The Dark Circus

8 December 2014, Kir, Hamburg, Germany (Photos by Andreas Torneberg auf Flickr)

Under the title of THE DARK CIRCUS a colorful bunch stylistically quite different bands from several countries was sent through Germany on tour. In Hamburg, the event with marathon character happened in the once legendary, nowadays rather at the edge of the live music scene placed club KIR. The Swiss band Stoneman was the headliner of the show, their fat Nightliner parked just in front of the club.

Demoncast from Israel started the four-hour event with powerful, slightly gloomy guitar rock. Without bass, but with two singers, who served male/female duo melodic vocals.

The following Kissin Black from Switzerland located their style rather in old fashioned, dark but simple, straightforwarded Rock`n´Roll. The singer tried to motivate the audience to get them closer to the stage, but they remained in shyness.

This should be changed when the Swiss compatriots Stoneman started their performance. For the headliner the stage was equipped with additional lights that illuminated the musicians effectfully from below.

Pleasing melodies presented by a gloomy pop with catchy chorus mingled with the broad sides of Industrial guitar riffs and the deep rumbling voice of Mikki Chixx in Rammstein-style and in German language offered a danceable, catchy gothic rock.

After Stoneman actually Substaat was expected, but instead and to everyone´s surprise the Hamburg power rocker Rapid Angel rocked the stage with a clear field of activity in Heavy Metal. Stylistically it didn´t match the atmosphere of the evening, moreover, in any case already played a lot of groups. Well, the guys had fun, but the audience reacted cautiously.

At 11 p.m. finally the Norwegian Substaat moved on the stage. But whether in 2012 on the larger stage of the Markthalle or here in the small Kir, the spark of the Electro Pop/soft EBM – emotionally and dedicated presented by the singer, accompanied by his musician with mixed programming from the keyboard-tin – did not want to skip over.

As the last, and in front of the already fatigued guests finally from St. Petersburg, Russia, Otto Dix occurred. In their homeland Michael Draw and Marie Slip are stars of the Gothic scene and are accompanied in their shows by violin, drums and guitar. Here on the sparingly tour on small locations they offered there music as a duo only. Musically completely different from the previous bands singer Michael Draw showed his professionalism to fascinate even a tired and now very sparse audience with his unique voice and stage presence.

The music is based on an immense wealth of melody, sometimes almost too playful, but mixed with morbid elements and a strange darkness hidden in the musical beauty.

Otto Dix now look back on ten years since inception. 2014 was published a book about them that look on this time and their development. Despite their efforts to get in the “West” more attention, such as at the Wave Gotik Treffen and occasional trips, their reputation in Germany is still quite low, which is due to the difficulty in crossing borders, whether geographical, as well as the mental border and the taste of the German interest towards Slavic vibrations.

Andreas Torneberg

(no longer active) - reports, reviews, photos - - - Favorite bands? - - - Kult, Kasia Nosowska, Faith No More, Sigur Ros, Otto Dix, Fever Ray, Fields Of The Nephilim, The Inchtabokatables, Pothead - - -