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02/08/2012 :  - Review of the Summer Darkness festival (DAY THREE) with Vomito Negro, Parade Ground, Camerata Mediolanense (Utrecht, 29 July 2012)

Review of the Summer Darkness festival (DAY THREE) with Vomito Negro, Parade Ground, Camerata Mediolanense (Utrecht, 29 July 2012)

Concert


[85/100]   
02/08/2012, Philippe BLACKMARQUIS

Day One

Day Three (Sunday)

Belgium was again strongly present in the program on Sunday, with Vomito Negro, Parade Ground and Suicide Commando's second show. Vomito Negro opened on the main stage with a strong act characterized by aggressive industrial EBM songs dealing with SM, violence and anarchy. The first song "Ennemy Of State" was a new song, that will be part of the band's next album, "Fall Of An Empire", due in September. The second song, on the contrary, was an old song from the 80s, "Tape X". Well, yes, it was way back in 1983 that Gin Devo formed Vomito Negro ("Black Vomit", one symptom of yellow fever)... In the setlist, there were of course tracks from "Skulls and Bones", the band's last album, eg "Black Tie, White Shirt" or "Blood, Sweat & Tears" and from the last EP, "Slave Nation". 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. In the hall, the atmosphere couldn't be darker. With Vomito Negro, we reach the deepest levels of dark music and imagery, even darker than Suicide Commando or Wumpscut: wicked! The band ended the show with "Feel The Heat" from the 2K10 Remixes. An impressive performance! We are looking forward to Gin's forthcoming album!

The Dutch public must think that we are all nuts in Belgium, because after the very dark Vomito Negro, it was time for the crazy Pauly brothers from Parade Ground to take the stage. Again, a band which was created in the early 80s. They were pioneers of Cold Wave and EBM but also included elements of synth-pop and post-punk. The band doesn't give a lot of shows but it's always a 'happening': you never know what to expect. In this case, they produced a true "choreography of chaos". All the songs were adapted to become walls of noise and both Pierre and Jean-Marc behaved like in a frantic trance, with crazy mimics and gestures. Pierre doesn't seem to like microphones because here again, he hit his forehead with his microphone and started to bleed. He was wearing a white shirt, on which a woman standing in the first rows was projecting slides via a slide-projector. Fun! Pierre was alternatively playing very loud guitars and a small Korg synth while Jean-Marc was struggling to place his vocals above the noisy cacophony. The video's projected behind on the stage presented soldiers, war and industrial decadence. The whole gave an impression of an apocalyptic tribal ritual, full of violence and tension. The audience was intrigued, if not shocked but they seemed to appreciate the weird 'over the top' approach of the band. Note that Parade Ground have truly interesting records, like eg, their album "Cut Up", with real songs and not as 'messy' as their live renderings. They have also reissued "A Room With a View" on tape and they will play at the ESN festival in Tournai in September...

We were looking forward to seeing The Exploding Boy, the Swedish post-punk revival band but we left the hall after a few songs. The sound was very bad, the main singer and guitarist could not sing properly and the music was a very bad mixture of post-punk cliché's and college music à la Green Day. A huge disappointment.

To change the atmosphere radically, we walked through the beautiful city of Utrecht, with its water channels and old restored houses, to get to the Leeuwenberg Church, a desacralised church where dark folk concerts were programmed. We arrived too late for Kiss The Anus Of A Black Cat, the Belgian band, but we watched the concert of Camerata Mediolanense, an Italian band from Milano. Created in 1994, the band plays darkwave/neoclassical music, with folk elements. Head of the project is diplomated classical composer Elena Previdi, other members come from different trainings and musical experiences: percussionist and singer Trevor and percussionist Manuel Aroldi come from the post-punk scene, while the beautiful and mysterious lead singer Daniela Bedeski has a past in folk music. During their set, they covers different style of traditional music from Italy and Europe, using martial percussions, lyrical voices, keyboards and electronic devices. A great moment in the mystic environment of the church, even though the percussions were a bit too loud making it difficult for the vocals and keyboards to rise above the noise. Check here their magical interpretation of "Leben", an old traditional German song which became famous thanks to the movie "Night Porter".

We could not attend Suicide Commando's 'Best Of' show but we heard very positive comments about the concert. Johan van Roy celebrated 25 years of club hits in the best possible manner. When we came back to the main stage of the Tivoli-Oudegracht, Peter Hook was headlining the program with the live 'cover' presentation of the complete "Closer" album from Joy Division. We could not help thinking that it is a sacrilege to have Hook sing in the place of Ian Curtis and the whole interpretation was much too heavy, too bombastic, in our humble opinion. This true demolition work must have irritated Curtis' ghost because right in the middle of the concert, a huge storm broke over Utrecht with lightnings and heavy rain in the night... This wonderful festival thus ended in a most appropriate manner... in the Summer Darkness....

Check the fantastic pictures by our photographer Xavier Marquis in the Photos area!!
 

A big 'Thanks' to Summer Darkness and Marc X-Pulsiv

Philippe BLACKMARQUIS
02/08/2012


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