D.A.F./The Young Gods/Mesh/Suicide Commando/Empathy
Forum, London - 28 October 2018
event in a stunning venue. Brilliant!"
note: Flag Promotions' introduced the Black Celebration one-day
festival in 1999 as a dedicated industrial music festival. After
an entertaining run through to the mid-noughties it disappeared
from the annual UK calendar. So when it's return was announced
earlier this year, there were many who were surprised, but
delighted, to hear of its comeback. Links to the debut festival in
1999, and three more can be found at the bottom
of this review. All are also listed in the A-Z of Gig Reviews.
We arrived at
The Forum Kentish town just past 2.30pm (from the very nearby Dome
Hotel Camden, recommended!) to be greeted by friendly and jovial
door/security staff, and then similarly pleasant cloakroom staff, as
the first band had started. The sound was impressive, big and clear,
and a good number of people were already present and ready to dance.
Rox: a bold and charismatic performance with loads of
personality. Ariel's unapologetically brassy singing and performance
completely commanded the audience, as did Richard on guitars and
Debs (System FX/Be My Enemy) on drums. These guys looked and sounded
like they were having a lot of fun, but they also included some
heartfelt and emotional themes in their songs. Ariel's mermaid
dancing girls were a (sorry, but) deliciously silly addition. This
was, unambiguously, a "show", and well worth arriving early for.
Beast In You, Seawitch, Stardust, Fighting With My Fear, I Wanna
Be Your Dog, Crash
Photos [L-R]: Machine Rox, DKAG
Despite the early slot, Emmerick & Steve brought their usual
club sound with unimpeded energy and charisma, they got everyone
moving and managed to engage with the audience, no easy task on this
big stage. After their substantial tour with Nachtmahr their
improved confidence is evident, but they remain humble and
personable while completely raising the roof. Great job. After DKAG,
the brief DJ spot kept the energy up, making it seem (to me) a bit
of a shame to have it interrupted by a quick soundcheck, but that's
what happens, bands need to be plugged in and set up, but it was
quick at least.
Zero Day, Weapons Grade Bass (original mix vs Rotersand rework),
Accelerate, Deception, Dial Overdose, Slimelight Muzik
I saw Sulpher maybe 5 times 'back in the day' and certainly enjoyed
them, so would have happily stayed for their gig. They started
strong, maybe a bit grungey for my current tastes, but I bet they
were great. But we took the opportunity to leave the venue to find
food. I was impressed and gladdened that the event was advertised as
having re-entry available, as the thought of an all-day gig without
a break isn't that appealing to me. Sadly, the advertised food
vendors didn't happen, but it worked out better. The cloakroom staff
allowed us to reuse our tickets rather than pay again, so we went
out and found a brilliant lunch locally for £5!
Ever, Problem, One of Us, Unknown, Used, Follow You Down, Take A
Long Hard Look, Scarred, Spray
[L-R]: Sulpher, Empathy Test, Suicide Commando
back at the venue for the very end of Empathy
Test's set.... Maybe it was because we were late into it,
but this did nothing for me, and I'm glad that this is the set we
Suicide Commando: another
great and charismatic performance. Intelligent and bombastic style,
not a favourite of mine usually, but Johan engaged with the
audience, and delivered as always. A fantastic performance.
Gates of Oblivion, My New Christ, The Pain That You Like,
Schizotopia, God Is In The Rain, Cause of Death Suicide, The
Devil, Bind Torture Kill, Love Breeds Suicide, We Are Transitory,
Die Motherfucker Die
I've never been into this band, anthemic pop rock. New Order or
maybe U2 without any strong tunes. I've never understood why they
are so popular, but I danced a bit, and people really like them, so
I'm not going to argue. I'm indifferent to them I guess.
Young Gods: I don't understand how this aged, French-Swiss
psychedelic rock band fit into the pantheon of industrial music. But
they very much delivered. I only know the one track, Skinflowers,
which featured in the middle of their set, but I loved every scrap
of their technical transcendental anthemic setlist. I don't know
what that was, but it was great and I danced my heart out.
en Matiere, Figure Sans Nom, Criez les chiens, Gasoline,
Skinflowers, Eaux Rouge, Envoye, The Night Dance, Kissing The Sun,
L' amouRiRe, You Gave Me A Name
[L-R]: Mesh, The Young Gods, D.A.F.
D.A.F.: Sadly this didn't
connect. I like old school, stripped down EBM beats, but
this did very little for me. Sadly also, the venue emptied
quickly, which I believe is the reason that the hour of DJ
time afterwards didn't happen, which is a decision I
understand and respect.
This was an ambitious event in a stunning venue.
I saw many good friends (called it a family gathering more
than once) and had a very fun, positive time. I was
excited at the thought of another Black Celebration
festival, and my hopes were more than exceeded. 9/10
Review: Dani Antagonist