Review of the REWIND Festival in Ghent (DAY TWO) with VNV Nation, Diary of Dreams, Vomito Negro,.. (Ghent, 13 April 2013)Concert
25/04/2013, Philippe BLACKMARQUIS
After a fantastic first day, which attracted nearly 1000 fans, the REWIND Fest 2013 started as of 17:45 for another series of very interesting acts.
The first band, Der Klinke, is one of the most interesting new Belgian acts for the moment. Led by Chesko, aka Geert Vandekerkhof (with such a name, he was doomed to become a Goth..), the band has released two albums and one EP, which have been widely acclaimed in Belgium and abroad. Their music is dark and powerful, a great combination between 80s and 90s sounds. Fad Gadget meets Project Pitchfork, to give you an idea.
At the REWIND Fest, the concert hall was already well populated, so early in the evening, when they started, a proof of their growing popularity. The concert was, as a whole, very professional, with a great musical quality and nice video's. Chesko was of course the main point of attention on stage: he was concentrated, maybe a little nervous, but always fascinating in his deeply-felt interpretation of the songs. He was accompanied by Heidi Van Tiggelen on keyboards, Marco Varotta on guitars, Sam Claeys on bass and Chris De Neve on drums. The setlist focused on the album "Second Sun" and on the EP "The Doll". The intensity was high during the complete concert but my favorite moments were "Second Sun", on which the chorus was sung by Sam Claeys and of course, "Where It Ends", which featured a nice surprise: Gerd, aka CUVG, from The Arch, joined the band on stage to give an extra push on the choruses: impressive!
After this, Der Klinke played "The Doll", a song which is clearly their biggest hit: a perfect rhythm pattern, inspired by Fad Gadget's "Lady Shave" (dixit Chesko himself!), combined with a repetitive and mesmerizing melody... This song could be their "Timekiller" and from what Chesko told me, it's really becoming a club hit all over Europe. In a nutshell, it was a great concert! And make no mistake: this band is poised to become a major international act...
Setlist: Pictures In My Mind, Second Sun, In Flames, Where It Ends, The Doll, Las Fàbricas, Castle In The Dark.
Check the pictures by Xavier Marquis here.
After the show, we had a great backstage interview with Chesko!
The second act was Psyche, the legendary Canadian band. Centered around Darrin C. Huss, who remains the only constant member, Psyche was founded in the early 80s and was at first a harsh new-wave band, known for its alternative performances, a bit like Fad Gadget. Later, the music of Psyche evolved towards dark synth-pop/Futurepop, a genre which they contributed to pioneer.
Psyche had already played at the REWIND Mini Fest in 2011. This year, their show was a celebration of their 30 years of existence! Today, Darin C. Huss is accompanied by Stefan Rabura and they are based in Germany. Before the gig, Huss had asked his Facebook fans to suggest songs to play at the REWIND Fest and the band started with a gothic, dramatic introduction: "Buried Alive", a song from the "11th Hour" album. Huss sang this very dark, gloomy song with all his heart, and at the end, we were simply flabergasted when he maintained a very high note for a long time with incredible power. After "Maggots", Darin introduced "The Brain Collapses" as the "birth song of the band, some 30 years ago". From then on, it was a series of dark synth-pop dancefloor hits, during which Darin sang and danced like crazy, constantly moving around the stage like a frantic Marc Almond, while at the same time performing his vocal parts with perfect precision.
In "Unveiling The Secret", a song from 1986, you could easily identify the influence Psyche had on synth-pop acts like Covenant (eg. on their song "Dead Stars"). Psyche also did a cover of Joy Division's "Disorder" and ended the set with the classic "Goodbye Horses", made famous by the movie The Silence Of The Lambs. Check the video here. A very nice concert, by a band which stands out for its longevity, its integrity and its... great music!
Setlist: Buried Alive, Maggots, The Brain Collapses, Uncivilized, 15 Minutes, Disorder, Misery, Unveiling The Secret, Goodbye Horses
Check the pictures by Xavier Marquis here.
Thanks to the band's lovely manager (thanks Tyne!), we had the opportunity to talk with Darin C. Huss after the show. Check the interview:
Because of this interview, I could only see a few songs of Star Industry's concert. It was a special moment for this Belgian Gothic Rock band as they gave their very first concert at the Vooruit back in 1998 (at the Black Easter festival). So this concert was their 15 years celebration show. Up to now, they have released three studio albums, a live album and one EP. They are sometimes disregarded in Belgium as being a mere copy of Sisters of Mercy but make no mistake: they have a lot of success! They played a lot of concerts and festivals all over Europe and even toured in China! Their most well known hit is "Nineties". Since Sisters of Mercy are no longer releasing new material, they are the ideal band for those who love the 80s Gothic Rock genre. I filmed them performing "Sin", from their album "Last Crusades" (Alfa Matrix - 2008): check the video below:
Setlist (to be confirmed): Pray, Sin, Ceremonial, Lost Generation, Like A Ghost, Kids, Eylene, Nineties, Sodium Haze
Check the pictures here.
The next band was a historical electronic act: Underviewer. Created by Jean-Luc De Meyer, singer (Front242, 32Crash, Modern Cubism) and Patrick Codenys, keys/producer (Front 242) before they joined Front 242, this project consists of minimalistic, electronic and experimental tracks based on analog synthesizers. We had already seen the act at the Bodyfarm festival, at the Rockerill in October 2012 and at the BIM Fest 2012 but Underviewer is always a unique exeperience.
On stage, Codenys was hidden on the back of the stage behind two transparent curtains, on which video's and animations were projected. At the microphone, Jean-Luc De Meyer had a more natural look and attitude than in Front 242 shows, without military clothes or sunglasses. The setlist was basically the same as at the BIM Fest but in a different order. They started with "Crazy Gog" and "Was Soll", two wonderful electronic tracks, in which you can already hear the premises of what would become the EBM sound. The highlight was the most famous song of the duo: "Kampfbereit", a song sung in German which was adopted by Front 242, was released on the first edition of Geography and is still on the F242 setlist 30 years later.
"Trouble" was also striking: it is a hauntingly slow song, based on only two chords, a bit like Joy Division's "Atmosphere". It was released on the vintage 2CD reissue of Geography. The band went on with the beautiful, ambient instrumental "I Remember", followed by "Monolove", "Evil In" and "Wonder", a song about Fukushima.
Overall, it was a fascinating set, a sort of trip into the proto-Front era, presented by two of the forerunners of synth-wave and EBM. An "Underviewer" being a person who inspects mines, well during their concert, we felt like visitors exploring an archaeological site of modern electronic music! But the songs sounded much more powerful than in their original version, thanks to a great production work done to 'update' the sounds. Impressive! There are rumors that Underviewer might be preparing a new release... We are looking forward to it!
Setlist: Intro, Crazy Gog, Was Soll, Memories, Kampfbereit, Stranded, No Reply, Trouble, I Remember, Monolove, Evil In, Wonder, Echobeach, Quest outro.
Check the pictures of the concert by Xavier Marquis here.
The Invincible Spirit
Founded in 1984, this German EBM/industrial band evolved from playing harsh but melodic old-school EBM in the 80s, to synthpop in the middle of the 90s and their present industrial/darkwave-sound. As soon as they sarted their first song, "Love Is A Mystery", it was clear that those guys would steal the show. Immediately, the public moved and danced to a very powerful and efficient beat. Thomas Luedke, the singer, had an impressive stage presence, and reminded me of Gabi, from DAF, a band which clearly influenced the band. After "Showdown" and "Provoke you", which kept the pace high, they played "Devil Dance", one of their hits, which dates from 1984 and is a clear forerunner of the electro-goth music of the 90s (Project Pitchfork, Eternal Afflict, Wumpscut,...). Everything is already there, the devilish vocals and lyrics, the pounding rhythm and the minor synth chords. When I asked Luedke about this at the BIM, he was of course too modest to admit it...
During "Deeper", from their mini-album "The Invincible Sex" (2004), Myk Jung, singer of the German band The Fair Sex, joined TIS on stage to sing together with Luedke. But the most successful song was again "Push", their popular EBM/New-beat club-hit from 1986. On this song, the whole venue was moving and dancing! A very impressive show, one of the most powerful of the festival.
Setlist: Love is a kind of mystery, Floating, Showdown, Provoke you, Devil Dance, Contact, Power And Outlaw, Deeper, Push!, Your God in me.
Check the pictures of the concert by Xavier Marquis here.
Again, I had to go backstage for an interview, so I only saw the first song of this concert. But I had already seen the band's show in August at the Summer Darkness Festival and I really liked it! For those who don't know: Vomito Negro was created by Gin Devo in 1982! The name refers to the last stage of yellow fever when the patient vomits his black rotting intestines. The music is dark electro, usually in slow tempos but with a lot of dynamics. The feeling is aggressive and industrial with lyrics dealing with SM, violence, hypocrisy and more recently, politics and the fall of the great nations.
At the REWIND Fest, the first song "Ennemy Of State" was a new track from the album "Fall Of An Empire" (2012). The second song, on the contrary, was an old song from the 80s, "Tape X". On stage, Gin Devo gets all the attraction, as he sings, produces sound effects with his small Doepfer synth or hits a black oil barrel to strengthen the rythm. With Vomito Negro, we reach the deepest levels of dark music and imagery, like with Suicide Commando or Wumpscut: wicked! The band ended the show with "No Hope" but had not enough time to play "Feel The Heat". From what I saw, it was a strong act!
Setlist: Intro, Ennemy Of The State, Tape X, Factory Child, Power On Demand, Emerging Souls, Dance With Death, Blood Sweat & Tears, Burning Man, Dare, The Needle, Black Power, No Hope.
Check the pictures by Xavier Marquis here.
Diary of Dreams
It's over midnight when Adrian Hate takes the stage together with his team: Gaun:A (guitar), Flex (guitar), Dejan (drums) and Taste (keyboards). Created in 1994, Diary Of Dreams is definitely one of the best German bands in the romantic darkwave genre, together with their friends of Diorama. The last time we saw them was at the concert organized by Bodybeats at the Zappa in Antwerp.
At REWIND, they played a combination of new songs from their last album, "Ego:X", plus a series of old classics. "Lebenslang" was catchy with its keyboard riff, "Mein-Eid" had a typical DOD melancholy atmosphere, but the strongest new track were "Undividable" and "Butterfly Dance", with their pulsating beat, fluid guitar lines and melodic chorus. They provoked excellent reactions from the audience. They also played ‘False Affection, False Creation’, which is the first song they recorded. As usual, Adrian Hates has a very strong presence on stage, walking all across the stage and engaging fans to sing along in choruses.They ended the set with two absolute classics: "The Curse" and "Kindrom".
Setlist: Intro, Lebenslang, The Wedding, The Plague, False Affection False Creature, Mein Eid, King Of Nowhere, Undividable, Butterfly Dance, Chemicals, The Curse, Kindrom. Pictures here.
It was 1:30 when the headliners started their set. No need to present VNV Nation: when they formed, in 1990, this English/Irish band combined elements of synthpop, EBM and trance into a whole new musical genre: Futurepop. "VNV" stands for "Victory not Vengeance" and they can say they have won because they are now headlining the biggest goth festivals all around the world. Some of us remember their show at the Vooruit back in 1998, at the Black Easter Festival: we had witnessed the emergence of a major musical act in our scene!
Like Covenant, VNV Nation are the perfect headliners because they have an incredible series of dancefloor killers, which everyone knows by heart. On the stage, the founding members Ronan Harris (vocals) and Mark Jackson (drums) were accompanied by two keyboard players. Ronan, dressed in his classical black shirt with two white lines, immediately started interacting with the audience. The tracks "Chrome" and "Time & Space" were the perfect kick-off songs. 'Reverend' Ronan walked all across the stage, engaging the audience to participate and to have fun. Which they did! The complete concert hall, including the balconies were packed with people shouting and dancing like crazy.
The band went on with two other club songs until it was time for "Illusion", a slow and beautiful song dedicated to Sophie Lancaster, the girl who was murdered in a park in England in 2007 simply because "she was gothic". The feeling during this song was magical, very touching, with the audience singing along: "Please don't go.. I want you to stay..."
After this, the band pushed on the accelerator and played a series of dancefloor hits, like "Joy" or "Nemesis". Ronan really held the audience in the palm of his hands and the atmosphere reached its climax on the last two songs of the set, both from Automatic. In "Control", the electro/techno progressions made the audience literally scream and the show ended on an extremely powerful note. In the encore, the band played three songs, "Nova", "Beloved" and "Perpetual". In the same way as Eskil (Covenant) had done the day before, Ronan dedicated a song ("Nova") to Vince, a young Belgian fan who recently died of mucoviscidose at the age of 17. Our deep thoughts go to his parents, Phil and Ann. A very emotional moment. During "Perpetual", Ronan managed to have all the audience sing the keyboard riff and when the music had stopped for good, he stayed for another 5 minutes more, just talking and interacting with his fans with the lights on. Amazing. Again, Ronan Harris proved to be one of the best performers in our scene, deeply human and really caring for his fans. A perfect wrap-up show for the festival.
Setlist: Chrome, Space & Time, Testament, Darkangel, Illusion, Further, Joy, Nemesis, Legion Live, Farthest Star, Resolution, Control. Encore: Nova, Beloved, Perpetual. Pictures here.
A big thank you to Filip Delens and the REWIND team for this wonderful festival! See you next year!
RADICAL G • Wasp EP
IGORRR • Hallelujah
IMPLANT • The Productive Citizen
ASYNJE • Genkaldt
• Review of the REWIND Festival in Ghent (DAY ONE) with Covenant, Neon Judgement, The Klinik, Red Zebra, SA42, Lebanon Hanover and Simi Nah (Ghent, 12 April 2013)
BARRY LEVINSON • THE BAY
FOLK NOIR • Songs From Home
DIRTY SOUND MAGNET • What lies beneath
SHINESKI • Leave you in the dark ep
L.E.A.F. • L.E.A.F.
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