Monday, 5 April 2010

Cold In Berlin / Jumping Ships / Red Drapes - The Macbeth 31 March 2010

Cold In Berlin

It starts on the bar.

There may be a guitarist on stage who has started pummelling his instrument as though it has deeply wronged him, there may be a drummer starting to hit out like a toddler banging a spade on a bucket and there may be a youthful looking bass player clad in black leather as cool as death – but it starts on the bar.
Cold In Berlin have been in hibernation. They have changed shape and reformed much like a moth emerges from a chrysalis. Personnel have changed, names are altered.

So it is UliMy rather than Maya who is poised on the bar, preparing for the moment when she will leap down onto the stage.

The new rhythm section has made a difference to the CIB sound. It still crunches like a sledgehammer, but is tighter, faster, more obviously disciplined. The set now fairly fizzes along with a solid foundation. There is still the possibility and promise of chaos but everything is now controlled.

As is often the case, much of the action takes place in and amongst the audience. From the opening ‘God I Love You’, through to ‘Bleed You Dry’, ‘If You Tear Me Apart’ and other faves, the audience is jumping up and down and trying to dodge out of the way of the increasingly full on incursions from the stage. UliMy is joined in the throng by a guitarist. It’s so intense that a more delicate member of our group decides to leave at this point, unprepared for a band to break the third wall and come at her. It’s all 3D these days.

The set includes new songs and a rampage through an old Bikini Kill track (not that much of a stretch for the way that they sound these days). It’s all magnificent and edges towards a full on finale with both sides of new single ‘Destruction / What Went Wrong?’ Just time at the end for signature tune ‘Total Fear’ which concludes with the infamous cry of “There’s no hope no hope no hope left!”

Never has nihilism sounded so good. Cold In Berlin – back with a bang.

There are two other bands this evening. Jumping Ships are a spiky guitar-driven band whose songs vary wildly in terms of quality, but who hit a very acceptable Futureheads kinda groove when it all comes together.

Red Drapes are dressed from head to foot in black and deliver everything that you would require from a rock band except possibly the need to miss your train in order to catch their entire set. What I saw, I liked, but I didn’t see enough to comment fully.

Winter is over, summer is here. It’s going to be red hot in the UK and Cold In Berlin.

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