for the whole weekend really.
On the Sunday I woke to the sound of someone calling “Kaffee”. I popped my head out of the tent and had coffee poured freshly for me from one of the festival workers. He had a large backpack with a supply of drink and all the accoutrements on his belt for a perfect coffee and only 3 Euros. Bloody lovely.
It might be time to talk about the pooing situation at festivals. I mean, this shouldn’t be talked about but too make the process as easy as possible it takes planning and hard work. Firstly, eating vegetarian reduces the amount of time required in the portaloos. Next, pick your portaloos carefully. The ones on the runway are very busy and stink. I mean they stink more than others. So, go to the toilets in the car park. Leave the festival site and walk a bit. This needs to be planned for after waking and coffee. Next up, take the portaloo furthest west. The one in the east gets sunshine on it and heats up. This increases smells. So, to sum up, find the least used loos, and use the coolest one.
Getting ready on Sunday was easy, it was an old costume being recycled.
I kept the hood with me as the Sun was warm and I didn’t want to burn my skin.
Fear of Domination – main stage. Finish. Male and female singer. Good bass drop. Good solid set.
Yellow Lazarus – hangar stage. Ok. EBM but fast, not great. Two songs. It’s like Aqua (Barbie girl) on speed. Pretty sure we only caught a few of their songs.
Scarlet Dorn – main stage. Slow melodic rock with female singer. Keyboardist is from LOTL. This sort of music is fine in the background but it didn’t really rock.
At some point I went to get changed, again! It was another hot day and I wasn’t enjoying being in my costume. My head was sweating a lot under the gas mask.
Formalin – hangar stage. Live drummer. Keyboards. Singer. Pretty good. Very good crowd interaction. Good song dynamics.
Heldmaschine – hangar stage. Blue LEDs on costumes and drumsticks. Two guitars (one a lefty). Bass. Drums. Singer. Backing track somewhere.
Combichrist – main stage. Fucking amazing.
There’s a video of the Combichrist gig. This one was amazing. You can see it here:
I’m in there a few times, as is Smith, I’ll leave you to find it though. After this show I had to keep pouring water over my head to cool down. I think I had over done it. At least I didn’t get a cracked rib from the PIT unlike Smith.
Suicide Commando – hangar stage. Really good but I lefty feeling unwell. Sounds better a distance from stage, speakers too wide at very front. I needed cool air. Spotted the SITD guy in front of SC.
VNV Nation – main stage for a few songs. Ok, but the gig at the Scala was amazing.
After this it was shower time and a walk down the runway. Then, Monday we just had to drive home. On the way we had planned to stop just into Germany for photos but because of the delays at the tunnel we chose not to. We had plenty of time on the return journey and so we stopped on that:
I couldn’t tell you why we chose to stop here!
The excitement didn’t end in Germany! We got to the Channel Tunnel a few hours before our crossing and so paid a little extra to get home earlier than originally planned. This was good as Smith only had prescription sunglasses left after losing his in the disco and he didn’t want to drive home in the dark. As we approached the Maidstone junction on the M20 one of the front tyres blew and deflated quickly. This was very annoying. We managed to pull off the motorway and put the spare on. We were about three miles from my house.
I’ve had the car looked at and it it probably a tracking issue which caused the insides of the tyre to wear down too far. This will hopefully be fixed on Monday or Tuesday. I’m just glad that it blew where it did rather than 500 miles away in Germany. That would have been quite a shitter.
So, M’era Luna 19 was amazing and fun. It was also hard work and a challenge. Next year, we will see what happens. Maybe I’m too old for this shit?