Mini Fest 2K19 – Review for Electrowelt by Malice F

Whispering Sons, The Frozen Autumn, In the Nursery, VNV Nation @Fuzz club 23.02.2019

Mini Fest 2K19@Fuzz club 23.02.2019

Whispering Sons, The Frozen Autumn, In the Nursery, VNV Nation

  • Review for ELECTROWELT.COM by Malice F

Each time Ronan Harris, VNV Nation is announced, a packed venue and a performance with full energy are guaranteed for the fans that will attend. Furthermore, our excitement was even bigger, since in addition to the festival’s headliner, three more gems of the dark scene were announced, the English acclaimed neoclassical martial industrial band, In the Nursery, the Italian dark wave synth band, Frozen Autumn and the much promising Belgian post punk band, Whispering Sons.

The temperatures on the evening of this last February Saturday were intensely low, especially for us Greeks, it was indeed difficult to get to the venue with such strong wind and cold, but nevertheless the fans of the scene, including us, were highly anticipating the festival, so we wouldn’t have missed out on the opportunity! Congratulations to the promoter, for the roster selection, because it covered different range of music tastes and the whole organization; it was equally, we could even say better in some cases, compared to similar European festivals. Things are happening here in Athens, Greece, the dark wave, gothic, synth, ebm concert scene is active and alive, I couldn’t be more happy and content!

  • As I entered the venue around 19:30, Whispering Sons were on stage and although I expected a low turnout because of the cold weather and the lesser known band, I was pleasantly surprised.

Many fans were dancing to their songs, the atmosphere was very inviting, a great festival kick-off. I personally had distinguished them among the new post punk, dark wave bands, when I first saw them live at the WGT festival, in 2017. WGT is known for the inclusion in its roster of bands that are lesser known, but much worthy of our attention. The Belgian band consists of 4 members; their sound is clearly influenced by Joy Division, early The Cure tracks, the stage performance of the band’s front woman is intense and very impressive. Their debut album “Image” was out in October, I highly recommend it. Their sound and on stage collaboration were excellent, we listened among others to tracks like “Skin”, “No Time”, “Alone”, “Hollow, “Performance”, “Waste”. What a great festival start with their performance.

  • The timetable was met, so around 20:40, the Italian band The Frozen Autumn was on stage.

They have a faithful audience here in Greece over the years, I was reminiscing with friends that I hadn’t seen for a long time, about their first big performance here in Athens at Hypnobeat Festival in 2002. Diego and Arianna were both very pleased to perform for their fans in Athens and they gave us the best of their “frozen wave” sound, as they prefer to identify their unique dark romantic music. They both took turns at performing their tracks, as the other would take place behind the synths. They experienced some not so serious problems with the sound, but overall was a very good, Frozen Autumn performance. Unfortunately, we didn’t listen to “Dusk is Like Dagger”, but we danced to “Polar Plateau”, “This Time”, “Is Everything Real”, “There is no time to recall”.

  • Next was the much anticipated performance of In the Nursery.

As their singer, Dolores Marguerite C, mentioned before they began, it’s been 10 years since they last appeared in Athens and they were very excited about it. I am a huge, huge fan of their music and their humble, but simultaneously powerful stage performance for two decades. The band started off in 1981 as the duo of twin brothers Klive and Nigel Humberstone in Sheffield. Their neoclassical, dark atmospheric sound was also perfect for movies, TV programmes, so their tracks served as scores to films with great success. We should mention that their music has featured in well known Hollywood movies like “Interview with a Vampire” and “The Rainmaker”, and they also scored silent movies with magnificent results, such as “The Cabinet of Dr Caligari”. It’s impressive that older In the Nursery material was even used in the super hit TV series “Game of Thrones”.

Their performance was excellent and dynamic; their sound and on stage collaboration were remarkable too. It was very impressive to see the energetic performance of the two percussionists. The audience appreciated the much anticipated opportunity to catch them live and cheered the band during the gig. I would definitely recommend for the fans of their material and symphonic sound to check out their latest album “1961”, which was released in November 2017.

The setlist was super; “Crepusculed”, “Crave”, “Rain hall”, “Lectern”, “Bombed”, “Mystery”, “Sixth Sense”, “Torschlusspanik”, “Cobalt”, “A Rebours (Against Nature)”, “Compulsion”, “Artisans of Civilisation” and they closed their set with the fabulous “L’Esprit”.

  • The time had come for the headliner of the mini fest 2K19, VNV Nation.

The Athens date concert is part of the world tour for the latest studio album, “Noire”. The venue was already full, the audience spirits were high, and everyone was expecting Mr Ronan Harris. Since 2017, Vnv Nation consists mainly of its front man, composer, singer and producer, Ronan Harris, and some guest musicians at keyboards and percussion for live performances, since Mark Jackson, the band’s live drummer since the mid 90s, had left the formation. It’s not an exaggeration to say that VNV Nation is considered the creator of the future pop genre, drawing a devoted fan base from very diverse and different music backgrounds to sold-out tours and headline appearances at festivals in Europe and America.

Mr Ronan will never disappoint you, if you attend one of his concerts and you expect to have a fun dance concert night. This was once more the case at Fuzz club. Once he entered the stage, everyone kept cheering him; he has a loyal fan base over two decades here in Greece too.

His performance was as always very energetic, full of positive energy and interaction with the fans during his time on stage. He was a little annoyed with the fans that kept busy with their cell phones and cameras in capturing the gig, but nevertheless he was very happy to perform in Athens. At one point, he took the cell phone of a fan at the front and took some pictures with it before returning it!

Excellent sound, lights and performance. The setlist consisted of old and classic hits, as well as new, melodic songs: “A Million”, “Retaliate”, “Armour”, “Space & Time”, “When is the Future”, “Honour 2003”, “The Farthest Star”, “Illusion”, “Epicentre”, “Chrome”, “Control”, “Resolution”, “Perpetual”. And for the encore: “Nova”, the magnificent and nostalgic “Standing”.

I would like to have listened to some oldies, but goodies, such as “Dark Angel”, “Legion”, and of course the hit anthem “Beloved”, but I cannot complain. It was a very entertaining, fun concert night.


Stay tuned, for Vnv’s Ronan Harris much anticipated interview, unfortunately due to his hectic schedule there was not sufficient time to reply to our questions before the gig.

  • Overall, a very successful festival, despite the weather obstacles, wonderful performances, energetic and warm audience, great spirits.
  • Until the next one, keep up with our reviews and gallery updates! Thank you!