Electrowelt.com keeping up with its tradition this year too presents the most important moments of 24th Wave-Gotik-Treffen festival in Leipzig, Germany. For the 24th consecutive year, the biggest worldwide music -and not only- gothic festival took place in Leipzig and managed to gather about 20.000 fans of the new & dark/ EBM/ Industrial/ Gothic scene from all over the world, despite the general financial depression, making it again the biggest international gathering of the dark family. Leipzig was once more painted in black, the weather fortunately treated the WGT guests kindly and Electrowelt.com was of course there for its 10th consecutive visit to observe, take notes and lots of photos and dance our nights away!
The numbers and statistics were once more impressive for the biggest worldwide music and diverse festivities of the dark community. More than 50 venues all over the city and 200 bands performed plus a fully diverse program, which also again included beautiful classical music, such as operas, choral and chamber music, photo and art exhibitions, readings, movie presentations at the cinema, the classic autograph sessions, concerts at the wonderful Volkerschlachtdenkmal, the divine WGT tradition of Absinth breakfast, while the organizer made once more sure that all art and culture lovers had free entrance many Leipzig museums.
WGT visitors enjoyed the romantic atmosphere of ancient times at the medieval market place at the Pagan Village (Heidnisches Dorf). For four days a large hall at the AGRA -Messepark transformed into the biggest Gothic-wares marketplace in the world, a Goth’s paradise indeed, where you can fine a huge variety of clothes, shoes, accessories, and of course many CD stands, where you can spend hours and hours to explore thoroughly (I belong to this category:).
The large fetish party was held for one more year at the Volkspalast, where entrance was only possible with voluptuous dress code.
I would also like to refer to the wonderful initiative of the festival to take care young goth parents and mothers too! There is a special provision of a nursery school at the Agra Park, in order for the parents to have the chance to bring along their children and have some fun of their own carefree attending concerts. I also found extremely enlightening this year’s WGT special tips and the hints for lesser known bands, which were definitely worth your while to check them out. They indeed performed great concerts and that’s one of many reasons I adore WGT, there are always hidden gems to discover. Thank you WGT for this amazing opportunity.
The festival started off on Thursday 21/05/2015 as usual, with parties at various venues and even some concerts like Architect at the Moritzbastei, old school EBM bands like Volvo 242, Der Prager Handgriff performed at the Villa. We arrived the following day and here follows our review for the next four festival days and celebrations.
L’ Ame Immortelle, Blut Engel, Death in Rome, Kirlian Camera
Leipzig and its citizens gave a big and warm welcome for once more to all us black dressed and weird creatures! Free use of all public transportation for all WGT visitors really helps too, as long as they present their WGT bracelet or band in German, which also applies for all WGT concerts, performances and all other WGT scheduled shows. So convenient, instead of buying tickets all day long, so that you can attend concerts! The minute you set foot at the city, the image of hundreds of fans, who cross the streets running to get to the venues in time and catch their favorite live gig, takes you away immediately! People in historic clothing gathered at the Clara Zetkin Park for the established Victorian Picnic, the photographer’s joy, accompanied by live chamber music.
After all the necessary procedure, our first gig was L’ AME IMMORTELLE from Austria for a few songs unfortunately. Sonja Kraushofer and Thomas Reiner performed after a hiatus of almost 5 years, so their appearance was much expected by fans. They collaborated with great chemistry on stage, the light show contributed well to their show, highlights were “Wie Traenen im Regen” & “Life will never be the same again”. We stayed for BLUT ENGEL, from Berlin with their leader, Chris Pohl. As customary, they had some fetish sketches on stage in between tracks and stirred up the audience. I am not a big fan of Ulrike Goldmann, who replaced Constance Rudert. At this particular performance, her voice was a bit weak and overall not so good. All in all, WGT visitors had fun and enjoyed Blut Engel’s stage appearance. I singled out “Soul of Ice”, “Vampire Romance” and of course “Bloody Pleasures”.
Moving on, we headed to Volkspalast for the much awaited debut performance of the Germans DEATH IN ROME. Kantine was packed, the three group members appeared on stage and the singer wore a mask and the rest of them scarves, so that we weren’t able to see their faces. They were a success, the fans were enthused, personally, as an avid DIJ fan, I wasn’t thrill. They presented us with great atmosphere and sound and covered pop songs in a neofolk way, like “Pump up the jam”, “Careless Whisper”, “Take on me” by AHA, Rihanna’s “Diamonds”, even “Wrecking ball” by Miley Cyrus. They certainly worth checking them out. Next, we took our places at the Kuppelhalle for the much anticipated KIRLIAN CAMERA full band concert. Many, many fans were present. Amazing atmosphere, Elena Alice Fossi was beautiful in her suit and her voice mesmerizing too. Honestly, one of their best performances ever. My personal highlight was Angelo’s Bergamini performance of “Erinnerung”, he is truly a legend in our scene. I can recall at least 2 encores, “Eclipse”, “Blue Room”, “Hymn” Ultravox cover, “K – Pax”, “Comfortably Numb” Pink Floyd cover were the highlights. They were extremely pleased by all the fans’ reactions and touched by their love. Exquisite performance. They also performed at the Kohlrabizirkus on Sunday. Afterwards, excited from our first WGT day, we headed to see our dear friend and super performer Erc Aicrag from Hocico, who djed at the Darkflower, great party, we danced to very good old school ebm tracks. There were not many people at the club, we listened to gut music, but the atmosphere was not so festive, as we expected.
Roma Amor, Blood and Sun, DAF, Moonspell, Fields of the Nephilim
Our day began with ROMA AMOR at Altes Landratsamt, a band from Italy who performs cabaret, folk noir music style in a very atmospheric way. Though they were scheduled to start early, WGT fans attended on time. Highlight was their cover for the “Port of Amsterdam” and “I’ m deranged” by David Bowie. My personal favorite and one of the music treats of WGT 2015 was the American BLOOD AND SUN. The front man appeared alone on stage, but he offered us an outstanding performance. My expectations were superseded, I loved “Keen”, “The Bold Marauder”, “Slaughter the Instant”, “Lavender Letters”, “At Rest”, “Lord of the Spring”, “White Storms Fall”, “Merciless Masters”, but the one that blew me away was “The Seeker” a Fire+Ice/Blood Axis cover, that pretty much covers the whole set list! Congratulations, the audience was very excited; I really hope to have the chance to enjoy him live very soon in the future and in full gear and band formation.
Moving on very quickly to Agra for DAF. What can one say about these legends of old school EBM, most influential bands of electronic music, who still go on strong! People danced and participated, as most of them knew that this was one of DAF’s farewell concerts after 30 years. We also danced hard listening to “Der Mussolini”, “Verschwende deine Jugend”, “Alle gegen Alle”, “Alles ist gut” at the encore.
I would have lived to enjoy Front 242 once more live, but unfortunately had to see two other amazing acts, so one more venue change to Kohlrabizirkus, unfortunately we didn’t make it for the whole show of MOONSPELL, the gothic metal band from Portugal with front man Fernando Ribeiro at his best. Great sound and lights, we listened to heavy guitar sounds and enjoyed “Vampiria”, Kind and always communicating with the fans, he thanked the organizers and gave the most respectful and loving introduction for FIELDS OF THE NEPHILIM. Great, gothic inviting atmosphere and lots and lots of smoke prepared us for the appearance of Carl McCoy on stage. Pure Royalty, divine performance as always, I have seen them live at least 12 times all those years, they never cease to amaze and move me. They started us off with “Dawnrazor”, “Preacher Man”, “Moonchild” and “For Her Light”. We also listened to “Psychonaut” and “At the Gates of Silent Memory”. At the encore they gave us “Last Exit for the Lost” and “Mourning Sun”. It was once more one unique, spectacular music gothic journey with Fields of the Nephilim. It was a long day, so that was pretty much the end of our Saturday.
Hologram, Black lung, Orphx, London after Midnight, Mono inc
Start of our 3rd festival day at Altes Landratsamt with experimental, idm bands. HOLOGRAM was the first one man project, a guy behind his laptop wearing a hooded jumper. Idm sounds with many dubstep motives, I am not a great fan, but if you are a fan of this type of music and scene, you would definitely like his sound. The project belongs to the Ant Zen Records, the appearance at WGT was part of his Geometric tour, we listened to Vertigo Inferno”, “Nostradamus Conspiracy, Parasite / Paradox/Paralysis, Origamia. Next followed an act I was very curious and lucky to catch live the IDM electro project of Australian artist David Thrussel, BLACK LUNG. It was awesome, with super projections; he performed wearing a pig faced mask. It’s the kind of idm and experimental music I prefer for its darker character. The audience definitely enjoyed the performance. Highlights were “Mind is Lost”, “Business of Selling”, and “Access to Excess”. We stayed for the Canadian duo of techno experimental music project by the name ORPHX. Formed back in 1992, Rich Oddie and Christina Sealey are active many years in the scene, are even considered cult in the technoid genre and appeared for the first time at the WGT festival. Their last album came out in 2011 with Hands records. I took immediately to the guy, as he appeared wearing a Swans t-shirt! They experienced some technical problems at the beginning, but overcame them and gave us a good setlist, the tracks we caught were “Radiotherapy”, “Cut through”, “Still point”, “What will burn”.
We rushed to the Agra for LONDON AFTER MIDNIGHT. Formed in the 90s by singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Sean Brennan, LAM have been in the limelight for decades showing aspiring and more known gothic bands, how it’s really done or should be done. As anticipated, their dedicated fans were present at the Agra to enjoy them live and the band definitely met their expectations. Beautiful and with statement projections, the mesmerizing voice of the frontman, overall once more an awesome LAM performance. We danced to “Your Best Nightmare”, “Psycho Magnet”, “Hate”, “Claire’s Horrors”, “Spider and the Fly”, “Shatter”, “The Bondage Song” and they left us with the amazing “Sacrifice”. Ah, beautiful gothic memories! We stayed for the last gig at the Agra, MONO INC. They have loyal fan base that sing along at their songs and they danced, cheered and had a great time with them. They impressed us with fires too; their set list was “Arabia”, “Gothic queen”, “Never ending love song”, “Revenge”, “Kein Weg zu Weit”, a Gary Moore cover “After The War” and at the encore “ Tag X”.
We were definitely in urgent need for some rest!
Snog, Nachtmahr, Fixmer/ Mccarthy, Combichrist, Clock DVA
Our last WGT day began with a band we all had great curiosity in seeing live, Australia’s SNOG at Volkspalast Kuppelhalle. A fusion of IDM, electro and some techno sound, Snog are considered a cult band in the scene. David Thrussel appeared on stage wearing a white suit and was accompanied by two sexy ladies at the synths, one dressed in pvc wearing a face mask and the other one dressed in a uniform. Behind him at an altar which was covered by the American flag was the third band member. Their intro was inspired by the main musical movie theme of Eyes wide shut. A very atmospheric performance, the venue was packed, although it was too early and many fans had already left as it was the last festival day. Highlights were “Everything is under control”, “Corporate Slave”, “Alchemy is your best friend”. An outstanding performance with interesting projections. We left the venue for Agra as we wanted to see Fixmer/ Mccarthy and had some time to see NACHTMAHR as well. Solo project of Thomas Reiner managed to gather a lot of fans in the audience, many in uniforms. The music was too loud and the vocals were not, one could barely listen to them. But the audience had a smashing time, dancing to all the hits.The nachtmahr ladies were wearing pvc garments, an impressive performance for all band members, not my cup of tea though. We listened to “Tanzdiktator”, Second Decay cover “I hate Berlin”, “Katharsis”.
The people in the audience changed rapidly, as it was time for FIXMER/McCARTHY. First entered Terence Fixmer and later on Douglas Mc Carthy wearing sunglasses. The fans applauded and the ones in the front rows danced to their Techno Body Music, the lightshow was complimentary to their appearance and Douglas Mccarthy, the legendary front man of Nitzer Ebb, was awesome, as one could expect. We loved “Destroy”, “Banging down your door”, “You want it”, “Freefall”.
Last Agra gig was COMBICHRIST. Andy LaPlegua and his mates were ready to make some noise. And they did it. Spectacular stage appearance, they were impressive, their fans danced hard to all their hits, a great new industrial way to close the festival. The intro was “Evil in You”, we listened to “What the fuck is wrong with you people”, “Never Surrender”, “Electrohead”, “Get your Body Beat”, “Blut Royale”, and they said goodbye to us with “Fuck that Shit” and “Sent to Destroy”.
We left in a hurry to catch the last part of CLOCK DVA at the Volkspalast, as we were going to stay at the venue for the farewell WGT darkfolk old school industrial party. We have seen them before at their WGT 2011 gig, so we didn’t feel like watching the same thing again, 3 guys behind their laptops, no performance whatsoever, great nice visuals though. Of course for a fan that hasn’t seen them live, they are a legendary band with some great tracks that they would love to see, but some bands are worth just listening to and not watching live, in my opinion they belong to that category. We talked to some of our friends who attended the whole show and they were very disappointed and bored.
We had a blast at the farewell WGT party, with apocalyptic folk, ritual music, the best way for us to say goodbye.
Excellent organization, fans of all kinds of music respected each other and had fun. Great sound and concerts, big event diversity for all tastes, I like the variety of bands, as well as new band and project suggestions by WGT, it’s unique. We have the chance to see and catch up with friends from all around the world; it’s the only festival meeting no one misses out! I don’t find the selection of parties and dj events as challenging as some years ago, that’s a shame, but hoping the situation will at some point improve.
Overall great memories! See you all again in dark Leipzig next year!