Well, this turned out to be a bit of an emotional roller-coaster, didn’t it? For those of you out of the loop, this show was originally meant to be part of a headlining tour from German Synthpop sensations And One. However, due to some massive debacles behind the scenes, they ended up cancelling their appearance across the entire tour. And One? More like And None! Ok, seriously though, I am disappointed that they had to cancel, as it would have been their first UK appearance in an absolute age, but I’m not going to point fingers or stir the pot. I have my opinions, but that’s not what this article, or blog, is about (although I just couldn’t resist a silly pun back there.) Anyway, with them sadly out of the picture, it was up to the main support to step up to the headlining slot; the legendary Leæther Strip.
However, before they took to the stage, there were a great range of support acts, the first of which were Nature of Wires. Having seen them just over a month prior at “The Treat Before Halloween” event, at The Flapper in Birmingham, I knew to expect great things. That said, this still ended up being a very different experience, in a good way of course. Since last seeing them, they’ve acquired a new vocalist, Lady B, and she took the lead on this night. To hear the music with a female lead was a huge contrast, and it worked brilliantly with the atmospheric, catchy synth hooks. The band took command of the room, filling it with energy, and Lady B’s vocals soared, her presence strong. At one point during their set, the fire alarms were accidentally triggered, but no one budged. I guess it just goes to show that they were so good, that they were on fire! Also, I don’t know if it was just me, but it somehow complimented their sound. They powered through it with excellent professionalism.
Next up, another band I’d also seen at the same event back at the Flapper (and many times before that), were Among The Echoes. I think I’m getting a sense of deja-vu here. Needless to say, they yet again put on another top performance, their dark, Gothic electronic rock sound creating a rich atmosphere that kept the crowd enthralled. I once again had the pleasure of seeing “Breathe” played live, as well as a handful of other belters of theirs, closing off in style with a cover of Gary Numan’s “Pure”. Of course, I’ve got to give a huge shout-out and props to Squeaky from Wrapped in Plastic. The band’s guitarist, Wayne Page, wasn’t able to make it to the show, so she stepped in on guitar duties for the evening. She absolutely nailed it, and her style fit perfectly with Among The Echoes’ aesthetics, making it feel a bit heavier than usual.
I’m not going to lie, I’m not a huge fan of Mechanical Cabaret, but I did give them a chance on this occasion. The thing is, after the first two acts, they sounded a bit too slow and dreary for my liking, so I abandoned their set a few songs in. I just didn’t feel a connection, which was a shame.
And then it was time for the headlining act, Leæther Strip. In all honesty, I know very little about this music project, even though Claus Larsen’s tunes have been going strong for 30 years now. I have heard key tracks, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed what I’ve listened to, but I’ve just never got round to it. Well, this performance was as educating as it was entertaining, because he absolutely dominated. From the get go it was adrenaline-fuelled Industrial at it’s finest. The atmosphere was intense, to the point where it was impossible to not move to the hypnotic beats. For all this to be performed, let alone be created, by one man is astounding, and only highlights the huge talent and prowess he has. It was a hell of an experience.
Overall, despite the drama surrounding it, it was not only a successful night, but a fantastic one. The bands, for the most part, were excellent and Leæther Strip more than stepped up to the headlining slot. Although, considering the years of experience he has, that’s unsurprising, but is still as testament to how stunning his musicianship is, as well has his huge presence on stage. It was more than worth the asking price, and I’d go to anther show without hesitation.