Zero Day Festival – Electrowerkz

Last night I went to Electrowerkz to see a couple of bands as part of the Zero Day Festival the venue was running. It was nice to be back in London, I stared at some buildings as though I’d never been there before, some parts of London surely are pretty. This festival had a number of bands I wanted to see but none more important than Grausame Töchter. I’d been aware of this band for a while but had never had the opportunity to seen them before. I do love the Electrowerkz venue – I still don’t really know my way around and the place just feels “down to Earth”.

Classy Venue Warning
Classy Venue Warning

I drove to the Big City as trains are never as convenient and more expensive [that’s what privatisation does for you]. I found a car park and also chatted to reception to make sure they would be open when I returned. Then Smith and I walked down to the venue, a couple of minutes walk away. There was a band on as we arrived and so we watched them for a while. Patenbrigade:Wolff were on stage. They were dressed in orange boiler suits but in a road maintenance way rather than a scary-Slipknot way. I enjoyed this band and have since got two of their albums.

Patenbrigade:Wolff at Electrowerkz
Patenbrigade:Wolff at Electrowerkz

The music was well constructed and had a good variation. One of the singers just seemed to spend most of the time drinking beer and dancing around. There was a female singer and that was a nice change to their set. Overall I was impressed enough to buy some merchandise. This is mostly because it’s a high-viz jacket and I might wear it at work.

Patenbrigade:Wolff at Electrowerkz
Patenbrigade:Wolff at Electrowerkz

Next up was Grausame Töchter. I knew this was going to be a performance piece and I was looking forward to it. Their songs are super catchy and I think I’m probably happy I don’t know what the lyrics are about. Especially after some of their stageshow.

Grausame Töchter at Electrowerkz
Grausame Töchter at Electrowerkz

I really enjoyed the show and the songs. Some aspects were very slightly disturbing but I guess that’s what good art will do. There was, at times, a naked woman on stage who, in the act, seemed to be forced into killing themself along with holding up placards with various sexual references. The backing singer of the band was a part of Nachtmarh when I saw them at M’era Luna this year. At the summer show she sprayed the audience with water from a water gun. This time she sprayed the audience with a white substance from a giant syringe.

Grausame Töchter at Electrowerkz
Grausame Töchter at Electrowerkz

This show was great fun and I really enjoyed it for the visuals and the music. I knew it would be a “performance” and it turned out to not disappoint. Last on stage were [:SITD:] and they were pretty good. I didn’t enjoy them as much as the second act. For me they were a solid good set, I jus think they lack something in their stage show but each to their own I guess.

[:SITD:] at Electrowerkz
[:SITD:] at Electrowerkz

Overall an enjoyable evening. I beat the Google Maps time for getting home without actually speeding so that was nice. It took two thirds of the time to get home as it did to actually get to the parking spot. London is annoying at times. Anyway, overall, a really enjoyable evening and one that I’ll remember.

Combichrist – Islington Assembly Room

So, I went to see Combichrist. Originally the tickets were for 2020 but we all know the heap of shit that this world turned into in late 2019. It has taken two years and finally I got the chance to see this amazing band (again). Luckily for me I did see them at M’era Luna two weekends ago as they replaced a band who had pulled out. This was my first time at a venue called the Islington Assembly Room – it was easy to get to and seemed very nice inside. The floor was wood and bouncy – I suspect it has been used as a ballroom in the past. The floor got slippery as soon as there was some beer on it.

First band up was a French (?) female rapper called Mimi Barks. I really enjoy her show. I liked the music and her anger. She seemed fierce. Not only that but she was in the pit for Combichrist and also sang a song with Priest and the Combichrist finale.

Mimi Barks - Islington Assembly Hall
Mimi Barks – Islington Assembly Hall

Next up were Priest who, as soon as they appeared on stage, I was convinced I had seen before. Smith couldn’t remember seeing them so I searched this website and found them! I had seem them with my niece one time when we watched Aesthetic Perfection. I will say that this time I thought the singing was better but overall I wasn’t that bothered by their show or music. Just not up to my incredibly high level of tastes!

Priest - Islington Assembly Hall
Priest – Islington Assembly Hall

Then we get Combichrist. I did not recognise any of their first three songs, but then Throat Full Of Glass came on and I was happy. I was on the edge of the pit, I wasn’t quite feeling it as much as at M’era Luna. I think I would say that the pit was more violent and a harsher environment than in Germany and so I wasn’t comfortable getting in. Also, a big part of me just wanted to watch the show. There was a fat twat in the pit who was out of control – I had to move away from the edge of the pit because I was likely to sharply elbow him if he bounced into me. He was a grade A twat.

Combichrist - Islington Assembly Hall
Combichrist – Islington Assembly Hall

Part of me finds it quite fascinating to watch bands up close because you start to see just how much of a job it is. You can see the musicians “acting” on stage, creating a show. I think I had always thought that they got excited for the music they were creating and lost control but that is the job for the audience. The band is there to create that atmosphere. Occasionally I see this in performers, there’s an almost dead look in their eyes, there’s only so much you can do night after night. At this gig I only really noticed this in one of the band members, I guess there’s only so much adoration you can cope with?

Anyway, Elliot Berlin was in the band and I’m a fan. He did two things I thought were amazing. During the very last song he crowd surfed while playing a big fat tom-tom. Earlier in the gig he had jumped off the stage and got into the circle-pit and played guitar while people moshed around him and that for me is the highlight of the show!

Elliot Berlin - Combichrist - Islington Assembly Hall
Elliot Berlin – Combichrist – Islington Assembly Hall

I preferred Combichrist before they were metal.

M’era Luna 2022

THREE YEARS. That’s how long it had been since I’d been anywhere other than the south east of the UK, Lincolnshire or Cornwall [which was twice this month]. Three years since Smith and I had travelled to Germany to see a collection of bands, dress in weird shit and have a great time. The wait was worth it. 2022 was a great year for M’era Luna and I had an amazing time. There was news to make this year’s event even more interesting: a band had to pull out and they were replaced by Combichrist!

The journey out to Germany went well. The Eurotunnel was on time and Smith and I made it to our standard hotel in Bochum with time to explore the centre of the city and get some food. Most of the centre looked like Harlow – a new town in the UK. But we did find a street with some life and many restaurants. It was a hot evening with temperatures hitting 30C. After food and a couple of drinks we headed back to cheap hotel and planned Friday.

We arrived at Hildesheim early and queued for entry into the camp site. Once in we chose a spot far enough away from the noise and close enough to the car. Then we went for a walk to see how the grounds had changed in the three years since we had been there. Friday night is normally disco night but we didn’t go to that. Instead we found a bunch of Germans who we knew and spent some time with them, drinking their beer. It was good fun. The real music started at 1100 on Saturday though.

As with previous years this is where I just copy my notes from my phone. I can’t remember every band or song. I can’t remember what I thought about them. So I make notes as I go and then regurgitate them here. What follows is pretty much, word for word, my notes. Occasionally I will add detail for particular bands as I have remembered more from those appearances.

SATURDAY

Enemy Inside – main stage -I enjoyed this. They had a female lead singer and it was rock/metal.

Enemy Inside - M'era Luna 2022
Enemy Inside – M’era Luna 2022

Rave The Requiem – main stage – I also enjoyed this, christian sounding metal. There were references to religious passages and I couldn’t tell if they were critical or supportive after that.

Ambassador 21 – club stage – industrial punk and was great. I really loved this show.

Ambassador 21 - M'era Luna 2022
Ambassador 21 – M’era Luna 2022

Schattenmann – main stage – actually really enjoyable. Heavy songs. Singer had a chainsaw. Flames from front of stage.

OST+Front – main stage – Enjoyable, very similar to when we last saw them. German new metal. Female dressed in various outfits.

Lacrimas Profundere – main stage – Waiting for Faderhead tbh. Opening bars were really good. But everything else was not. Went to sit in the shade at Club stage.

Solitary Experiments – club stage – perfectly fine but his voice isn’t strong enough. A bit boring really.

Faderhead – club stage – AMAZING. Totally loved this. This was the best attraction on Saturday.

Faderhead - M'era Luna 2022
Faderhead – M’era Luna 2022

Blut Engel – main stage – halfway through when we arrive. Everything Is Black playing. Next song had 4 girls on stage. 4 songs then left to:

In Strict Confidence – club stage – 3 good songs.

Nitzer Ebb – main stage – probably great if you are off your head. Nice beat stuff. But boring live.

SUNDAY

Hell Boulevard – main stage – they sang hit me baby one more time.

Aeverium – main stage – elements of thrash, not really. But I enjoyed it.

Unzucht – main stage – Fuchs yeah. I do love a bit of Unzucht and they were really enjoyable. Great fun.

Feuerschwanz – main stage – medieval rock shit

Combichrist – main stage – Andy and I started the pit and it was good. Thank god. This made the weekend worth it. Totally loved the show.

Combichrist - M'era Luna 2022
Combichrist – M’era Luna 2022

Rotersand – club stage – amazing. Really enjoyable. People came and thanked us for starting the pit during the Combichrist show.

Rotersand - M'era Luna 2022
Rotersand – M’era Luna 2022

Nachtmahr – club stage – good show. Two dancers.

Eisbrecher – main stage – amazing show, really good fun.

And there we have it. A great weekend. Such a shame there were massive delays getting back into the UK but that’s the sort of shit we have to put up with now I guess a bunch of arseholes lied to us. One of the best bits of the weekend for me was Smith’s realisation that paying to have a shit in the posh loos was worth it and made things soooo much better.

The Last Moments - M'era Luna 2022
The Last Moments – M’era Luna 2022

Nachtmahr – Electrowerkz

Last night Smith and I went out! Out! To see a band! Well, two bands really but it was out and my first time in London since February 2020 when we saw Aesthetic Perfection. We got the train in and booked into our hotel room – proper full on night out! After getting changed we headed to Electrowerkz, which was quite close to the hotel and entered. I had forgotten my photo ID and the security people were very good at sorting that out as I had photos of all my ID on my phone, they accepted me fortunately.

Electrowerkz Welcome
Electrowerkz Welcome

I loved this touch of some old CRT showing a logo as we walked up the steps. It added to the feel of the place. We didn’t see the first two bands as we were drinking and chatting to the merchandise people. I think I bought some dog tags, but I have no idea where I put them, I’ll have to have a look shortly. I liked the few changes that had been made to the building and ambiance, the main floor looked really good.

Before The Crowds - Electrowerkz
Before The Crowds – Electrowerkz

Reaper is a band/person we had wanted to see for a long time as a couple of his albums are really good. A nice split between industrial and EBM. I enjoyed his set although I think there could have been some other songs added to make it greater but I guess you have to trust the artist and the things they want to play might not be what I want to hear.

Reaper - X-Junkie
Reaper – X-Junkie

I really enjoyed the Reaper set. It was about this time that I started to appreciate the new sound system in the room. I could hear all the nuance in the songs, which I knew quite well anyway, and this was a surprise as normally my hearing dies quite quickly into a gig and I can’t tell what’s going on apart from noise.

Nachtmahr - Electrowerkz
Nachtmahr – Electrowerkz

Nachtmahr were brilliant. They played a great set and the crowd really liked it. I don’t think this makes a top ten of gigs, but it’s definitely in the top half. I had a great time and danced quite a bit – I think the alcohol helped a lot with that. Overall this was a good gig. A couple of great bands and really good fun. Brilliant!

This is communication number 1977 and so in keeping with recent tradition I list below some events of that year:

  • Jimmy Carter pardons Vietnam draft dodgers.
  • The rings of Uranus are discovered.
  • Optical Fibre is used to transmit phone calls for the first time.
  • 165 Killed in a fire in Kentucky.
  • Never Mind The Bollocks is released by the Sex Pistols.

It’s Just Like Exercise

I wrote recently about a damn good gig that I went to, Aesthetic Perfection, at the Lounge 666 or whatever it’s called. Because technology is so wonderful and lovely I can now show you a graph of my heart rate throughout that day.

Gig Heart Rate
Gig Heart Rate

There are three main aspects to this graph to chat about. The first is that low bit at the beginning. It’s me asleep. I’d have to compare it to my REM patterns to know what the little blips are in that section. Then, there’s me waking up at the little alarm clock symbol. The running man symbol is where I went for a run and the break in the graph is where I took my watch off for a shower. The low level preceding the first grey man is me driving my car into London for the show. The peak at the first grey man is me walking from where I parked the car to the venue. The next big dip is me eating food and so sitting down. Then, the bouncy bit is me bouncing at the concert.

The second grey man is me walking back to the car from the concert and then my watch thought I had fallen asleep because there’s a “Zzz” symbol. In reality that we me driving home from London and my heartrate stabilised because I wasn’t doing much. You can see that this resting heart rate is still higher than my normal sleeping rate. Finally the small peak just before the end is me walking from where I had to park the car in my village to my house.

This level of detail is pretty cool but I do wonder if it’s worth knowing? All that extra data I have about everything I do but does it change my life? I don’t know.

Slipknot – The O2

Slipknot

Given how close The O2 is to where I live this was the first time I had been there to see a concert. I went there a long time ago to see some tennis but this was the first music event. The “Millennium Dome” as it was known a long time ago was considered a GBP1 Billion white elephant in the early days of the Blair government. The display area was shit. I know, I went there. I never saw the “show” in the arena it was meant to be a bit like a circus – I guess there’s video of it but I care not. I’d also been a couple of other times most notably to see a Star Wars exhibition.

Anyway. Dave from work drove and we met up with Smith and Son. We ate. I drank. We entered the arena just after Behemoth had started.

Behemoth
Behemoth

I didn’t find them particularly good. They were quite boring. There wasn’t much dynamic shift to their songs and it was rather – meh. But still it was an opportunity to study the stage construction and layout of the arena. I noticed plenty of structural high beams, they were interesting, and the cable work holding up the PA system was impressive. Yep, that’s the sort of stuff I find interesting. I think it comes from having and engineering degree and thinking about how stuff works a lot.

The headliners were Slipknot. I was quite excited as I’d been listening to their stuff all week and I have to admit it’s pretty good stuff. It had also been quite a while since we had seen a metal headline act in an arena. Smith and I normally see either small bands in small venues or the classic M’era Luna festival in Germany.

The Stage and Slipknot
The Stage and Slipknot

Slipknot were pretty darn good. They kept the crowd going and all their songs were great. I really enjoyed it. At some points the mosh pit extended two thirds of the way back on the standing area and I don’t think I’ve ever really seen that before.

It was curious to see adverts for Slipknot stuff on the large screens before the band. They were advertising Knotfest which is an open air concert to take place at the National Bowl in Milton Keynes. Then, there was Slipknot whiskey made in Iowa. I mean, sure, you can buy it if you want but are you into a band that much that you want all your kit branded that way? In my experience it’s best to like the music, enjoy the shows and then not worry too much about the other stuff. Buying into a band completely always leaves you exposed to being failed when they turn out to be cunts. Not saying Slipknot are, just saying some bands are.

The Crowd and Slipknot
The Crowd and Slipknot

There was also an advert for some cruise thing from Barcelona to Naples with Slipknot appearing on board playing two shows. You can pay to be stuck on a cruise [honestly sounds quite nice] and then in the evening there will be some gigs. That’s not so bad I reckon. The Norwegian Jade will be a floating music festival and decked out like a museum to this Iowan band.

Slipknot Cruise Price List
Slipknot Cruise Price List

I don’t have this sort of money. The largest venue holds 2500 which is a reasonable size. It would be a pretty special time, but it is an outdoor venue and if the weather is shit you are screwed. Maybe the other bands would make it worthwhile? I don’t know. Maybe I’ll do this kind of thing once I’m retired.

Slipknot were pretty good on stage. There was the expected crowd interaction and I enjoyed it all. I don’t think I’m that fussed about seeing them again though. I think I am slowly seeking new things, new sounds or shows. My limit seems to be two times for seeing bands at the moment. I say this when I’m soon to see Aesthetic Perfection for the seventh time!

Good show. Good time. Enjoyed it. What more do you want?

iVardensphere – Electrowerkz

Smith and I travelled to attend the Beat Cancer 2.0 festival last night. Last year we saw Freakangel play somewhere in east London and now the fund raising jaunt returned in a bigger venue and with eight bands. The gig was based in the large room downstairs at Electrowerkz and there was a small bar set up but there wasn’t really a lot of space. It looked like there was a wedding going on in the Tube Train room – you’ll know what I mean if you’ve been there.

So the music started about ninety minutes late. The organiser blamed Lufthansa as the headline band, iVardensphere, were in Germany at the beginning of the day and without planes had to get to London. They managed this and set up but the running order was late by a long way. I had an important event to attend the next morning and so while the event was scheduled to finish at midnight I didn’t mind that once the delay was announced it made seeing all the bands rather problematic. I guess most people attending didn’t have to march through a town in a Remembrance Parade eight hours later.

First band up were Drakenwerks who I had missed by turning up late to another gig when they supported Nachtmahr. My notes say that the band was made of a man and woman, they were OK and played upbeat electronics with a hint of EBM.

Drakenwerks - Electrowerkz
Drakenwerks – Electrowerkz

The lighting rig seemed to consist of single colour washes for each song. In the above I caught a “green” song.

Then there was Vain Machine. Two chaps from the USA and it was their first time in London. It was a bit too goth for me. They even played a terrible cover version of “I was made for loving you” by Kiss.

Vain Machine - Electrowerkz
Vain Machine – Electrowerkz

Then there was the band of the organisers. The people who run this charity gig had a band and they played. It was experimental bullshit. A wall of noise. It was terrible. They were called Bein-E. Their full name was a massive German word but I only saw it on one piece of literature and didn’t make a note of it.

Bein-E - Electrowerkz
Bein-E – Electrowerkz

Then there was Cygnosic. This band was much more upbeat. The vocals were “growly” and while I didn’t understand what they were saying it was an improvement on most of the previous bands. The only problem was that their songs had no variation within. The structure was a single unit and lasted three minutes and stopped. I needed some form of difference as the song progressed. Judging by the accent of the singer when he spoke the band were from Spain or maybe Italy or similar [if they are Portuguese then I’ve probably offended a whole country!].

Cygnosic - Electrowerkz
Cygnosic – Electrowerkz

It was now 23:00 and there were three bands to go. iVardensphere wouldn’t finish until around 01:30 and I had stuff I was required to do the next morning. I had to call it a day and drive home. I’m gutted, but at least I have seen the Sphere before. They were really good both previous times but I can’t change my schedule. I’ll see them again one day soon I expect.

I missed:

  • Nature Of Wires
  • C-Lekktor
  • iVardensphere

So, after all that I saw five bands of varying degrees of not-good and the one band I really wanted to see I couldn’t as I had to get home to parade the next morning in Maidstone. I was gutted but also aware of my commitments and limitations. It was good to see the Smith.

M’era Luna 2019

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.

Lovely skies above the campsite
Campsite Sky

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.

Friday Night at M'era Luna
Friday Night at M’era Luna

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.

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 at M'era Luna
Saturday at M’era Luna

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.

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.

Agonoize - Hangar Stage, M'era Luna
Agonoize – Hangar Stage, M’era Luna

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.

SITD - Hangar Stage, M'era Luna
SITD – Hangar Stage, M’era Luna

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.

Die Krupps - Hangar Stage, M'era Luna
Die Krupps – Hangar Stage, M’era Luna

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.

Saturday Steps
Saturday Steps

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.

Sunday at M'era Luna
Sunday at M’era Luna

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.

Fear Of Domination - Main Stage, M'era Luna
Fear Of Domination – Main Stage, M’era Luna

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.

Combichrist - Main Stage, M'era Luna
Combichrist – Main Stage, M’era Luna

There’s a video of the Combichrist gig. This one was amazing. You can see it here:
https://www.ndr.de/nachrichten/niedersachsen/Mera-Luna-2019-Combichrist-spielen-in-Hildesheim,combichrist104.html

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.

Goodnight Skies - M'era Luna
Goodnight Skies – M’era Luna

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.

Suicide Commando - Hangar Stage, M'era Luna
Suicide Commando – Hangar Stage, M’era Luna

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:

Wankum, De
Wankum, De

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?

Rammstein – MK Stadium

This Was Warm

Last Saturday I went to see Rammstein play their current set at the MK Stadium in Milton Keynes. It was bloody amazeballs.

Early Fire
Early Fire

I had spent the previous week at RAF Shawbury with a cadet camp which was already a brilliant week and I then topped it off with this brilliant show. I drove down from the West Midlands to Milton Keynes and met with Smith in a supermarket car park. This gig is an important one because he had brought his kids along, their first major gig. You could tell that there was a slight trepidation from the eldest [around 14] but the youngest displayed nothing but sheer excitement [around 12].

The support band were two women who played pianos on a stage just in front of our seats. It was nice but I didn’t really pay attention. I was suffering with the effects of being tired and so I read a book on the development of the pressure suit for high altitude flying published by Nasa. It wasn’t bad but I needed to rest!

Extinguishers?
Extinguishers?

Rammstein themselves were amazing. Absolutely amazing. The show they put on is remarkable and worth every penny of the 7500 for the cost of a ticket. There were the normal theatrics with lots of fire. And I mean lots of fire. There were black clouds bellowing over the stadium at certain points during the show and I wondered what it must look like to someone outside the stadium.

Angel Of Fire
Angel Of Fire

There were many highlights. Every song had its own act. The keyboardist being burnt in a massive cauldron, the burning to death of a giant baby, the massive riding cock for the song “Pussy”, and flames shooting from guitars.

This might seem odd but the dance track halfway through made my night. That was the moment I thought “this is the best show ever”. One of the guitarists DJd while being lifted high above the stage and the other members of the band came on with suits that lit up along the limbs. They then performed a dance routine to an electronic version of thier own song. What balls, to make 30,000 metal fans listen and dance to electronic music. This band have it all.

This was the best show I have ever seen and is the third best gig I have been to. The Prodigy last year at M’era Luna may have been an excellent show, I don’t know I can’t remember any of it. This concert would have been top of the list had I been in the pit. You have to take whatever you can from a gig and I loved this but part of me hankered to be in the mild violence of the circle. I still had a great time. My top three gigs are: Combichrist Old School, The Prodigy and Rammstien – this one.

This Was Warm
This Was Warm

This is the thrid time I have seen Rammstein and it was bloody brilliant.

“Did I mention? I’m seeing Rammstein in Milton Keynes this weekend.”

Aesthetic Perfection – O2 Islington

Last night I went to the O2 Academy in Islington with my niece to see Aesthetic Perfection. We drove into town as it just makes it easier to get home and not worry about running to get the last train. After arriving we had burritos for dinner and then headed to the venue.

Machine Rox were playing, this was a slight surprise as they weren’t on the bill as far as I knew but we watched them anyway.

Machine Rox
Machine Rox

I didn’t mind them. The singer owned the dress she was wearing and that was excellent. I couldn’t understand what she was singing though and that seems to be a bit of a flaw. The drummer doesn’t really do much and the guitarist is pretty cool in his silver outfit and lights on his head. They were OK.

Next up was Amelia Arsenic. I hadn’t heard of her before this series of concerts and so was curious. She came on stage and explained that her band were stuck in Cincinnati and she’d been hit by a car the day before. She had a computer set up to play the music and her performance was really good. I could understand what she was singing and really enjoyed the show.

Amelia Arsenic
Amelia Arsenic

I can’t remember how many tracks she sang but I was impressed. On my next pay day I think I’ll be buying some of her work. I don’t think there are enough female artists in this genre and it’s good to see more. She had a wonderful confidence and even came and sang the last verse in the crowd.

Priest were up next. I’m still not sure what to make of this band. I enjoyed it for a while and his signing impressed me but the songs didn’t vary much and were built around his seemingly classically trained voice. I thought I detected a slight French accent but I may have been wrong there. Apart from the outfits there didn’t seem to be much going on stage.

Priest
Priest

I’ve just checked and the band are from Sweden, so that explains why I thought they were French. I did like that the singer called themselves:

The Cybernetic Trinity known as Priest

It was a nice touch. I don’t think I’d need to see more of them though.

The headliners were Aesthetic Perfection. I’ve seen this band a few times and have always enjoyed the show. They were the second EBM type band that I started listening to and so are one of my original favourites along with Combichrist. Also, now that Joe Letz plays with AP I think that means I have seen him perform more times than any other musician.

Aesthetic Perfection
Aesthetic Perfection

I was curious to see how the band handled the new guitar influences on the new album but the keyboardist played the guitar on two songs and I think it worked. I like the new album a lot and so to hear the songs live was very exciting.

The band played a solid set and it was very enjoyable. It’s nice to be part of a crowd that really sings along and joins in. These guys are excellent showmen and the addition of Joe Letz brings the album sounds to life. I always think that live drummers add more to the sound than they cost. I really like it when electronic bands do that.

Classic Guitar Pose
Classic Guitar Pose

This gig was good fun and I enjoyed it immensely. AP are still one of my favourite bands and I will continue to see them when they come over. A good solid evening of music.