Wednesday 13 November 2013

Late summer reviews: Otto von Schirach + DAT Politics, King Khan & BBQ, Berlin Festival

Church of Phonk @ Berlin Festival
Summer came and went at the blink of an eye. And we were busy. C* and Gary got hitched in Vegas (no kiddin'), J. and C* got stuck into their new jobs, the weather was so great that most afternoons were spent by one of Berlin's beautiful lakes. When autumn came with full force last month, I really started fretting. Would I be able to handle another Berlin winter after the last one snowed its way into April? Now that relatives are calling about Christmas plans and the buttons need to be fastened again on my winter coats, the prospect of the impending cold does not seem quite as scary anymore. But it does let me dwell on great a summer we have had.

MBV @ Berlin Festival
This leads me to admit that most of summer I slacked terribly with my reviews. On one of our tea afternoons the other day, J. and I wondered whether it was still worth doing those old reviews and came to the conclusion that it was probably too late and it was best to leave it be. Who wants to live in the past, right? The future is now!

As a mark of respect to the many great performers I saw over the summer and to make sure I have links for my Top of the Year list next month, I am giving three past events a quick mention here, with a couple of photos to lighten the autumn blues. A hommage to summer.

PS: Also watch out for my Destruction Unit review and my second LA report later this week. And some point, there will also be an account of what happened when Iceage played West Germany.

It was one of those nights, when we dashed from one side of the river to the other to make it from the amazing Civil Civic show in time for this event here by Frenchies DAT Politics, followed by Floridian Otto von Schirach. The former did what they always do: make the room jump up and down with their dancable electro shout punk. They have been around for some time, they know what they are doing, the attitude is right and it never gets dull. Good fun. Mr von Schirach, on the other hand, continuously tries to push boundaries. Ever since I saw him tour solo with The Locust many years ago, this one-man-show has earned a large place in my heart. These days, he has a whole crew, lowered the noise a little, upped the rap elements. He still wears a zorro mask, people still go crazy for him. Another fine performance that I will cherish for some time to come. Oh, and he is sexy, too.

King Khan & BBQ entertained Bassy Cowboy Club one hot night in August. It was wild, sweaty, full and everybody got a good jig out of it. Great night out.

Parquet Courts
Though we go every year, Berlin Festival gets that little less exciting with each instalment, I am sad to say. Highlights this year, besides the hot sun on our necks and shoulders, were definitely Parquet Courts, Villagers (Friday's winner for me), Blur (festival attendance was worth for this alone), Savages (Saturday's #1 gig), and My Bloody Valentine. No surprises there. Despite unflattering festival sound, all these artists gave great performances with a fun crowd to support them. We also enjoyed the Church of Phonk interactive dance art installation, were impressed by the Pet Shop Boys' costumes (Gilbert and George of pop music), took in the beauty of Tempelhof Airport.

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