12.-13.11.2010 Helsinki, Tampere
After a tough week of working and dull-depressing November weather, a Graveyard Party – already the Fifth – was atmospherically the best to die away on this Friday evening in
Helsinki, Gloria club.
While DJ Sickboy spun his records, I inspected the stage, which was decorated with great attention to detail. Of course, there was a coffin, tombstones served as cover panels for the boxes, pictures of the Reaper were hanging on the left and right and next to them screens from where you could get hints how to arrange a date with this guy as sure as dead, for example by drilling an electric boring machine into the head.
The Reaper even appeared in person and locked a small bunny into a cage in the middle of the stage. From there the bunny could follow the gig of The Closed. Probably some recognised frontman Carl-Sofia Belzer alias Toni Valha from Black Light Discipline. However, for me it was the first time that I recognised that he looks very sexy in short kilt. Unfortunately he covered his legs with black trousers. I also admired the Alice in Wonderland-dress with beautiful puff sleeves of the wo/man at the bass. The sound reminded strongly of a manic comic: rapid changes between pitching basses and of-key voices. The drummer pushed extraordinarily to make again a short break for some creepy howling.
In the meantime The Closed and the Reaper taught the bunny how to use the scythe correctly. Otherwise, I got the impression that the bunny suffered from Stockholm syndrome. Despite the open door of the cage it sniffed only some stage air at the utmost.
Unfortunately, there were not yet many people in front of the stage. Those, who were already camping relaxed around the coffin jumped to their feet immediately when Proteus started dee-jaying. The spun metal-techno made good vibes, which transmitted from the DJ-desk onto the dancefloor which in turn started to fill.
It was entirely jam-packed when Hanzel und Gretyl entered the stage. Everybody, who knew what to expect, tried to fight into the first row. Not to catch a glimpse of Kaizer von Loopy or Vas Kallas through the dense fog. Also the sound was loud and one could even feel the heavy ramming basses and Vas’ throaty voice. Actually it were lyrics such as “Eins, zwei, drei, Schnaps macht frei” (One, two, three, booze makes free) that arouse huge expectations. They were fulfilled after few songs finally when typically Oktoberfest-sound “Bier her” (Give beer) was interluded and Kaizer shared some cans of beer with fans in the first rows. Of course, everybody had a great time and enjoyed close contact to Kaizer while stage-diving.
Around two o´clock in the morning, the Gloria became emptier. However, everybody who decided to take the last free night bus instead of waiting for 2 Times Terror should notice, that they really missed out on something. 2 Times Terror, a kind of “Best of Finnish-Metal”-collective which recruited also some members from Turmion Kätilöt, provided some “Metalorgy” on stage. One could hear and see it from the show. Besides stammering industrial metal and two male (chanting) voices, 2 Times Terror came up also with female vocals by HC CSD. Although the audience was already decimated, they easily compensated that with extra-enthusiasm.
The last two dozens on the dancefloor were then entertained by DJ Zynthexia until morning curfew.
It was again a really brilliant party. The last breeze of graveyard I could still feel in the bus on my way home. Obviously the bus driver couldn’t qualify as Formula 1 pilot – probably due to her braking habits – and is living now her dire existence as driver of a night bus.
“Hanzel und Gretyl” is a name you are hearing quite often these days and if the Americans are coming again all the way to Finland only half a year after the last time, you can make the comparatively short detour from Helsinki to Tampere to analyse the phenomenon “Hanzel und Gretyl” in person. Unfortunately, it takes almost four hours from the whole event`s beginning till the headliner will appear on stage. Of course, there is a full programme offered until the headliner`s performance but if you are like me not into EBM, the EBM festival “Graveyard Party 5” is not really your place to be, but if you are into EBM, you are able to look forward to the DJ sets of Will Power and Proteus and in between the first gig which will be the one of Erilaz. For me, the music in here is just to monotonous: It seems like every third song of the playlist is by Rammstein and the general rule for an EBM song seems to be “Pounding beats and German lyrics – That`s it!”.
Also the performance of Erilaz isn`t really entertaining, despite the keyboard player who is wearing a gas mask and bounces in a funny way. Furthermore it isn`t really creative just to mix The Prodigy`s “Firestarter” into the own music…
The evening just starts go be interesting when Black Light Discipline enter the stage. Tonight, “Tulliklubi” is bathed in black light and to show this black light to advantage, Black Light Discipline are apparelled with white shirts.
Although their shirts are white, their music is quite dark: A mixture of Metal and Electro, to be more precisely, and this mixture – presented by songs like “Tides” – immediately lures all the metal guys closer to the stage. Finally, there are some guitars! And talking about guitars: With Joonas Pulkkinen, Black Light Discipline have a new guitar player after the previous one – Antti Salo – has left the band just recently. Furthermore it only remains to say that we enjoy it a bit more than usual to have someone at the mic who really can sing, after all the performances which took place before Black Light Discipline appeared on stage…
And then it`s finally time: Time for Hanzel und Gretyl who are capturing first the stage and then the meanwhile well-attended “Tulliklubi”. For those who are like me not that much into EBM – especially because of the already mentioned monotony in the music – Hanzel und Gretyl are like a gift.
From a helmet which is decorated with an eagle, aviator sunglasses and leather trousers to various explicit symbols of the German history to the partly German lyrics which are similar to other EBM tracks but a bit more absurd and accompanied by recordings like “Bier her, Bier her… Oder ich fall` um!”, there is no cliché left out by Kaizer Von Loopy (Vocals and Guitar) and Vas Kallas (Vocals and Bass). During the mentioned recording, Kaizer Von Loopy himself fuddles the concert visitors with Jägermeister `cause beer is given by him during the whole gig, even if it`s Finnish beer by “Koff” and not a good old German one. Even the anthem of the GDR is played but nothing can top the enormous stage presence of “Frau Vas Kallas” tonight. Personally, I mostly like the performance for “Number 1 In Deutschland” from their current album “2012: Zwanzig Zwölf” and, yeah, the short detour from Helsinki to Tampere to see Hanzel und Gretyl Live has paid off `cause surely you can watch some Live videos of them on youtube, but in case of Hanzel und Gretyl it doesn`t make that much sense `cause they are a Live act. You just have to see them Live as it`s almost impossible to feel this certain atmosphere they spread during their gigs through the computer screen.
Before it goes back to the “normal” EBM with the DJ set of Zynthexia, we are heading back to Helsinki and when we are leaving the “Tulliklubi”, we spot Vas Kallas at the merchandising stand. So has Kaizer Von Loopy told us the truth in the STALKER interview when he said that Vas Kallas is obsessed with it? *grin*
photos: Klaudia Weber, Stefanie Singh
Text: Grit Kabiersch, Stefanie Singh