Holy moly! It happens! Yes. After felt aeons. Well, it is my first concert since 18 months. It felt strange to shoulder the photo backpack and to get started again, kind of surreal ;) And afterwards I needed to dig out old live reviews to bring back how to set and format pics and words. But, it did not take so long and the old workflow was back ;)
However, reason for this emotional roller coaster was a small but wonderful label fest at :: Sputnikhalle :: Muenster. Founded in 2016 by Johanna and Johanna, the :: LADIES & LADYS LABEL :: is the “first officially sexist* music label in the world” and showcased two bands of its roster on this Friday evening: RIOT SPEARS and LUMINESCENT. Both were joined by newcomers KAPA TULT, which, maybe, might be signed to the label too.
A few words what the label is about from their manifest: "LADIES&LADYS LABEL is the first officially sexist* music label in the world. At first glance, the word sexist appears provocative. 95%* of the music industry is male-dominated, sexism is an everyday experience. The board members of the three major labels in the world are exclusively male and the proportion of women on the stages of the big festivals is often less than 10%. LADIES&LADYS LABEL is a completely transparent music label which takes care of the promotion of Ladys* in the music industry."
The festival was specially supported by: Create Music, Landesmusikrat NRW, LVR Landschaftsverband Rheinland, LWL Kulturstiftung, Ministerium für Kultur und Wissenschaft des Landes Nordrhein-Westfalen and the NRW Kultursekretariat Gütersloh.
Since the fucking virus still reigns our lives, the LADIES & LADYS LABEL FEST was put outside under the "porch roof" of the location. Allowed to enter the area were only people matching the 3G rules (German abbr. for vaccinated, recovered or tested). I only know 3SNF rules… ;)
Ok, photographer joke.
A capacity of 250 fans were allowed, not even 100 appeared. That's kind of sad. I expected many more, since the festival went under the "pay-what-you-can" banner (minimum 6 Euro) and everybody could freely move inside the area, without masks (except inside the hall at the bar and toilets). Hm, well…
Looking around I noticed uncertainty was omnipresent. How to meet, how to deal with other people? Where people still have hugged each other, put heads together, whispered and flirted two years ago, there were now cramped attempts not to touch each other, to talk with a bigger distance in between or to stay just for our own. Weird, and really, really sad to see what C19 made to us.
:: pics :: LUMINESCENT ::
The festival was opened by singer/songwriter :: LUMINESCENT ::, a one-woman-Dark-Pop project from Berlin. Says the label: "On her debut full-length Collisions, wishes and actions and feelings and realities collide. Her arrangements are beautifully reduced and though powerful, nonchalantly performed, serious and feel so warm."
LUMINESCENT entered the stage shortly after 7pm. Not so many people have showed up yet and sat far away from the stage. Not a comfortable way to kick off a show. The girl was visibly nervous and needed two or three songs to get along with everything. Singer/songwriter music is naturally not meant to freak out and go wild but this LUMINESCENT enchanted her audience a little later. Sure, an intimate club atmosphere would have done her much better but she delivered a beautiful set, with all songs taken from her debut Collisions, performed on acoustic and e-guitar as well as on piano
Setlist: No Robot No Machine, Time Shackles, Treibsand, Zu Viel Egal, Kälte, Rootles, Alienation, Silence, Silhouettes
:: pics :: KAPA TULT ::
Mood and atmosphere changed immediately when :: KAPA TULT :: jumped onto stage right after. Hailing from Leipzig, this trio is a newcomer band too, calling its style Priority Pop. What? What's that? Hm, well, the band could not answer this question yet fully, as bassist Paul says. Perhaps Indie Pop Rock Punk with a bit of Hip-Hop?
Admittedly, that's all music I never ranged in, since I'm, you know, an old extreme Metal bitch, but the trio just kicked me out of my sock. It was actually a quartet, with an additional keyboard player. I have no idea, if that girl is a regular band member or not. Anyway, these dudes were so downright likable and so overwhelmingly fun on stage that no one could elude. By the way, Angi played her drums while standing. I have never have seen a drummer playing like this. And she is a huge Mike Patton fan (she scored, even if she wore a Kelly Family tee at the festival). The band's smashing hit Priority Lane got stuck in my ears. Lyrics were sharp-tongued, sometimes even snarky, making me and people laugh. Since I could not find anything, I assume that all tracks will be find on the upcoming debut album Meinten Sie Katapult? Clever album title, as well as the band name. Even if you read correctly, the brain doesn't want to take it and makes a catapult (Katapult) out of it. Perfect marketing strategy ;)
One or two songs have been so new that they were not any older than 24 hrs, which had its vagaries. KAPA TULT took it easy and had a good laugh. The crowd too. This actually remained a running gag this evening ;)
And finally, the audience was wide awake as well, came closer to the stage and started dancing, well animated by label boss Johanna and the grrls from Riot Spears. Yes, that was fun, indeed. I still grin like a Cheshire cat and groove smoothly on the Priority Lane.
Band: Inga (guitars, vox), Angi (drums), Paul (bass), Robin (keys)
Setlist: Elite, Auszeichnung, Premiun, Wolfgang, Menschen.Leben.Tanzen.Welt, Lova, U2, Cigarettes, Michelle, Schoko, Leck mich, Priority Lane/Street // Kittchen
:: pics :: RIOT SPEARS ::
:: RIOT SPEARS ::, so I got told beforehand, currently ride on a wave of success and were even listed as one (of 20) of the most influencing Grunge bands of the new era (the so called third wave of Grunge). And they were named as one to keep up the spirit of the Riot Grrrl Underground Feminist Punk movement. Many laurels for a newcomer band that has just released its debut Bad. Saying so, the members of RIOT SPEARS are no newbies at all. They already have earned their stripes in other bands and projects.
RIOT SPEARS are also activists, of course, and strongly support LGBTQ+ and DIY bands in the Berlin scene. The girls found home in Grunge but also add a proper portion of Punk and Noise to their music. Often angry and gruff as in Alien Pain but also fragile and tuneful. When searching for more info about the band I found references towards Hole and Courtney Love. Yep, fits, early Joan Jett came to mind as well.
RIOT SPEARS made the audience to finally rock out. Hardly any fan was sitting by now but dancing instead. No request needed. It was so good to see people acting like that :) Laughter was included too when the girls picked up the running from Kapa Tult about the newest of the new tracks.
Of course, RIOT SPEARS were not allowed to leave the stage without encore. They had to return even twice. Interestingly, Blanca and Svenja switched instruments when playing Park Song. Yes, great show!
Band: Blanca Schmid (Drums), Svenja Weiß (Bass), Martha Kamrath (Git, Vox),
Setlist: Harvester, Mermaid Bitch, Pathetic, Emo Fries, Monster, Boats, Bad/I Feel So Good, WWIII, Toir, Hot // Devil & The Sea, Park Song, Alien Pain
Okay, here we are, at the end of the wonderful LADIES & LADYS LABEL FEST volume 1 and I have to admit, I had a hell of fun watching those bands perform. I really enjoyed bands, music and atmosphere. This little concert caused many emotions and made me aware of new perspectives. That is surely due to the many months of live music deprivation and the fact that concerts cannot be taken for granted anymore. But I also have changed personally during this time and set new focusses on things. All this makes a concert an almost new experience and I appreciate even more to be invited to such events and to do what I love most: music & photography.
Much more, it is great see a label like LADIES & LADYS LABEL rise, having the guts to start from scratch at times, where others in the music biz fall down and to stand for women and LGBT+ rights.
And there will be a second edition of the LADIES & LADYS LABEL FEST! On Friday, September 17, Johanna & Johanna will bring ELL, Gigolo Tears and Wenn einer Lügt dann Wir live on stage. Same location, same hygienic rules. Same ticket rules: pay as much as you can but at least 6 Euro. Doors will open at 6pm, show starts at 6.30 pm. Hope to see you again! :)