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David Kuckhermann

2019-06-18+19 DE – Bochum - RuhrCongress

| Doors: 7 pm | Show: 8 pm | Tickets: 43.50 € - 72.25 Euro + fees |


A Celebration – Life & Works 1980-2019

[Dajana] Witnessing the DEAD CAN DANCE shows in 2012 and 2013 a strong aloofness between Lisa Gerrard and Brendan Perry was clearly perceptible. I would not have wondered to hear about the end of this legendary duo again. At least I expected to see them losing parts of their cult status, their magic and the uniqueness.
Well, DEAD CAN DANCE did not tour Europe since then and for a new album we had to wait a long time too. But, as you can see, DEAD CAN DANCE are still there.

[Dajana] Five years after their fantastic comeback album Anastasis, DEAD CAN DANCE return with Dionysus, exploring the myth of the Greek God of wine, madness and ecstasy. This new effort is mostly Perry’s work. He melts collected influences, impressions, traditional instruments and melodies from all corners of the world, all in the perspective of the Greek God. The musical realization is complex though debatable. Yet a DEAD CAN DANCE show should never ever be missed!
[Psycho] I agree! I personally found the last two records rather average, as measured by the expectation one can have of this band. There is not that much left of the creative power of earlier releases.
[Dajana] The current tour actually does not follow the traces of Zeus’ son. The tour is dubbed A Celebration – Life & Works 1980-2019 and thus implies a set of songs spanning the entire history of the band.

[Dajana] The tour was booked with double shows in almost every city, many of them sold out twice. Germany sees DEAD CAN DANCE playing in Berlin and Bochum – an interesting combination of cities by the way. For us the Bochum show at :: RuhrCongress :: was our first choice. Both shows were well-attended but not sold out. It was a hot pre-summer day but arising wind (as harbinger of heat thunderstorms) made the evening comfortable. Waves of fans, highly anticipated, strolled towards the RuhrCongress in festive (mostly black) attire. The doors opened on time the first raindrops fell down.


[Dajana] As he did in 2012 and 2013, incredibly talented world percussionist :: DAVID KUCKHERMANN :: opened the evening as support act in 2019 too. He belongs to the DCD family since 2012 and contributed not only to their recent records but also collaborated with Lisa Gerrard on different projects and is part of The Mystery Of The Bulgarian Voices.
The master of handpans offered five tracks and explained origin, specifics and musical notations of this instrument. I’m always again deeply fascinated about the wide spectrum of tunes and sounds one can create with those pots, um… pans ;)
[Psycho] Even if it might have attracted attention later this evening, tonight’s DCD show required only a small part of DAVID KUCKHERMANNs skills and talents. To play solo gave him the chance to have a fling, to show what his handpans are about and he obviously enjoyed it.
[Dajana] Before the third track he encouraged the audience to guess the measure and to tell him after the show. The first one would win a CD; others would be able to buy his CDs there. The crux: There was no point/spot/table with CDs. There was no DAVID KUCKHERMANN after the show to meet and tell our guesses. There was no merchandise at all, on both days for none of the artists. Hm. Perhaps that was the real mystery to be unraveled. (And there were no muffins either this time).

Setlist: X, X, X, X, Prelude

:: pics :: DEAD CAN DANCE ::

[Dajana] A 30 minutes break gave us time to get drinks and to look for merchandise to no avail. Anticipation and expectations were now palpable. Finally the lights were dimmed and the first keyboard-strokes heralded Anywhere Out Of The World (yes, that’s where DCD are coming from). A perfect start. One after another, the musicians of :: DEAD CAN DANCE :: entered the stage accompanied by frenetic applause. As already mentioned, the band offered a career-spanning set and thus it did not wonder that there was only one song taken from each Dionysus and Anastasis. DEAD CAN DANCE focused much more on records such as the ‘87-released Within The Realm Of A Dying Sun or the ‘85 Spleen And Ideal. A fact we would never complain about ;) All albums except Spiritchaser were represented, which felt a strange omission considering the fact that there were two cover versions.
[Psycho] Yes, true. Musically, the earlier records are much stronger, more substantial and interesting. From this point I was more than happy to not experience a show that just features the new album.
[Dajana] Those, who attended the show in 2005 will have recognized the one or the other song in the setlist played then and now, yet interpreted differently. Latest at The Wind That Shakes The Barley I cringed, twisted and turned with goosebumps and all the chills sent up and down the spine, while tracks such as Sanvean moved me to tears. Another highlight surely was one of those cover versions, Autumn Sun (who the heck is Delayaman?), which brought Lisa and Brendan together in voice which rarely ever happens in their music and created even more emotions to witness just this. It was like a roller coaster of emotions and sometimes I did not know where to store all my feelings that just flooded me.
[Psycho] Yeah, that is the DCD-effect! So it started with me back then too.
[Dajana] Meanwhile, there was a coming and going on stage to leave room for the particular musicians. The live ensemble consisted of six musicians; one of them was Robert Perry, the brother of Brendan Perry, playing flutes, percussions and Bouzouki, and also contributing backing vocals.

[Dajana] The vocal performance of Brendan and Lisa was beyond brilliant. I had doubts before since I have seen Lisa Gerrard live with The Mystery Of The Bulgarian Voices and remember a certain shortness of breath there as well as in her 2018 Havasi video. Tonight there was absolutely no such thing to sense out. Her ethereal and haunting voice was nothing short of sensational and still spellbinding.
[Psycho] From what I noticed, her voice phrasing and color has changed, which is probably a typical age effect. Besides, her vocal performance was again tremendously impressive and touching.
[Dajana] And so was Brendan. His incredibly beautiful, clear and sonorous voice immediately crept under my skin. Proven and certified during his solo tour 3 months ago in Cologne.
[Psycho] While the voice of Lisa is rather for special moments in life, I could listen to Brendan Perry for hours. His singing is just stunningly beautiful.
[Dajana] Exactly! That is the way his singing is! At this chance (while writing this report) I listen to Brendan Perry’s Ark again and again. It is such beautiful and timeless music.

[Dajana] Musically again, there are some things to be mentioned. Despite the 8-head ensemble, a lot of sounds still came out of the computer or were created by loops. I know, the DEAD CAN DANCE sound is complex and a full orchestration would go beyond the scope. Still, I think that an orchestra performance would be the ultimate DCD live experience of all times (as far as I know it only happened once so far down in Australia). However, the band did not seem to be rehearsed properly. The attentive observer might have seen insecurities among the musicians every now and then and seeing Brendan Perry to take over the conductor’s role to beat time for the ensemble. The sound had its weaknesses too, whereas I cannot say if the band was lacking of sound check time or the PA reached its limits.
[Psycho] People I spoke to and who attended shows at RuhrCongress more often told me that it is the PA of the hall. I sat directly behind the band’s PA and there was no (re)action at critical moments. That might be evidence that the problems were known but unsolvable.

[Dajana] Lisa Gerrard came onto stage in a flowing white dress reflecting and radiating lights like a goddess. She moved and acted like a diva but this time I did not sense the aloofness I mentioned above. She did not say a word the whole show but often smiled and those smiles came from the heart because of the audience’s response. She seemed to be in a good mood. Though, to me, it was Robert Perry, who brightened up the whole ensemble, making a bit of fun here and there.

[Dajana] Being captured in this unique sound cosmos lasted for 90 minutes, making the audience delve into a wide range of emotions. Some could not sit anymore, jumped up and danced wildly; others sat with eyes filled with tears. Every song was responded with frantic applause. Though, the show came to end way too soon. Two encores followed the main part, the first one with Perry’s Tim Buckley cover and Cantara, the second one with The Promised Womb and the DEAD CAN DANCE über-song Severance.

[Dajana] It was difficult to just leave afterwards and go back to normal. Fans waited in the foyer, still hoping to catch one of the musicians or to get their emotions off their chest. This was once again a mind-blowing concert night. One to be remembered for a long time.

Band: Lisa Gerrard, Brendan Perry, David Kuckhermann (percussions), Robert Perry (flute, percussions), Astrid Williamson (keys, vox), Jules Maxwell (keys, vox), Dan Gresson (drums), Richard Yale (bass)

Setlist: Anywhere Out Of The World, Mesmerism, Labour Of Love, Avatar, In Power We Entrust The Love Advocated, Bylar, Xavier, The Wind That Shakes The Barley, Sanvean, Indoctrination (A Design For Living), Yulunga (Spirit Dance), The Carnival Is Over, The Host Of Seraphim, Amnesia, Autumn Sun (Deleyaman cover), Dance Of The Bacchantes // Song To The Siren (Tim Buckley cover), Cantara // The Promised Womb, Severance



story © Psycho & Dajana • pics © Dajana & Dajana Winkel • Photography