1996/07/13, Helter Skelter festival, Happens Hof, Ochtrup, Germany

Roadkill 1996

June 19
 Leeds
June 22
 München
June 29
 Hamburg (cancelled)
July 13
 Ochtrup
July 14
 Offenbach

This was the fourth and the last Helter Skelter festival concert, although only the second one for The Sisters of Mercy.

According to the ticket, all the standard suspects were playing, with one exception: Cypress Hill was out this time, so all, erm, bigger performances had to move back by few hours. Consequently, those who assumed their performance will be later missed the gig.

Before the gig a Dominitoes hook-up was organized. And Kiss the Carpet was first played live this tour in this gig. As a genuine called-upon encore.

Which is pretty good for a Saturday-job band.

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Setlist

This setlist might be (and most likely really is) incorrect. If you have access to the real thing, please take some of your time to check it and send in corrections/confirmations.

  • Ribbons
  • Come Together
  • Train/Detonation Boulevard
  • Amphetamine Logic
  • Giving Ground
  • On the Wire/Teachers/On the Wire
  • Anaconda
  • Flood II
  • First and Last and Always
  • Temple of Love
    <break>
  • Vision Thing
  • This Corrosion
  • Jolene
    <break>
  • Kiss the Carpet
  • Thanks to Raf Toninato (osm10@siemens.be)

    Setlist | Reviews | Links
    Reviews

    Written by Robin Colman (sisters@pandora.be), German translation was published in Head and Star fanzine

    I had doubts about this gig: when a friend of mine called me two weeks ago, on Friday night, to say that Hamburg was cancelled, my bags were already made! Will Andrew appear on this stage tonight?

    Much better organization than in München, that's for sure: signs on the road, parking places, a lot of advertising and a lot of people. This is a real festival. Much more Sisters shirts that in München three weeks ago, but one weird thing, I can hear 'Move, move, ...' already and my watch tells me that it is only 6 PM now. Then I hear the reason: Cypress Hill did not perform tonight, so the Sisters will play at 7 instead of 9 PM. Very lucky for me, to get there in time, I know some people that have missed 30 minutes of the show or even the complete gig.

    Rodney Orpheus and the new Sisters keyboard player Dave doing soundchecks, so my mind is happy, here comes another perfect night!

    A lot of people look very surprised when Andrew appears with blond hair and who might be that other guitarist, where is Andreas? Well, I've learned not to care about who is playing with the Sisters, let it be somebody from Babylon Zoo, as long as Andrew is there and performs as good as ever, I will be happy, and there must be a thousand people in here thinking the same.

    Andrew looks good and happy, he is definitely in a good mood, so is his voice, but again the organization is so good that nobody had the chance to hear the first three sentences of Ribbons. Do these people from the mixing desk actually get money for this? The set is not so different from the München one, no surprises: Ribbons, Logic, Alice, On the Wire/Teachers/On the Wire, Come Together, First and Last and Always, Train/Detonation Boulevard, Giving Ground, Flood II and a short version of the Temple. Under The Gun was played in München and Leeds, but not in here. Some of the songs were definitely remixed and played much faster than in the past.

    The public is going mad, including a lot of drunk Germans, which are really getting on our nerves. Andrew has to come back, the public is yelling, time flies. He comes on stage again for some more songs like Vision Thing, This Corrosion and Jolene. He takes of his glasses and smiles to the crowd, 'this is me, Andrew Eldritch, stoned, immaculate and untouchable'.

    The past hour was amazing, but the crowd is not happy yet, Andrew has to come back! The man looks tired, he makes a bow and thanks the public, but they are not satisfied yet, so there comes Kiss the Carpet, the big surprise of tonight. The music is great, the spirit is there, the public is amazed, this will be the final song, everybody can feel it, enjoy it while you can. Andrew can not enjoy it, his voice gave up his deep, perfect sound during Jolene an the man is in pain! It gives a new, special dimension to this song, the freaks should be satisfied now. Andrew leaves the stage after 70 minutes, this was a perfect night. This was a perfect experience! Johnny Rotten had to piss off his crowd before he got any attention. Maybe he still has to learn from a real artist?

    The Sex Pistols closed the Helter Skelter festival at 10 PM. this is the first time I see a concert that has finished so early.

    We put up our tents to go off to Hanau next morning, will the Sisters be there?


    Written by Wim Vandeputte (wvdputte@reptile.rug.ac.be) for Dominion mailing list

    The 399 km trip to Ochtrup sure did pay off. Even could tolerate the 45 minutes bumper to bumper queue to the Camping Ground. And the kilos of cow-dung we had to drive/walk through. Camping there is an adventure of it's own: lot's of people with eh... daring looks, loud music and a lot off alcohol. The horeca (catering) must have done golden business there in the neighborhood...

    The Reptile House was not around. But their merchandise was. (as usual :-) New T-shirts (Grey Bastard Groovy and Road Kill 96 (??)) but nothing world shocking. Also saw the gray UTR T-shirt 'need it want it'. And of course the UTG dark copper colored 'Andrew half naked'. And the new logo T-shirt.

    (The Germans selling the stuff (for a lot of other bands too) didn't even know what the Reptile House was). This made it a bit harder to find Pete and the rest but we couldn't really miss :-)

    "Well, just look for The Sisters of Mercy T-shirt" heh? Bad luck, 1/3 of the 'group T-shirts' I saw (excluding the 'kill all hippies') where from the Sisters of Mercy.

    Reminds me of making better arrangement for next time, even bring along an eye-catching sign to locate each other. (hmmm... tie up Koba?? :-) that is... if he gets in!)

    Sisters were rumored to go on stage round 20 o'clock but due to the all-present chaos (really bad organized to my opinion, nobody really knew who was going to be onstage) they appeared 'round 19. No doubt this act was the first one to really shake the crowd (also the last one? anybody bothered to hang around to wait for the Sex Pistols? and what about Cypress Hill? I don't recall seeing them...)

    The live set contained the following songs (in random order, I even forgot some of them. Anybody got a tape?): Ribbons, On the Wire/Teachers, Amphetamine Logic, First and Last and Always, Vision Thing, Alice, Temple of Love, This Corrosion.

    The crew was 2 players, Andrew on the mike and some bloke with short hair and an earring (this sure narrows it down) behind the Doktor.

    Although in bright sunlight, the visuals where fairly ok (well, missing the big light effects you only get in the dark) Andrew running around doing his David Bowie thing in a black Kunfu outfit. He changed later into something cooler (I didn't see everything because I spend some time with my back to the stage, holding back some of the crowd).

    Smoke on stage could have been better (As Andrew remarked to 'control people': "Hit that button and keep hitting it")

    The first encores where Come Together and Jolene (right?). Didn't Andrew take of his glasses for a second just to tease the crowd?

    This didn't really cool down the crowd so they came back for a backspine thrilling Kiss the Carpet, Andrew first making a bow to the audience. He even threw his plastic bottle (quarter filled with orange juice + some secret ingredient I presume) in the public.

    We left just after the Sisters, why wait for the Sex Pistols? Would have been to embarrassing, besides: didn't want the waist a perfect day :-)


    Written by Chris Sampson (Chris@cgs123.demon.co.uk) for Dominion mailing list

    Wim Vandeputte:
    > We left just after the Sisters, why wait for the Sex Pistols? Would have
    > been to embarrassing, besides: didn't want the waist a perfect day :-)

    Shame. Lydon & co were subjected to the most vicious, sustained bottling it has been my privilege to witness.

    I thought The Sisters performance was excellent, much better than the Depeche Mode support slots. The band played better than I'd expected - there were a few cock-ups, especially at the start of Temple, but once they got going all the old wide-eyed adrenalin rush was back. Someone rightly pointed out that Giving Ground was a highlight. A malevolent, minimalist 'Teachers' also deserves a mention, and Train was a blistering thrill as usual.

    What's also evident is that The Sisters pissed all over every other band on the line-up, and this was reflected in the crowd's reaction. It seems a waste to get the band all up and running again just for three support slots. More! More!


    Written by Koba (BCORFE@fs2.scg.man.ac.uk) for Dominion mailing list

    Wim Vandeputte:
    > The Reptile House was not around. But their merchandise was. (as usual :-)

    Au contraire, Wim! TRH were around, but they were directing their efforts at getting the dorkish pricing policy over the T-shirts sorted out. Basically the organizers decided on the prices of all the merchandise (very expensive and more expensive) and the bands and their Clenshmen had little say in the matter. The organizers may have perceived themselves as promoting a super-anarchic festival, but they were nevertheless a bunch a greedy cunts with little comprehension of practical Capitalism.

    If you're reading this, boys: charge less = sell more = make more profit, you arseholes.

    > New T-shirts (Grey Bastard Groovy and Road Kill 96 (??)) but nothing
    > world shocking. Also saw the gray Utr T-shirt 'need it want it'. And of
    > course the UTG dark copper colored 'Andrew half naked'...

    ...that's the top half, girls....

    > Reminds me of making better arrangement for next time, even bring along an
    > eye-catching sign to locate each other. (hmmm... tie up Koba?? :-) that
    > is... if he gets in!)

    yeeeessss. For those missing this gem: Koba was put on the guest list, but the tour manager forgot to put the guest list on the door. The cunt.

    > Although in bright sunlight, the visuals where fairly ok (well, missing
    > the big light effects you only get in the dark) Andrew running around
    > doing his David Bowie thing in a black Kunfu outfit.

    Amongst other highlights of The Sisters' sterling performance was playing through the arrival, by helicopter, of those groovsters - The Sex Pistols... if only this could have been timed to coincide with VT or Ribbons, and if only they'd been playing Die Valkure....

    Reflecting the generally cheerful person that took the stage at The Fenton, Andy seemed hyped and relaxed. He had his eyes open, looking through rose-tinted spectacles at his beloved audience. Well, one or two blonde members of it at least. The show was competent and lively, the band tight, problems (except lack of a bassist) all ironed out. The Sisters aren't at their best in the daylight, but despite this the performance was corkingly entertaining. From a personal perspective there wasn't enough white noise, not enough competition between guitars generating that thrilling dialectical torque that sets our favorite band apart from the rest. But that's just my opinion: they were fab and they were groovy.

    > We left just after the Sisters, why wait for the Sex Pistols? Would have
    > been to embarrassing, besides: didn't want the waist a perfect day :-)

    Hmmm. Perhaps part of the point of the Sisters doing all of this was to stress their history, to attempt to redirect those misperceptions of the band as a one-dimensional g*** icon. By playing with the likes of the Pistols and Metallica (I know they didn't in the end, but...) the band can assert their position as foremost techno rock gods with a punkish attitude and history.

    I stayed down the front for the Pistols with Leila and I thought that they were brill: far, far better than we have any right to expect. They played a blistering and exciting set.

    My other traveling companions didn't exactly see eye to eye with me on this one.

    P.S. Apologies once again to those who partook in Dr C's version of "Europe's Slowest White Knuckle Ride"...!


    Written by Pete French (pete@ohm.york.ac.uk) for Dominion mailing list

    Excellent gig as far as I'm concerned - and a trip that went without any problems as well. Loads of people there I hadn't seen for ages which is always nice, plus a lot of people off the list coming up and saying hello. Ummm, if I think hard I could probably do a role-call on names, but I won't. Sorry to anyone who was there that we didn't get a chance to meet up with.

    It did seem that the Sisters were the first band that the crowd were really into - the set was much the same as Leeds, but they got a 2nd encore due to everyone screaming so much. I don't think that was planned at all, they came back and did Kiss the Carpet. It's rare to see a band get a genuine encore because the crowd want it rather than because it was set listed.

    Dr C:
    > I stayed down the front for the Pistols with Leila and I thought
    > that they were brill: far, far better than we have any right to
    > expect. They played a blistering and exciting set.
    >
    > My other traveling companions didn't exactly see eye to eye with me
    > on this one.

    Mmmmm... now I'm in a more charitable mood I shall say that if you went to see the Sex Pistols then you probably would have enjoyed it and said that they turned in an excellent set. If you sat at the back and weren't bothered about them then they didn't do anything which would make you sit up and take notice and was thus fairly dull.

    The Germans can't half lob bottles when they want to though! Precision and accuracy are the watchwords here - direct hit on the drummer. Same skills that make them so good at football I guess :-)

    Well, no matter how good you thought the Pistols were Dr C, you can't deny that the Sisters got the best crowd reception of the day. Given that both bands were playing to an essentially partisan audience during their set then it's telling that the Sisters got such a more enthusiastic response.

    > Apologies once again to those who partook in Dr C's version of
    > "Europe's Slowest White Knuckle Ride"...!

    Yes, the "Dr C drinking experience", followed the next morning by the "Dr C hangover experience" and the "Dr C doesn't want to drive very fast because he's not feeling very well experience" :-) Still, think of all the petrol we saved by traveling and a most un-Dutch 45 MPH.

    I'd forgotten how much I enjoy German festivals - the atmosphere was generally excellent (unless you were Mr J Lydon). No agro that I could see anywhere. Well, i could have done without the drunk punks next to us tripping over the tent and sitting on my head several times during the night, but these things you have to expect at festivals :-)

    So, I'm now going to sit here and mope about not making it to Hanau. Hmmm, I'm sure I'll get over it eventually.


    Written by Bernhard Lukas (lutz@sbox.tu-graz.ac.at) for Dominion mailing list

    The 2 guitareros looked quite anxious into the crowd (and the new one looked like he had eaten too much sleeping pills before) and in between Eldritch. He also lifted his shades (after TC?), and he enjoyed the whole event (in my opinion), talked to his players and to the audience


    Picture at the top of this page was taken by Wim de Nooyer (wiscel@zeelandnet.nl); full version is available at http://people.zeelandnet.nl/wiscel/som/ochtrup.htm.

    Tickets were scanned by (l-r) Jochen Upheber (MERCYMAN@t-online.de) and Robin Colman (sisters@pandora.be). Note the number on Jochen's ticket.

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