1997/06/07, Woodstage festival, Gruendelpark, Glauchau, Germany

Distance Over Time 1997

March 28
 Birmingham (cancelled)

June 3
June 7
June 9
June 10
June 11
June 13
June 28
July 10
July 12
July 18
July 20

First official gig of 1997 tour, second technical disaster in a row: playing in miserable location, headlining miserable bands, suffering from miserable PA system. The course for Distance Over Time was set.

Unusually, this gig didn't feature neither Temple of Love nor Something Fast -- both these songs are played in nearly every (if not every) Sisters gig since 1990.

Vision Thing, another setlist staple, wasn't in planned for this gig, but the guys decided to play it anyway -- after the gig was considered finished by all, after the equipment was already being disassembled and after some of the audience left.

Popular opinion has it that in this festival Andrew hook up with Think About Mutation who later were invited to support Sisters on their next tour -- Event Horizon in 1998.

Setlist | Reviews

  • Comfortably Numb/Some Kind of Stranger
  • Ribbons
  • Giving Ground
  • Come Together
  • Train/Detonation Boulevard
  • Amphetamine Logic
  • On the Wire/Teachers/On the Wire
  • Dominion/Mother Russia
  • Under the Gun
  • Burn
  • Blood Money
  • Anaconda
  • War on Drugs
  • Flood II
  • This Corrosion
  • Confide in Me
  • First and Last and Always
  • Vision Thing
  • Thanks to Tom Meert, Wim Vandeputte (wvdputte@reptile.rug.ac.be), David Hlavacek (dr.komisar@post.cz)

    Setlist | Reviews

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

    A 10 hour drive. I must be crazy. Well, I was not alone, the festival was completely sold out, so the black market tickets cost us 90 DM. I must be really crazy!

    This must be a great festival, Front 242 and Leatherstrip playing. The worst news of the day: Leatherstrip does not play. So far OK, but the band that replaced them was H-Blockx! Not H-Blockx again? They have given me headaches last year and now they are back? Germany's worst band to ruin my day? Jump jump jump... Freud wouldn't be able to explain why these man are popular.

    So great the Sisters are headlining this year, the last year German gigs were 'little' disturbed by the early hour and the daylight. sisters are so much greater at night (except for the Beach Festival in '93). I can feel the adrenaline coming, the first official 1997 Sisters gig, all lights are out, the smoke is on, the blood is running through my veins...

    Andrew starts off with Comfortably Numb in place of Kiss the Carpet! It's still a great opener, the German public react great. It's true, Sisters' biggest audience is still in Germany. Andrew likes it, you can see he's amused, he's got nothing to lose, this is the best act of this festival, all other bands can go home.

    So the story goes, no surprises for who has seen last week's secret gig, but lot of surprises for over 10,000 people who haven't seen Sisters for year or more. The Sisters sound was much better than in Leeds, the song ordering was better, the PA was better (except for some feedback in the beginning), the songs were played better, everything was better. Great atmosphere, I felt the near meth experience again.

    Eldy felt over a cable once, and people could hear the microphone hit the stage. Anybody noticed this?

    Alice was not played, they haven't played Temple of Love this time too, but that was replaced by First and Last and Always. The rendition of Blood Money was great, impressive, Burn sounded just like it has always sounded, but Logic and First and Last and Always were played too fast, maybe someday I can appreciate this, but not today.

    Eldritch got off stage after an excellent version of This Corrosion, but the public asked for more, more, more... This was the time for Eldy to surprise the German audience (his audience) with the newest cover out of the hand of Von E. Confide in Me was played definitely better than in Leeds, but I still had an impression it wasn't in finished stage yet. Then came the fast First and Last and Always and that was it, show's over.

    Lights went on, background music started, roadies came on stage and the public headed towards the exit.

    Suddenly I saw Andy running back on stage, grabbing the microphone again, with all lights still on, PA already put off, and a lot of people gone. I saw Adam playing his guitar, but couldn't hear anything, the PA people ran from one side to another -- they definitely didn't expect this. Yes, there was the PA, part of it anyway. Vision Thing. Finally, these are The Sisters of Mercy at their best, at their own special mystic way of entertainementh or death. People who have seen this and didn't like it are already dead.

    P.S. For the first time this year there were the new T-shirts. The official tour T-shirt is great, the best they ever had. What a concept. I know there probably are a lot of questions with the last date on the T-shirts, so I asked Andy to explain: "No we won't play that, it's just the place where I'll have my holiday after this tour. Strand is a city somewhere near Kaapstad, South Africa.

    Written by David Hlavacek (dr.komisar@post.cz) for Czech music magazine Rock Report, issue 7/97, translated by David for The Sisters of Mercy Tours site

    ... it is a very shiny and dusty afternoon and there is no-one interesting going on stage right now. At 9 pm, Front 242 open the main programe of the Woodstage Festival. Their sound is terrible and the vocals are very unclear. What a disappointment! My concern about the sound begins to grow.

    Almost one hour break follows during which the lights and sound are checked once again. Then the first heavy sounds of Ping Floyd's "Comfortably Numb" announce what we have all been waiting for. Andrew Eldritch is coming out of the dry ice clouds, presenting himself in his new image, reminding more of David Bowie with his blond hair, rather than former gothic rock idol. My doubts about other disappointments soon disappear. Mr. Eldritch is here - live and kicking!

    The audience is treated to a series of the old hits as well as the songs known only from the B-sides. There's also time for almost four years old and yet unreleased "Come Together" along with a brand new "War On Drugs" with ambiguous lyrics, showing the possible way of the next Sisters' production. I remember only the strong bass line.

    Eldritch does all he can to wash out the stigma of Sisters being a gothic band. It has to be said that his efforts don't go in vain - the band finally lost the "gothic band" image. The highlights of the night include songs from the famous "Floodland" album and Eldritch's reincarnation of "Giving Ground".

    After the phenomenal final, the crowd can't get enough and cries for more. The first encore consists of Kylie Minogue's "Confide In Me" (I wonder what would Nick Cave said to this?) and the anthem "First And Last And Always". Follows a long break and a playback music from the speakers makes the fans lose all their hopes for another "Zugabe". Even the big devotees are on their way out... However there's a big surprise in store for the leaving mass. Von E. is back on stage accompanied by the thunderous tones of "Vision Thing". The fun goes on!

    Exhausted but obviously very happy Eldritch is leaving the stage crying out "Yes! Yes!" towards the audience.

    If I was to compare this gig with the two others I have seen before, I would say that this one was much better than the festival in Munich last year but very similar to the excellent show at the Birmingham's NEC in 1992.

    Thanks for your "Saturday job", Andrew, I think we both enjoyed it!

    Written by Stefan H. (GrobuHit@t-online.de) for The Sisters of Mercy Tours site

    Although I only learned of this gig on Monday, 2/6/97, and despite the fact that the event was sold out, I went to Glauchau on Friday and even managed to get a ticket two hours before the festival opened on Saturday. Lucky me.

    It was absolutely hot that day but the worst thing of it all was that the Sisters were the last ones to play. That meant I had to grit my teeth and survive uncounted bands ranging among the worst that Germany could offer. 10 hours of stifling heat, bad music and water that tasted like bear. Nevertheless, I didn't give up even when something appeared on stage that was loud, ugly and crap.

    Finally, my nerves and those of any Sisters fan around on end, they started to play. Unfortunately they had big problems with the sound. At first, all I could hear were the Doktor, the bass and some guitar (I guess). That Andrew was singing was only discernible by the movement of his lips. You couldn't hear him. This continued halfway through the concert so I am not able to give you a full lineup of the songs.

    But the atmosphere among us followers was great! Fog and lights created some interesting effects. Andrew was amazing! And as soon as I could make out what song he performed I felt like Heaven. He even spoke some lines to the audience in German (which is perfect, without any accent). He dropped a lot of clothes, changed twice during breaks and wore small red glasses.

    Written by Torben Weibert (tw@donut.de) for The Sisters of Mercy Tours site

    I read Rio's Glauchau concert review. As I don't agree with some things, I'd like to write my own review ;-)

    Three friends of mine and I got our tickets about a week before the concert. The ticket office told us that tickets were very rare, but it looks like they were not (see Rio's review).

    We arrived at about 4 p.m. after a four hour drive. The bands that were playing were neither popular nor good. Sisters was the headliner, and as one had told us before, they were going to play at about 10 p.m. So we had to wait for another 6 hours within the masses of people. Meanwhile, we bought the official tour tee-shirt.

    At about 10:15, "Front 242" finished playing and everyone headed for a good position. They were some delays as they had problems with the PA, changing microphones again and again. At 10:52, the moderator showed up and announced that the concert will start in about 5 minutes. Finally, at about 11:15, Andrew came onto the stage and the show began.

    The first song was "Comfortably Numb" (by Pink Floyd) combined with "Some Kind of Stranger". I disagree with Rio's opinion about the sound - I think it was rather good, at least at the place where I was standing (about 5 to 10 meters away from the stage). There were some microphone feedbacks during the concert, but they fixed it immediately.

    After the second encore, they stopped playing but the blue lights were still on. Then, the rest of the light went on and the stage crew started to put away some things (including one of the guitars, that's what made me think that the concert was over). Nearly everyone - including me and my friends - started to vanish. We were just about to leave the park when "Vision Thing" started. Everyone was very surprised, and we all headed back to the stage. Andrew really fooled us this time :-)

    Another thing I noticed is that Andrew once stumbled when he went from the edge of the stage back to the center. One could see him falling and hear the microphone hit the stage. Did anyone else notice that?

    After all, I think it was a great concert. Almost everyone I met agrees with that. Unfortunately I won't be able to go to Rendsburg or Dour this summer, so this is the first and the last Sisters concert I was going to this year :-(

    Written by Christof Biallass (Christof.biallass@uni-duesseldorf.de) for The Sisters of Mercy Tours site

    I read the two previous reviews and thought I'd send my own.

    We took a 7 hour drive on Friday to get to Glauchau and though camping was not well organized, the drive was definitely worth it.

    I saw the Sisters live last year in Ochtrup and in my opinion this time it was far better which actually had to do very much with the fact, that this time they were able to use all the fog and the lights, which created a great atmosphere, while last year they went on stage a lot earlier when it wasn't quite dark yet.

    The sound was fabulous (despite a few mic-feedbacks), especially the bass sounded great so it was a very fat sound, making songs like "Comfortably Numb" or "On The Wire" to absolute highlights of the show. Andrew's voice was great and it was pretty cool to listen to the two new songs (I know now that one was a Kylie Minogue cover which sounded cool, but nothing like Kylie Minogue) and "Blood Money" live.

    Though it was very hot that day I think it was great to have such good weather. It was hard to wait all day, but as I said earlier the Sisters show was far better in the dark.

    I was already on my way out when they came back for the last time to play "Vision Thing", so me like lots of others went back to listen and then see a delighted Andrew leaving the stage , shouting "Yes, Yes, Yes". I think he really liked the audience (I think almost everybody that day had come to see the Sisters!).

    Unfortunately I'm also not able to get to Rendsburg this year, but I hope somebody taped this cool show. It was definitely worth every penny, and showed that the Sisters are still very, very hot!

    Written by Gianfranco Sciacca (g.sciacca@ic.ac.uk) for Dominion mailing list

    Glauchau was Sisters on another planet, if compared with the 96 festivals. Huge improvement in the sound quality, and the light show, of course, as already remarked elsewhere.

    Don't agree with whoever said the sound wasn't good. Some feedback every now and then, but soon it got sorted. I'm not sure what to do with the speeded up Logic and FALAA. Too many highlights to mention, Under the Gun is still a lowdown. War on Drugs wasn't that impressive. The whole festival was greatly enjoyable; Front 242 still kick, but again that's just a matter of taste. Contrarily to popular belief tickets were healthily available at the doors, like at all the well organized sold-out festivals.

    Right ticket and flyer scanned by David Hlavacek (dr.komisar@post.cz), left ticket scanned by Jochen Upheber (MERCYMAN@t-online.de). Differences in colors illustrate how hard is recreating of original colors.

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