Amphi Festival – Cologne 2019 (Reflections of Darkness)

The Cassandra Complex – Boots & Braces Theater Stage (LAy)

No doubt, one of Amphi’s gems was offered inside the theatre when legendary CASSANDRA COMPLEX from the UK hit the stage. The band around singer Rodney Orpheus produced their first album ‘Grenade’ in 1986. Since the 2000 album ‘Wetware’ there has been no new material, nevertheless, there are blissful smiles on people’s faces whenever they get the chance to see such iconic and influential artist. No wonder that Mr. Orpheus, Andy Booth (guitar) and Volker Zacharias (bass) and “button pusher” Axel Ermes played to a full house starting with the darkly war song ‘Nightfall.’ The sound was stellar all through the gig. 

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Funnily enough, there was a “technical problem” during the song ‘Datakill.’ Rodney seemed to have accidentally unplugged his bandmates’ instruments. CC and their fans were very well-spirited and of course no one minded having them perform the piece once again from the start. When ‘The War Against Sleep’ and one of their very first singles, ‘Moscow Idaho,’ resounded, the audience lost it dancing and jumping wildly to the fast-pasted song. ‘One Millionth Happy Customer’ marked the end of an entertaining “Post-Punk Industrial Electronic Rock” show.

// Setlist: 01. Nightfall / 02. Too Stupid To Sin / 03. Valis / 04. Second Shot / 05. Motherad / 06. What Can I Do For You? / 07. The War Against Sleep / 08. Datakill / 09. Moscow Idaho / 10. One Millionth Happy Customer

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BIMFest review @ Reflections of Darkness

BIMFest was great, thanks to all who came. Extra-special thanks to Emelie from Psy’Aviah for introducing us too! The first review is out already at the Reflections of Darkness blog. Here are the important bits…

Music & Performance
The announcement on the festival website said “THE CASSANDRA COMPLEX will prove they’re still alive and kicking…”. And this wasn’t promised too much. They were indeed very alive and kicking presenting a Goth-rock-wave-electro concert how you with it would be. Just one thing was missing: Volker with his guitar and bass. But also as a trio the band rocked! They did not need any big banners or video screens, how Rodney surprised stated after he was asked by the promoters… he just said on stage “We don’t have a big banner or videos. We don’t need that. We’re THE CASSANDRA COMPLEX!” True, good music, dedicated musicians and an audience willing to party is all you need for a good concert. The setlist contained several true hits. So, we could enjoy ‘What Can I Do for You’, ‘Satisfy Me’ or the heavily requested ‘Moscow Idaho’.

During ‘Twice as good’, two fans entered the stage to give Rodney a hug who was just heavily smiling. He was in a real great mood, having a big smile in his face all over the concert, shaking his hips and shaking hands. Later in the set, he got a piece of paper from a girl in the audience with a music request… ‘Penny Century’. Unfortunately the band could not play this song because “Volker with his bass was missing” but anyway, we got one verse a capella. Great that there are still bands out there good for such spontaneous actions! Of course, THE CASSANDRA COMPLEX had to give an encore which consisted of ‘No Quarter’ and ‘March’. Fantastic show! I loved it a lot.

01. What Can I Do For You
02. Datakill
03. Presents
04. God John
05. Twice As Good
06. Bad Faith
07. Second Shot
08. Satisfy Me
09. War against Sleep
10. Moscow Idaho

11. No Quarter
12. March

Music: 9
Performance: 9
Sound: 8
Light: 7
Total: 8.5 / 10

Sao Paulo review

Nice review of the Machina festival at Projeto D.Monia. Roughly translated it says:

Finally the long-awaited band Cassandra Complex entered the stage, producing a strong show in a perfect mixture between rock and electronics with a lot of guitars and synth sounds. The performance of singer Rodney Orpheus was memorable as he celebrated with the fans, dancing, playing on the floor, singing a crossover between post-punk and EBM with songs like “Moscow, Idaho”, “War against sleep”, “One Millionth Happy Customer,” “(In Search of) Penny Century,” “Second Shot”, “VALIS” among others. A show that mixed extreme professionalism, charisma and fun. Machinery and emotion to the umpteenth power. A memorable moment for all those who have listened to the tracks in years past … It would be unfair to define a band like Cassandra Complex by way of other artists but imagine Bauhaus meets Krautrock alive and kicking. Excellent, a memorable show.

CX in Sao Paulo 1

CX in Sao Paulo 2

Whitby review

Got back from Whitby last night, after a long and fun-filled weekend…

Got up early on Friday to finish packing our gear. Poor Volker had to get up at 3.30am to get a plane from Hamburg to Manchester. Andy picked him up there at some ungodly hour while the rest of us hit the road to Whitby. It’s a lovely drive out to there, I love the North Yorkshire moors. We arrived around 12.30, well in advance of the 13.00 load-in time. Unfortunately soundcheck didn’t then start until after 15.00, so we mooched around for a bit at the Pavilion just taking in the vibe.

The PA was very harsh in the mid-range, leading Bob to have to do some serious EQ-ing on the desk, but we got it sounding half-decent. Monitoring was a bit of a pain, but we’ve had worse there too. So we got it all sounding ok and headed off for our hotel in the delightful village of Robin Hood’s Bay to try to get a little sleep before the show. Unfortunately in my room the heating was broken (do we see a pattern here?). This time it was jammed full on, so the place was like a sauna, even with all the windows fully open. I managed to get an hour’s nap, then we headed back to the show.

Got onstage just after 23.00 and I think we rocked out. Felt like a bit of an uphill struggle though, it’s always so hard when we play in the UK. People seemed to really like it, though English Goths don’t tend to jump around much.

We ended up queuing for (not very good) pizza at about 3 in the morning, then headed back to hit the sack.

Next stop: Brazil!

WGT review

There’s a great review of the Wave Gothic Treff show at Nemesis To Go

There’s one more band to go. The headliners are due on stage any minute. Suddenly, a backdrop of LEDs blazes into life, as if someone’s tapped a vein of raw electricity. Shadowy figures take up instruments. This is Cassandra Complex, a band with a convoluted past that goes back to the 80s in the UK, and a slightly more recent status as alternative rock heroes in Germany. Like many bands with a lengthy history, Cassandra Complex have gone through many line-up changes and periods of not-doing-much, or only-doing-stuff-in-the-Continenal-scene, to the point where the band’s UK profile has in recent years barely risen above earthworm level. Significantly, while several Cassandra Complex pages exist in various international editions of Wikipedia, the English-language entry is brief, basic – and written in the past tense. Here at the WGT, however, the band members – the original line-up, no less – are hailed as conquering heroes as they emerge from the shadows, with main man Rodney Orpheus recieving his own ovation. And it doesn’t let up from that point forward. The band crank it like good ‘uns, kicking up a driving, thunderous, rhythmic onslaught that sweeps all before it. Curiously, given that in certain quarters Cassandra Complex are hailed as pioneers of EBM, it’s unashamedly guitar-driven music (just in case we haven’t twigged, the guitarist demonstrates a fine repertoire of plank-hero postures throughout the set) that tips its hat to ye olde rock ‘n’ roll even as it eats the big dancefloor beat. Rodney Orpheus himself is obviously revelling in the experience – fronting a pounding behemoth of a band, before a crowd of cheering fans – well, it’s better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick, innit? Unashamedly milking the adulation, he strikes messiah poses that would seem downright Spinal Tap-ish were it not for the big grin on his face. He even indulges in some quality crowd surfing, trusting the fans to bear him off into the hinterland of the audience and then return him stagewards just in time for the chorus. It all fits, and it all works: the celebratory atmosphere, the ever-shifting LED array strobing over everything, and the beat that just doesn’t quit – if ever there was a situation where all the threads are pulled together into a glorious whole, we’re witnessing it now.