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11/04/2012 :  - REWIND EASTER festival DAY 1 with Project Pitchfork, Clan Of Xymox, Chameleons Vox,...

REWIND EASTER festival DAY 1 with Project Pitchfork, Clan Of Xymox, Chameleons Vox,...

Concert
Dark ElectroDark WaveDarkwaveEBMElectroElectro RockElectronicsGothicIndustrialNew wavePost PunkPunkSynth Pop / Electro Pop

[90/100]   
11/04/2012, Philippe BLACKMARQUIS

Nearly 2000 visitors for the first full-fledged REWIND EASTER festival! A true success for Filip Delens and the whole organizing team! The challenge was big: after three "MINI-REWIND" events in the Ballroom of the Vooruit in Ghent, the team had decided to go for big and to organize a 2-day festival, with no less than 8 bands per day! Well, everything went perfectly well with fantastic concerts, a flawless organization and a truly enthusiastic crowd! On the program of Day 1, the focus is clearly on postpunk and guitar bands, while Day 2 is devoted to electro and EBM.

Erato

The first band to open the festival at 16:30 sharp is ERATO, a Belgian old school gothic rock band created in '93. The band's influences include Sisters Of Mercy, Bauhaus, Mission and Killing Joke. On stage, the band is a classical formation with singer, two guitarists, one bassist (who has just joined the band), one keyboard player and one drummer. Winners of the first Gothrally in '97, they played a blend of new-wave sound of the eighties and contemporary rock, with tracks from their four albums, plus two new, unreleased songs.

Check the video with a short interview of the singer of the band, Gorik, followed by the live performance of "Act like Moses".


Schmutz

The following act on the program, Schmutz, is a Belgian pop band from Limburg, that had a minor hit in 1984: "Love Games", from the album "Lip Service". The synth riff at the beginning of the song was used by Paris Avenue in their track "In My Mind". On stage, the band consists of Carlo Peeters (singer), Guy Peeters, Johan Tyskens (bass), Jo Exelmans (guitar), Jos Claessens (guitar) and Marcel Vermeulen (drums). The music is a powerful poprock with catchy songs like "Straight From The Heart" or "Life Is A Merry-Go-Round" but much too popish for the audience of a 'dark' festival.

Here is the video of the band performing "Love Games"

Department S

With Department S, things get serious. A British new wave band formed in 1980, they took their stage name from the 1960s TV series Department S. They are best known for their debut single, "Is Vic There?", which was originally released in December 1980, but on stage they show a wide variety of styles ranging from (post-)punk to ska and even psychedelic rock. Their setlist was comparable to when they played at Sinner's Day in 2010 and Hertals Rock in 2011 with tracks like "Clap Now", "Going Left Right" or "Monte Carlo Or Bust", but they had some new material to present as well. The band will indeed record a new album by the end of the year.

Department S also played their cover of Alvin Stardust's hit "My Coo-Ca-Choo", a song recorded in 2007 as an hommage to their original singer, Vaughan Toulouse, who died of an AIDS related illness in 1991. And it's the band's original keyboard player, Eddie Roxy, who subsequently took over the vocals. On stage, Roxy has a sophisticated look and attitude, not really in line with the band's more punk identity. In the setlist there was also the very nice cover of "Lucifer Sam", from Pink Floyd's album "The Piper at the Gates of Dawn" (1967), a cover that clearly shows the band's passion for Syd Barrett's work. And when the band finally played "Is Vic Here?", the audience reacted cheerfully and it was the first highlight of the festival.

Watch the video of the short interview Mike Herbage, founder and guitarist, in an interview with Peek-a-boo, followed by the live performance of "My Coo-Ca-Choo"

Cassandra Complex

After the changeover and a few beers, it's time for another great 80s band to take the stage: Cassandra Complex, an electronic rock group formed by Rodney Orpheus and Paul Dillon in 1980 in Leeds, England. The current lineup includes Rodney Orpheus, Andy Booth, Volker Zacharias and Axel Ermes. Orpheus' presence on stage is strong and his voice has this very special tremolo and warm texture, combined with a unique musical blend of new-wave, psychedelic, punk and prototechno styles.

With tracks like "What Can I Do For You" or "The War Against Sleep", the band manages to create a 'wall of sound', hypnotic and mesmerizing. "Second Shot" is another great song with a mystical atmosphere. "Valis" starts with a dark choir and develops into a typical gothic rock song. The set ends with a very nice cover of Suicide's "Frankie Teardrop". Due to a very tight schedule, the band could not play "Moskow Idaho", one of their major hits, but as a whole, this show, the band's only concert of the year, was excellent.

After the show, Rodney Orpheus told Peek-a-boo that the band is currently recording a new album, which should be released by the end of the year. The working title is "The Constructivist's Nightmare" and it sounds "really good so far". We can't wait...

Check here the video of the short interview, followed by the footage of "Second Shot" live.

The Beauty Of Gemina

It's 9pm when The Beauty Of Gemina takes the stage. After 4 acclaimed albums and a great gig at the Shadowplay festival last year, this Swiss band led by Michael Sele, charismatic producer, singer and multi-instrumentist, has become one of the favs of the Belgian public. On stage, Michael's tall figure is impressive with his angelic face and white hair. He sings with a dark timbre, a bit like a softer and more sensitive Andrew Eldritch and the music is a pure gothic rock with dark electro, or even bluesy edges. With his lyrics, Sele leads the crowd into his dark world of depression, death and religious obsession.

After the classic "One Step To Heaven" and "This Time", Sele drops his guitar and comes to the front of the stage to sing "Shadow Dancers", a first highlight of the show with its catchy chorus "Everytime you dance..." The tBoG line-up comprises long-time members drummer Mac Vinzens, bass player David Vetsch and as additional guitar player on tour Dennis Mungo. Later comes a tracks from the band's last album "Iscariot Blues": "Dark Revolution", introduced as a "blues song", in which Sele proclaims a new revolution and predicts a cultural and social paradigm change.

A moment of rest with the very gloomy "Suicide Landscape" and then, "The Lonesome Death Of A Goth DJ" transforms the Vooruit in a huge electro club with more than 800 dancing fans. Finally TBoG close their set with the fantastic hit "Rumors" from their album "At The End Of The Sea" (see live footage below). Clearly one more excellent gig from our Swiss friends!

Chameleons Vox

A lot of people had come to the festival to see Chameleons Vox. Led by Mark Burgess, one of the most important singers/composers/poets in rock history (and one of my 'heroes'), The Chameleons created history with jewels like their albums "Script Of The Bridge" or "Strange Times". Unfortunately, the band disbanded after the death of their manager Tony Fletcher. Burgess had several solo and band projects but since a few years, he is touring again with the band's original drummer, John Lever and Lever's band: Bushart.

The concept of these recent shows is not so much to revisit the biggest hits but on the contrary to uncover a few hidden jewels from the band's repertoire. The first songs, "Swamp Thing", "A Person Isn't Safe Anywhere These Days" and "As High As You Can Go" are perfect examples of the Chameleons style: brilliant postpunk songs with long sequences of echo effected guitar sounds, strongly pounding drums and most of all, the warm and poetic voice of Burgess. This guy is so expressive he doesn't have to break out any big moves on stage, his face and the sound of his voice are enough.

Later, the band took out deep tracks like "Seriocity", "In Answer" and "I'll Remember". In the middle of "Soul in Isolation", Burgess stood at the edge of the stage and sang slowly and hypnotically and for a moment, he sounded like Jim Morrison. Check the interview below, when he expresses his gratitude for this comparison!

Next on the setlist was "Sing Rule Brittania", a song "made in Manchester", said Burgess, in which he transmitted the Joy Division refrain, "Dance dance dance dance dance to the radio". To end the set, the band played one of the best songs in the whole rock history: "Second Skin": seven minutes of pure pleasure, in which you really feel the depth of Burgess' inspiration, with roots going back to 60s music as he inserted a verse line from "Please, Please Me" of the Beatles. In the encore, the band played "Don't Fall", on which the crowd jumped and shouted like crazy.

After the show, Mark Burgess, gave a short video interview to Peek-a-boo backstage, in which he gave his Easter greetings to the readers in a very funny way, followed by a video footage of "Second Skin" live and a short interview. Thanks to TNproductions, the live sound of "Second Skin" is enhanced with the original mix from the sound desk. Check it out!

Clan Of Xymox

Difficult to play after Chameleons Vox. But Clan Of Xymox is another cult band from the 'dark scene', and has a lot of 'die-hard' fans, including in our magazine's editorial team... Formed in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, in 1981, Clan Of Xymox is one of the pioneers of dark, moody electronic music, or darkwave, especially thanks to their two albums on the legendary 4AD label. Later, the band evolved towards a more electro, beat-driven sound to eventually combine the best of both styles in the two last CD's: "In Love We Trust" (2009) and "Darkest Hour" (2011).

At the REWIND, the lineup of the band included founder Ronny Moorings (guitar and vocals), Mario Usai (guitar) and Sean (keyboards/computer). Unfortunately, Mojca Zugna, Ronny's beloved, could not be present due to her motherly duties. During the show, the band took the audience on a journey through a dreamworld of dark music, alternating older songs like "Stranger" and "Jasmine and Rose" with more recent songs. From "Darkest Hour", Ronny chose to play "Delete" and "My Chicane", two songs that concede too much to the current cyber-electro craze, in my humble opinion. Fortunately, the band returned to its roots and closed the set with a fantastic cover of Bowie's "Heroes" and, of course, their greatest hit: "A Day". As a whole, Clan Of Xymox were very convincing, with beautifully crafted songs and an excellent sound.

Check below the short interview of Ronny Moorings (given before the show), followed by the live performance of "A Day", filmed from the rear balcony.

Project Pitchfork

It was then time for the headliners of this first night: Project Pitchfork. In the early nineties, this band from Hamburg, Germany, created by Peter Spilles and Dirk Scheuber, was at the forefront of the revival of gothic darkwave music (together with Wumpscut, Das Ich, Calva y Nada) by combining elements of industrial music (Skinny Puppy) with gothic electro and strong and philosophical vocals. After a more obscure and introvert period, they returned in 2005 and have consistently been releasing highly appraised CD's since then.

Unfortunately, Dirk Scheuber wasn't present in Ghent. According to rumors, he was severely ill and had to be taken to hospital: we hope he will recover soon! Peter Spilles was accompanied by Jürgen Jansen on keyboards and Achim Färber on drums and I must say that their show was really impressive!

They started full speed with "Continuum" and "Timekiller". Taking into account the cheers and (female) screams, it's clear that the majority of the audience was from Peter Spilles' fan club! Next on the setlist was "Lament", from their last CD "Quantum Mechanics" but the first peak of the concert was "Conjure", their huge hit from "Lam-'Bras": the song is extremely powerful especially thanks to the live drums and Spilles' vocals are simply stunning. He is one of the few singers capable of singing grunts without any digital effect. After "Run For Cover" and "Alpha Omega", it was time for another classic: "Souls". But the best song of the set was "K.N.K.A.", especially during the instrumental part in the middle, where Peter Spilles literally exploded his voice by screaming "We hate nature, We're killing animals" several times in a row. 

Check this great moment in this video by Sato-Sato:

Then came "The Queen of Time and Space castle", "Carrion", from the album "IO" and "Steelrose", from "Eon:Eon", in which Skinny Puppy's influence can be heard. "Beholder" and "Endless Infinity" were the two last highlights of the set and the band came back to play "Fire And Ice", during which Spilles turned the stage speakers towards the audience: funny... When the band left the stage, it was clear that Project Pitchfork had given the best show of the night. Peter Spilles is an incredible showman, he manages to create a theatrical tension with his facial expressions, his constant activity on stage and his incredible vocal power.

Check the video footage of "Souls" below:

More than 800 people attended this excellent first festival day but the big crowd is expected to come on Day 2 for Covenant, DAF, Neon Judgement,.... To be continued....

Check the pictures of Xavier Marquis in the Photos section.
 

Philippe BLACKMARQUIS
11/04/2012


 

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