M’era Luna 2015

Smith and I travelled to Germany to a music festival over the summer. We searched many festivals to find the right one for price, distance and bands, although that wasn’t the order of the criteria. We settled on M’era Luna, a gothic/industrial festival that takes place on an old British Army Air Corps airfield near the town of Hildesheim, just south of Hanover.

On the Friday we traversed the channel via a train that carries cars [just imagine! a train that can carry cars! UNDER the sea! We humans are ingenious!] and headed to Germany. We used just a Sat Nav device, neither of us had a proper map. France, Belgium and the Netherlands were all pretty boring and we longed for some hills or vague scenery. The world kept track of our journey via twitter.

The route took us on the ring roads of two large towns and the traffic slowed a lot around them, hindering our progress! Once in Germany we travelled fast on the autobahn although we did have a detour around the northern edges of Dortmund as the sat-nav didn’t quite warn about a lane change on a slip road in time and then the next junction was closed. Dortmund looked like the edges of any town.

The temperature was hitting 32 Celsius along the way and finally we arrived at the airport near Hildesheim. 500 miles, 1 tank of diesel and plenty of snacks and LOTs of music.

We only just managed to find somewhere to put up the tent. There wasn’t a great deal of space left in any of the campsite. Our spot was furthest as could be from the main festival area, but reasonable close to toilets and leaving on the Sunday.

That evening we wandered the festival area, drank some alcohol already purchased from a service station and went to the disco hangar. There was some pretty good music played and it was good fun.

After a good sleep we awoke to find that the air bed had stayed up and was really comfortable. We both went about our routines to get ready to leave our tent area. I needed to satisfy my caffeine addiction and stave off withdrawal symptoms by finding more caffeine to ingest. Just as we were getting dressed Andy managed to puncture the airbed. It slowly deflated. We found a repair kit and tried to stick on a patch. We would have to wait 6 hours before we knew whether it had worked.

I found coffee. I also found some food. The weather for the Saturday was meant to be slightly overcast with a chance of rain showers. It had rained quite heavily in the early morning but the ground was so dry from the scorching summer that it didn’t really create any puddles or mud. Shortly after the sun had arisen the whole place was dry. Once we were ready we headed to the festival area to check out the shops, food places and mediaeval village (with food places and shops). It was also a good chance to see how the arena and hanger were set up so we knew where toilets, drink entrances, exits etc.

There now follows a list of bands we saw with comments about them if I can remember them. It is a good few months since the festival while writing this, unlike my detailed descriptions about Download.

  • Nachtgeschrei
  • Versengeld (with person playing the hurdy gurdy and another on bag pipes)
  • Speilbann
  • Coppellius (who played some Maiden covers in the style of mediaeval rock)
  • The Other
  • Frozen Plasma (half of this band is Reaper which is good, but Frozen Plasma were a bit dull)
  • Lord of the Lost
  • L’ame Immortal
  • Aesthetic Perfection (3rd or 4th time seeing these and they were awesome)
  • In Strict Confidence (surprisingly ok even with a female singer)
  • Blut Engel (just no)
  • X-RX this band replaced Suicide Commando who had to pull out of the weekend. They were good and I liked it, but left to see . . . .
  • Rob Zombie who just blew the competition away and was professionally brilliant.

Sunday started with the search for caffeine and then food. The air bed did not stay inflated and so the night was reasonably uncomfortable. We had decided we would probably leave M’era Luna that evening and then drive as far as we could home before kipping in the car. The bands on Sunday were:

  • Private Pact (a bad goth, stand still, band)
  • Schwarzer Engel getting better, quite thrash, goth and heavy.
  • Unzucht were just a great band with heavy thrash riffs and a great guitarist.
  • Dope Stars Inc. were good but looked as though they had just come from the 80s!
  • Tying Tiffany was the surprise of the weekend. They started slow and boring but from the third song onwards it was full of energy and heavy. Just a great find for the summer.
  • Assemblage 23 dull. very dull.
  • Rotersand a great band, a great show and really put previous band to shame. I loved it.
  • Nachtmahr were slightly disappointing. It’s hard to pin point this. Their music is very good. But live, they just didn’t capture the mood. It was almost boring, even with two women acting out a fetish scene it was dull. Can’t quite figure it out.
  • Nightwish we said we would stay for two songs but managed just a half of one song. We then drove towards the UK.

A strange thing about the German crowds is that if you had your spot to watch from everyone stayed in that spot. No-one moved when a band appeared. There was no crush at the front. Andy and I were in the second row for a number of bands on the Sunday and there was room to dance, moved around and no crush. This was actually refreshing and pleasant. It made the weekend a much more enjoyable event that had there been the UK crush.

It was easy to leave the festival as the final band hadn’t finished. The roads were clear and we made fast progress across Germany and then the Netherlands. We agreed between us that we would stop at the first rest area we found after midnight. It was fascinating to see how the landscape changed from central Germany to the low lands. Flat and straight is pretty much every road after Germany. We stopped at some services about 1km before the Belgian border. I think we slept ok.

The Monday we woke, I found caffeine and then we drove towards Calais. We arrived at the tunnel way before we were due but we paid some extra money to be on an earlier train. This was worth it as it meant I got home before my family left for other things.

The excitement of the weekend continued to the Monday evening as Combichrist played the O2 Islington thing.