1998/07/11, Arvika festival, Arvika, Sweden

Summer 1998

June 27
 Roskilde
July 4
 Reuterstadt Stavenhagen
July 11
 Arvika
July 25
 Rothenburg
ob der Tauber
August 8
 Neerpelt
August 29
 Gelsenkirchen
September 7
 Tokyo (cancelled)
September 8
 Tokyo (cancelled)

late 1998
 false gigs

Swedish agency Stroke Music was planning Sisters' show in Sweden for early 1998, probably as part of Event Horizon schedule but, according to rumors, didn't agree to pay the fee Andrew wanted. Galaxen (the Arvika promoter) quickly got band's protest because they used "Sisters of Mercy" and not "The Sisters of Mercy" in the promotion.

All 8000 tickets were sold out as early as July 7, and getting one at the gates required quite a bit of social engineering -- which seems to be the case in every Arvika festival. Sisters played on day two of the two day festival.

Before the show Eldritch gave several interviews to Swedish journalists. See the interviews section for their index. Rumors state Swedish channel Z-TV asked Sisters for permission to film their show; band's answer isn't hard to guess.

The gig was set in heavy rain and was (apparently) cut short because of neighborhooding act aggressively started his job too early, so audience (apparently) missed Vision Thing, maybe even Sister Ray. If those were played, this gig would have become the third one this tour with all tour songs performed. Very few gigs ended with Something Fast; the only other I know of is 1991/07/12 Chicago (the one with Doktor problems and Stop Dragging My Heart Around premiere). Which, accidentally, is from the same year Sisters played their previous gig in Sweden.

A wild rumor has it that Andrew & Co. got DM 100,000 for the performance; Rammstein (second headlining slot) got DM 75,000.

The show is (apparently) released on Incoming bootleg CD.

Setlist | Reviews | Pictures
Setlist

  • Intro: Afterhours
  • First and Last and Always
  • Ribbons
  • Come Together
  • Train/Detonation Boulevard
  • Amphetamine Logic
  • War on Drugs
  • Giving Ground
  • (We Are the Same) Suzanne
  • On the Wire/Teachers/On the Wire
  • Will I Dream
  • Dominion/Mother Russia
  • Summer
  • Anaconda
  • Romeo Down
  • Flood II
  • Temple of Love
    <break>
  • Comfortably Numb/Some Kind Of Stranger
  • This Corrosion
    <break>
  • Something Fast
  • Thanks to Johan Eskils (johan.eskils@sodertalje.mail.telia.com) and Simon Cardwell (scardwel@csl.gov.uk)

    Setlist | Reviews | Pictures
    Reviews

    Written by Simon Cardwell (scardwel@csl.gov.uk) for Dominion mailing list

    Well I turned up at the festival without a ticket, and after a very long wait, a bit of bullshitting, and a little bit of luck I managed to get a ticket for the festival on the day.

    A quick word about some of the other bands at the festival. There were quite a few electronic/synth/darkwave type of bands, the worst of which had to be S.P.O.C.K., and the best had to be Norway's Apoptygma Berzerk, who delivered a fine set of 'techno with tunes'. 'G-word' band Darkside Cowboys were notable for their hilarious thrash cover of First and Last and Always - not everyone was amused however, as it got several middle-finger responses and prompted one disgruntled Sisters follower to hurl missiles at the band. During Moby's set an almighty downpour ensued, which didn't subside until the middle of the Sisters set.

    At about 2 pm, Adam and Mike could be seen at the back of the stage soundchecking, and little snippets of Will I Dream could be heard. Von briefly made an appearance, instantly recognizable from blonde hair, round shades, yellow shirt and cream jacket, and could be seen chatting to various back-stage entourage whilst tinkering with Dr Avalanche.

    At 00:25 am the lights dimmed, smoke billowed and the Afterhours intro started up, at which point all the punters who were sheltering from the rain surged towards the stage. The first few lines of the opening FALAA were unheard due to Von's microphone playing-up (or maybe the soundman fucked-up), but overall the sound was excellent, IMO even better than the London gigs in February. The Doktor's basslines were turned up higher in the mix than at those gigs, and sounded less keyboardy, more grungey and more like real bass guitar.

    The setlist was identical to the first night at London Forum in Feb, except the encores were changed around. Ribbons was simply awesome as ever and the new songs just get better and better. Romeo Down was particularly splendid, Adam's bass sounding more reverby than in London in Feb.

    At one point Von quipped "...don't blame us for the rain, blame Moby - as we come from a land where there's sunshine..." (Moby was one of the American support acts on the main stage). The audience sang along during Something Fast, the last song of the night, lighters were held in the air and Von paused to point the microphone at the audience to sing the chorus. When the song finished and the band walked off stage everyone waited for Jolene, Vision Thing or maybe even Sister Ray, but alas it was not to be.

    Overall, a bloody good weekend considering what I had to do to get a ticket, and I went home having got my Sisters fix (!) until the next time.

    BTW - 'Hi' to the two Sisters followers from Leeds I bumped into at Oslo airport. I was the guy who had to put his steel toe-capped boots through the hand luggage X-ray machine!


    Written by Tobias Dorf (heartwork@wtal.de) for Dominion mailing list

    After driving my car for about 20 hours, I arrived in Arvika where I had to organize a lot to get 2 tickets for me and my girlfriend. So we got the tickets - it was Wednesday - we had to wait for Saturday when the Sisters should play. No problem at all, the nice nature in Sweden welcomed us at the Glasfjorden near Arvika.

    On Friday we returned to Arvika and entered the festival. This was the BEST organized and social festival I have ever seen. Not because I liked the bands who played (I didn't like any) but because of the festival itself! OK, back to the Sisters.

    We searched for a good place to stand (we didn't want to stand in the first row this time because we expected a very rough gig in Sweden where the Sisters should do their first gig for 7 years now, first since the Vision Thing tour). At about 10 o'clock the rain from heaven started to kill the wild looking hairstyles of all those g***s and Moby started their gig. They left stage after an hour while it didn't stop raining.

    At around 12:30 (Johan, my girlfriend and me were totally wet) we head the intro starting. It was Afterhours. The normal Event Horizon setlist followed and I already thought we would get something special. We got it: Andy sang Something Fast when in the discotheque that was about 500 meters from the stage a DJ started his work. Andy took the hand to his head and then shook the head a he couldn't believe that this DJ destroyed his song. Then he got a bit angry, that g'bye and left stage without coming back again. That was it, 80 minutes.

    What Andy did was totally OK. This fucking tekkno-dj was ignorant, and this was the only part that was organized bad. They had no soundcheck (just a linecheck) and so his voice was covered too low. I thank Andy for this gig, I thank him for that he didn't try to start a sound-battle with this DJ. I thank him because without him I would never have gone to Sweden.


    Written by Andreas Engström (andreas.engstrom@swipnet.se) for Dominion mailing list

    Just some incoherent ramblings from a tired and happy fan.

    I just got home from a rainy and muddy Arvika, tired and happy. About two hours before the Sisters were due on stage the floodgates opened and drowned Arvika, it kept on raining an hour into the set. But it didn't matter because exactly 00.30 Eldo and the guys appeared from the smoked and kicked off with First and Last and Always, Ribbons, Come Together and then Train/Detonation Boulevard. I'm sure someone else remembers the complete setlist, but they played all the new songs.

    The Sisters where quite simply great. Andy seemed in a good mood and the sound was good, especially the vocals. Since they played after midnight it was quite dark and the lights and smoke looked great.

    By the way, does anyone know which cigarette brand has R1 in gold above the filter? That's what Andy smokes (or did at Arvika anyway). My girlfriend's sister who was by the stage in Arvika managed to pick up a fag Andy dropped. Useless info, but I thought I'd share it anyway.


    Written by lilith@dorsai.org for Dominion mailing list

    > By the way does anyone know which cigarette brand has R1 in gold above
    > the filter? That's what Andy smokes (or did at Arvika anyway). My
    > girlfriends sister who was by the stage in Arvika managed to pick up a
    > fag Andy dropped.

    Hey, you aren't my boyfriend!

    Oh, Arvika!

    In NYC, my sister snagged one of Eldritch's cigs, and it also had the R1. We're both non-smokers, and have no idea what brand that is.


    Written by Johan Eskils (johan.eskils@sodertalje.mail.telia.com) for Dominion mailing list

    Best memories:

    Amphetamine Logic and, deadstraight after that, War on Drugs. So strong, so strong...
    Andrew telling the audience to shut the f**ck up.
    Andrew telling us that they came from sunnyland.
    Andrew in leather pants black shirt and a orange skirt, cool ehhh?


    Written by Magnus Åkerblom (magnus_akerblom@yahoo.com) for Dominion mailing list

    ZTV broadcasted a quite large portion of a press conference that Sisters (yep all three) held in Arvika. The band answered questions outdoors in sunny Sweden. This was mixed with parts of Sisters history stories and the sound of Temple of Love 92. It was (though too short) nice to see them all in the bright sunlight. They got the G*** question, the new cd question, the lawsuits from old members question and so on. They also did a lot of interviews with Swedish magazines which I don't think has been up: for "Expressen" (the second largest newspaper in Sweden) and "Sauna" (elecro mag). So the interest for sisters in Sweden is still very big. Now if only that new CD would come out...


    Written by Reidar Dahlén (asjo0016@student.gu.se) for Dominion mailing list

    > Andrew telling us that they came from sunnyland.

    It was: "it's not our fault, we come from sunshine land"

    Another thing: a big bathing ball was thrown around in the public during the heavy rain. Eldritch: "you're not wrong", then playing Dominion, followed by Summer.

    Before War on Drugs: "meanwhile, in the jungle..."


    Written by Marla Linder (mlinder@gt.com) for Dominion mailing list

    > Before War on Drugs: "meanwhile, in the jungle..."

    Sounds like a reference to "Apocalypse Now". Allegedly, half the actors were on drugs and/or alcohol throughout the filming.


    Written by Christer Andersson (christe@nada.kth.se) for Dominion mailing list

    > Andrew telling the audience to shut the f**ck up.

    Actually, I think that remark was directed at himself. He did the 'And the hallway moves...'-thing which usually precedes Flood and not Romeo's down (which Adam, Mike and the Doktor were playing).

    > did someone tape this concert? the sound was excellent? I did not only
    > because I have no minidisc or DAT recorder.

    I thought the sound was pretty bad, they even lost Adam's guitar during This Corrosion (or perhaps I wasn't drunk enough). At least one person in the audience had a tape recorder so I guess there exists a tape. Unfortunately, I didn't manage to get hold of him and ask for a copy.


    Written by Johan Astemark (gothiceye@deathsdoor.com) for Dominion mailing list

    >> Andrew telling the audience to shut the f**ck up.
    >
    >Actually, I think that remark was directed at himself. He did the
    >'And the hallway moves...'-thing which usually precedes Flood and
    >not Romeo down (which Adam, Mike and the Doktor were playing).

    Andy said "shut the fuck up" to a guy who shouted "goth for god" or perhaps "goth from god". It was real fun. The guy was some heavy metal dude who knew about AEs feelings about goth. AE also threw a cigarette towards the guy.

    >I thought the sound was pretty bad, they even lost Adam's guitar during
    >This Corrosion (or perhaps I wasn't drunk enough).

    I thought the volume was a little bit too low but the sound was really good (I could be wrong due to some red wine though).

    The rain rained down and it was really cool when they played Dominion. I didn't really have anything against the rain apart from the fact that my boots had a lot of water in them yacc.


    Written by Thomas Gravgaard (fehaar@infopaq.dk) for Dominion mailing list

    > Actually, I think that remark was directed at himself. He did the
    > 'And the hallway moves...'-thing which usually precedes Flood and
    > not Romeo's down (which Adam, Mike and the Doktor were playing).

    I think it was directed at someone in the front row, perhaps somebody who was pointing out to him that he had startd on the wrong song. If it were directed at himself, I guess he would not continue the Flood lyrics.

    > I thought the sound was pretty bad, they even lost Adam's guitar during
    > This Corrosion (or perhaps I wasn't drunk enough).

    Generally I thought the sound was great. There was some problems at the beginning, and small problems later, usually when the band changed instruments.


    Written by Annie (annie_palestine@hotmail.com) for The Sisters of Mercy Tours site

    I got a cig too. Damn good too, these R1s.

    And I think his "You're not wrong" was meant for me. See, I was in the front row, had a real good eye contact with him most of the time. At one point I raised my hands like a catholic in a prayer, the message being something along the lines: "You are God". Then he looked at me and confirmed my assumption.

    And that "shut the fuck up" might have been directed at a guy right behind me. I wonder if he was the same person who offered me 3000 kr (375 USD) for my place. Naturally, I told him to dream on.


    Written by Mats Pekkari (a94matpe@ida.his.se) for Dominion mailing list

    It was really good. And I think that Von did have a good time even if he sad "you are nobody's" and "shut the fuck up" to a girl in the crowd.


    Written by Andrius Sytas for The Sisters of Mercy Tours site

    1) Arvika was not the only gig where Andrew sang "hallway" lines before Romeo Down.
    2) Cigarettes with R1 written on them are of R1 brand. Yeah, it's a strange world.

    Setlist | Reviews | Pictures | Other dates