Mittwoch, Februar 18, 2009

gigomania 2009

gigomania 2009 has started, I'm having a little break after the first round of gigs. It's time to reconsider and review.

The first one in a long row was Roisin Murphy, seen at Huxley's, Berlin on 13th November 2008. If you've seen her solo or in the old Moloko days, you may know: Roisin is a tiger on stage. she is the only artist I know who does not need a support act to heat up the crowd from the very first moment. she is the only one if seen in years who takes stagediving seriously. And I must admit, for me it was the first time I did not see a gig, but a show - meaning choreography, costumes and video instalments. All of which Roisin would not actually need, because she herself was the most interesting thing to watch, not her clothes and hats.

support act: none

audience: approx. 1000. gay fashionistas (almost exclusively) and lesbians

visuals: video art, costumes, two background singern + a band

performance: singing so incredibly fine that for parts of the gig I was not sure if this was playback or not

movements: from revised dances to stagediving, plus a tiny assistens running up and down the stage to catch the items roisin would have to trough around during her performance

venue: looks like an old theatre, wooden floor on the second made me feel uncomfortable about solidity, drinks price average to high

highlight: I touched Roisin.

next on my list was Oasis, who played the Arena Berlin on Sunday, 18th January 2009. I must admit there is not much to write about. The whole thing was a disappointment for me. I had bought the tickets months before, so I went, even though I had a fever. Now a gig is a good gig if I can dance or jump around, I need interaction, with the band or the crowd and I need to somehow vent my feelings by screaming or singing along. What I do not need is to stand in a corner, high on medicine, unable to move and sipping orange juice.
What happened on that gig? apparently, Liam Gallagher went off stage in the middle of I'm outta time because he could not sing the high notes, apparently Noel Gallagher did barely move at all, apparently they played The Masterplan (which I love) and so on, but I would not swear on that, because I do only vaguely remember.

support act: The Twisted Wheel, who played a smaller (much smaller) gig at the privatclub the day before. That was probably great, because they are a good band, but at the Arena nobody really paid attention.

audience: approx. 5000. From ordinary guys with bad boring haircuts to over-dressed britpop guys with even worse haircuts to young girls with too tight tops to girlfriends who just tagged along.

visuals: four screens only about half of the audience could see because the venue was to large and, and which were not really used to capture what was going on on stage.

performance: a couple of old hits + the good new songs, a high-profile band and a nervous singer

movements: Noel - none, Liam - too much

venue: so large it felt uncomfortable - how can the crowd feel united in the songs when it is that big. in fact it was so big I did not even hear the "so sally could wait"-chants at my end of the venue.

highlight: 5000 people - and Fran Healy walking right past me.

Not much more than a week later I felt way better and had the kind of a gig I am looking for. Little Man Tate played a show at the Magnet Club, Berlin on Monday, 26th January 2009. I was a bit uncertain about how the audience would receive them, because they are such an apparently British band. I never know if this is maybe misunderstood by the Germans. Indeed, the people who made the party were a couple of British fans in the first row. They were eager to shout and interact with the band, so I just mixed with them and danced and sang along.
They played a couple of new songs which I had not heard before. So it took a while until the hits were played, but the new stuff is pretty nice, too. Apart from that, LMT must be one of the nicest bands ever, because they encouraged the whole audience to come and chat with them after the gig and go have a drink with them. They are very much the kind of lads you'd like to be friends with.

support act: I was told it was a terrible Berlin band, but i got no clue because i spent the time drinking beer in a pub near the venue.

audience: approx. 50. the Brits in the first three rows, behind them a mixed crowd, from young girls to old farts.

visuals: all band members wore black leather shoes. you can't miss the little details when there is no light show going on.

performance: Jon Windle kept on insisting his voice was coarse, but really he sang quite well!

movements: me - a lot!

venue: very small, intimate, laid back on a Monday evening

highlights: Fran Healy is a friend of the band and was there. 50 people, but this time I did not see him. lesson learned.

Read the next gig date and calculate why this post is called gigomania - it was only Saturday that I went out again. A lovely bunch of people from Manchester called The Whip performed at Knaack Klub, Berlin on Saturday, 31st January 2009. The last time the played Berlin was about a year ago, and back then, there was virtually no one there. But over the last year, they built up quite a fan base in Germany and I 've read a few articles about them in music mags. The Whip are rising and their time will come.

support act: I think they were the support, or at least the first band in a row of two.

audience: approx. 200. party people.

performance: good singing, good drumming

movements: They really tried this "clap along" thing. It only worked sometimes. The audience was greatin the end but a bit shy at the beginning.

venue: it's got a bar and a pedestal at the side so everyone can see. but there is a pillar in front of the stage.

highlights: Fee drumming and drinking beer at the same time.

The last one so far is Travis. After selling out the Kesselhaus in no time at all, their gig on Friday, 6th February was relocated to the Huxley's, which they eventually sold out, too. We keep in mind: singer moves to Berlin + is married to a German + new record released + he appears in every magazine and radio show talking about berlin = Berlin goes all crazy about him.
Seeing Travis live has been on my list for a long time. When they came back, I felt 16 again, and I was surprised their new songs could touch me as much as the old ones did back then. However, at the gig I realised I did not want to share that with the audience. I mean the band was great. And nice. And they made a good show for the masses. But I did not feel like mass pogo, especially not if you have to explain what pogo is first. So if you got the chance, go and see Travis, they are good. But not for me on that day.

support act: Some boring band who tried to look and sound indie

audience: approx. 1000. secretaries with their boyfriends, who usually never go to gigs , snuggling throughout the show

performance: They know how to play their instruments!

movements: Singer: lots of jumping, bass player: lots of posing, guitar player: lots of bending

venue: The toilet attendant does want you money, but you can get free candy from her, too!

highlights: Fran Healy, and everyone saw him!

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