Well, i kinda looked forward to this evening but as i left the venue i had slightly mixed feelings. The main reason for that was the headliner, but let me get to that later.
The organisers deserve credit for taking the effort to look for a suitable location which fitted the event and for sticking to their timetable.
They start to build up a tradition with their festivals and i hope they'll be able to
continue for quite a while. The line-up is often an eclectic selection out of the past and present of the industrial scene and each festival sees the release of a sampler, this year even party released as a limited edition of 40 copies cast in concrete.
The artists then.
Cent Ans de Solitude started off the evening. To my shame i have to admit i didn't know this project though Jean-Yves Millet is already active since halfway through the eighties. Named after a book by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (i guess) this project makes what can be best described as Dark Ambient. What was refreshing about his gig was the fact that he wasn't just sittin' behind a laptop or some other piece of gear but actually constructed his soundscapes by using junk-metal, contact-mics, the inevitable battery of effect-pedals and a bunch of other stuff. So he wasn't just your everyday knob twiddler. His set was good and went nicely along with the visuals.
The next band was M.A.O. They weren't exactly my cup of tea. It all had a distinct old-school touch to it and often reminded me of Gerechtigkeits Liga (the vocals ?) mixed with a dash of Janitor. The guy doing the percussions made a lasting impression on me because of his somewhat maniacal grin which seemed to be carved onto his face. I don't want to spend too much words on it, like i said, it wasn't my kind of band. Giving negative comments would be somewhat unfair. The majority of the public definately seemed to like what they were doing.
Then PPF hit the stage and i had highly anticipating their performance.
To my personal opinion this was the best concert of the evening. It was a conceptual set with all new material which picked up where the 2001 "En Dehors" release left off. The message was nothing new (rather hard to do that these days) but it was kicked into the face with agressive vocals and ear-piercing frequencies.
No video played along the set, instead each song was accompanied by a slide of a drawing which highlighted the theme, ranging from State-oppression and police violence over the excesses of modern-day society to a possible re-awakening of the masses out of their media-induced and consumerist slumber. Nothing new indeed but also not out of touch with the recent developments in our fine world.
I couldn't help but wonder how much the audience, myself included, could reflect themselves in the image which was conjured up. It's all nice and good to shout "against the modern world" but then at least throw out your smart-phones, cars, pc´s and any other thing off which some commercial convinced you that it was sadly lacking in your life. The set was great and he got people thinking, mission accomplished.
I had hoped that Esplendor Geométrico´s set would remind me of that memorable night in 1996 where they played alongside Stigma and Genocide Organ on the Xhponozon Festival in Erlangen, Germany. That gig still remains one of the best i've ever seen. EG blasted the audience away with an incredibly loud, fast and pulsating set. To me they were the Ramones of the industrial scene back then, with even the stage performance reminding me of that band with Arturo and Saverio each on their side of the stage, standing wide-legged behind their synths and ramming it in your stomach.
How very different was it to be this evening.
We all get older, the whole scene does and EG mustn't be ashamed of what they have accomplished over the years. They have an impressive discography and some of their records are among the most appreciated of my personal collection.
But this evening they left the impression of a bored outfit. The typical minimalistic and trance-inducing sound of EG was nothing but monotone and simply boring.
Many songs started off real good and had me shaking my hips straight away only to leave me frustrated after one minute because the brief sparks immediately faded out.
Halfway through their set they had me wishing it was already over. Part of the crowd nevertheless wanted an encore and EG gave them what they wanted but it was only Saverio who returned to the stage. Arturo for some reason chose to stay away, maybe for the best.
So, two good sets, one reasonable one and one best to be forgotten, all in all a very decent evening and money well spent.