Saturday, 6 February 2010

Rammstein Manchester MEN 2nd Feb

I know, I know. I’m permanently stuck in the 60’s and 70’s, and on one of the rare occasions I am into a band that is actually still together/Has all members living, it’s the German industrial monsters Rammstein.

Now, not that I’m trying to justify liking the band, but I first discovered them when I was nineteen, and I have been a massive fan ever since. The fact that until recently, I have had absolutely no idea what they are singing about, has never bothered me. They make hard as nails music, with the odd Ballad and guest appearance by Sharlene Spiteri. I compare them to liking Sigur ros (whom I love). Top composers, but I have no Idea what’s actually being spoken about.

On their previous visits to the UK I have always missed out, so when they announced the”Liebe Ist Fur Alla Da” tour, I was determined not to miss out.

I arrived at the gig eagerly awaiting the main event, but instead I had my ears violated by a band called combichrist. Simply put, they were gash, coming off like an angry version of Scooter with a few extra tattoos.

Soon enough it was time for the main event. Rammstein entered the stage with a Metal entrance that would have made Maiden and Priest proud. Basically chipping through blackened rock, with scorching neon lights behind them, beaming their silhouettes out across the audience (very reminiscent of “The Thing” movie Poster) Then an outburst of sparks followed as lead singer Till Lendermann blow torched his way through what appeared to be a cast iron door and onto the stage. The curtain then dropped to reveal a colossal industrial stage setting, really too complex to try and describe. It was at this point I knew where my £50 ticket price had been spent. Too much metal for one hand indeed.

From this point on it was full steam ahead, immediately breaking out into “rammlied” and getting the capacity filled M E N bouncing. Lindermann had a neon light shining from his mouth every time he sang, which was both fascinating and quite distracting, still, they’re nothing if not inventive with the stage show.

The opening song was a great test of lindermann’s vocals. There has always been a certain operatic quality to Rammstein’s songs (like system of a down), plenty of growling in the verse, then ear shattering sustained bellowing vocals for the chorus, and I was pleased that none of this was lost in the show.

It’s hard to describe the show, especially to folk who are more than likely not fans of the band. Though I know many songs tackle dodgy subjects (at least the websites that have translated the songs tell me so) other tracks are poppy/ballad like in nature, and the band seem to have collective tongue’s firmly in their cheeks.

The gig sped along at a rapid rate, there was hardly a pause between song’s and the band never let up. Numerous set pieces popped up during tracks, which not only enhanced the proceedings, but pretty much put the gig up there as a spectacle (potentially a bit of a freaky sideshow, but a spectacle never the less). Fully animated robotic babies hanging from the ceiling with laser lights for eyes. Flamethrowers attached to guitarist/Bassist and Lindermann’s faces that sprayed 20ft flames each time they sang.

People being set on fire, crossbow’s firing (you guessed it) streaks of fire into the arena, it was all there, like a pyromaniacs wet dream.

About fifteen songs in the band broke out into “pussy”, the lead track with an incredibly controversial video from the new album. The middle of the song prompted a bit of a sing along (A capacity crowd chanting “you have a pussy, I have a dick, so what’s the problem?” was always going to be a little humorous) and a chance for one of the more bizarre set pieces of the night. Lindermann appeared at the side of the stage, with what can only be described as a very large pink penis. He then proceeded to move across the stage across a pre laid track, spraying foam from his newly acquired member over the crowd. Definitely something I will never experience at a gig again. (Though if snow patrol happen to read this blog, a stunt like a giant foam spraying cock would have definitely livened up your terribly dull show that I had to sit through when I last visited the M E N with my wife last year)

Foam Cannon

(not the best video ever shot but shows the “foam cannon” quite well!)

A further 15 songs followed and a couple encores. More bizarre set pieces, though all brilliantly crafted and executed. A great gig indeed by a band who obviously take the music seriously, but not themselves.

Last year when I left a Dweezil Zappa gig (the zappa play’s zappa tour) I had a feeling that I had just witnessed something really special. Now not that I am comparing Rammstein to the music of the mighty Frank Zappa, but there were definitely elements of the same vibe as I stumbled on my way outside the M E N to look at the cheap T shirts that smell of Dulux.

Rick M

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Best cover version Re-Mix ever?

I haven't fallen for the haircutty XX band, I love Florence and her wotsits and the original isn't bad at all, but this is exceptional

XX Re-Mix of Flo's Wotsits doing Candi Staton's - You Got the Love

Florence + the machine - you've go the love (the xx remix) by Cogstar

Anyone know a better one?