2000/08/12, M'era Luna festival, Drispenstedt/Flughafen, Hildesheim, Germany

Trip the Light Fantastic 2000

August 5
 Neerpelt (cancelled)
August 12
August 19
August 30
September 1
September 2
September 3
September 5
September 6
September 8
September 9

Christian Pommerening reported that there were quite a soup opera in the background, with Sisters as a pawn: the festival used to be Zillo Open Air, but the three year old contract between Scorpio Concerts and Zillo (this used to be the most important German g*** magazine before Orkus, Sonic Seducer, Black and others showed up) ended this year -- OR at least it's what Scorpio Concerts told you. Zillo's version included postulate that the contract isn't over, yet "fucking Scorpio" were trying to cheat them. In Zillo's view of things, THEY, and not Scorpio, rented Drispenstedt airport for two days, and did it definitely not for Scorpio's M'era Luna festival. After some time of uncertainty Zillo gave up and M'era Luna got the green light.

While announcing the gig on February 1st this HTML code was hidden in the Sisters' official site:

This year it won't be called the Zillo Festival. How strange.
"My arm is long." Sometimes.
Next month: we rename the NME. Suggestions on a postcard please.
Yes. I am the ghost in your machine.

The festival was very much family affair: on the same day as the Sisters played The Mission and The Cassandra Complex (Andrew's buddy's Rodney Orpheus band), and next day was headlined by Project Pitchfork, lineup of which includes Sisters' sound man Jürgen Jansen.

Wayne Hussey heard in the concert: "There are a lot of pop stars here today. One of them was just before [Marc Almond]. I think you can guess the other one". Andrew Eldritch heard in the concert: "How diplomatic of me to forget what this is all about. But then that's Mr Easy Going for you." If you trust the rumors, there was something interesting happening backstage between Andrew and Wayne. Either that or some wishful thinking is at works.

The M'era Luna t-shirts didn't feature The Sisters of Mercy -- headliner for the first day was HIM. Apparently, Sisters usually ask for much too much money for privilege of putting their name of these t-shirts, resulting in them not appearing in the same list as the usual g*** crowd. All other memorabilia had this corrected. People were allowed to take as much photos as they wished.

Other acts on the same day: HIM, And One, The Mission, Marc Almond, Faith And The Muse, tba, The Godfathers, The House Of Usher, Letzte Instanz, Unknown (main stage), Tiamat, Anathema, Haggard, Umbra Et Imago, L’Ame Immortelle, The Cassandra Complex, Suicide Commando, Lithium, The 69 Eyes, Zeromancer (second stage). Advertised festival capacity -- 25000 people.

Setlist | Reviews | Links | Pictures

  • Intro (probably)
  • Anaconda
  • Train/Detonation Boulevard
  • Ribbons
  • Will I Dream?
  • Dominion/Mother Russia
  • Summer
  • Giving Ground
  • Crash and Burn (premiere)
  • Bei Mir Bist Du Schön
  • On the Wire/Teachers/On the Wire
  • We are the Same, Susanne
  • Romeo Down
  • Flood I
  • War on Drugs
  • Temple of Love
  • not played: Alice (150 bpm)
  • Flood II
  • not played: Something Fast
  • Snub Nose (premiere)
  • This Corrosion
  • Thanks to Christer Andersson (christe@nada.kth.se), Christian Eggert (RAIN-FROM-HEAVEN@t-online.de), Steffen Sonntag (SteffenSo@gmx.de)

    Setlist | Reviews | Links | Pictures

    Written by Andrius Sytas for The Sisters of Mercy Tours site

    What follows is my first attempt to describe impressions in English. Half of it is dedicated to other acts at M'era Luna. Click here to jump directly to Sisters, or here to jump to Wayne's remarks on Andrew.

    Thursday 20:26. Vilnius, Lithuania. Andrius goes out on the road and politely shows his thumb to drivers. Nobody notices. Well, some do. "Have you missed the last bus?" "No, I'm off to Germany" "(no comment)".

    Saturday 13:27. Hildesheim, Germany. 10 cars, some 1500 kilometers (most of these in winding, bumpy and narrow Polish roads full of I'm-not-giving-you-the-way-as-it's-your-problem-my-excuse-for-a-car-can't-go-faster-than-40-km/h locals), and usual array of impressions later, Andrius is at the airport where M'era Luna is supposed to be held. 60 DM for the ticket (10 DM surcharge for buying it on the gig day), and I'm in the maze of tents, trying to find the stage by guessing the direction music comes from -- Head and Star's Christian Wojtysiak should be waiting there. Indeed, he is. As usual for German festivals, best you can do about the bands playing at around 14:00 is concentrate your attention elsewhere. Or go to Christian's car to put my bag in. Which we do.

    An hour later we're back. After effectively sneaking recorder, beer can and knife into concert area (being a foreigner always helps, being a polite foreigner helps even more, and packing recorder among cucumbers is a win by miles) we set out to check Cassandra Complex out. They are exiled to the second stage in plane hangar nearby -- sheer miscalculation of organizers, which causes major people jam at some 10 meters wide gates. Eventually all four of us find our way in. Rodney is all on stage, doing quite good job at being rock'n'roll hero. Acoustics suck much more than your standard vacuum cleaner, and what comes out of speakers sounds like Sisters' own Ribbons. Closer listen to vocals reveal it's supposed to be Cassandra's creation. With definite influence from that Sisters song. Imagine the main Ribbons guitar riff adjusted to wall-breaking strength, add killer industrial synths to support it and you get... well, you still get industrial strength Ribbons. Other songs couldn't shake the Ribbons moniker, but sounded good enough to regret poor acoustics blocking the full enjoyment. I suddenly find myself moving to the rhythm. And then it ends. I'll hold my final judgment 'till I hear their CD.

    Quick snack later Christian meets with local anti-nazis group and the gang start enthusiastically speaking in German about their German matters. My knowledge of German language fails after first two sentences, so I set out to drink beer and see what's on the main stage. My oh my, it's Marc Almond. Just like Sisters, once famous and now mostly forgotten type living on nostalgia of the glory days -- ok, Marc's much more at it than Sisters, but you do can draw certain parallels between the acts. On the stage are Marc, a guitarist, a keyboardist and some kind of a drum machine. Sound is poor. Show is pathetic. Brings back the old ponderings of whether continuing touring after your fame years are long gone are worth it -- and in Marc's case, it's not. One can't retain his dignity after shouting "you're fabulous, thank you" to the sea of disinterested faces, and Almond does that quite often.

    Crowd politely ignores new creations, some unenthusiastic interest is spotted during the classics which remind of THAT dance in THAT disco all those years ago. Before the uncalled encore keyboard player leaves stage with mood of somebody leaving a bus. Marc is the only one not admitting defeat -- he's all over the stage, struggling amateurish sound mix, unbuttoning and eventually taking off the shirt, thanking the audience and complaining "this is the last song; I would want to play you more, but they wouldn't allow me". No way, Marc. For the sake of THAT dance in THAT disco, go enjoy your life in other places and leave the magic of your legacy unstained by such idiocies.

    As Almond finishes the set, it's time for buying the new t-shirt (originally I wanted to buy the yellow one -- to make a fashion statement, among other reasons -- but the black one was oh so much better), and it's time for Dominion meeting; a quick handshake with Robin, a quick rumor session (in Eurorock Chris said he will play with the Sisters, and who knows, Mike might just appear on bass) -- and everybody leave for Mission. Well, since, there's nothing better to do, I might as well see them myself. And -- hey, they're not bad! Hussey is as energetic as ever, Craig is bald, mood inside the band is obviously great, and the sound is very solid. Garden of Delight is played, much better sounding than the 1985 demo with Andrew in it, as is Butterfly on the Wheel; other stuff is unknown to me, but I'm not their fan anyway -- I've lost all faith in Wayne & Co after hearing the Neverland album (which happened to be the first thing I bought from their catalogue). And yet I suddenly find myself having good time. They might not be worth doing thousand kilometers for, but once the kilometers are done they are not worth being ignored. Which I nearly did.

    The anticipated Wayne's stab at Andrew is in place: "There are a lot of pop stars here today. One of them was just before. I think you can guess the other one" (exact quote). He also introduced the band: "This is Craig Adams. I am Wayne Hussey. Remember these names, because we might be famous". Names of the rest of the band follow after that.

    The guitars in Wasteland (last or the one before last song) immediately reminds of Marian; nearing the end of the song band quiets down leaving Craig strumming bass and Wayne playing what sounds even more similar to the Marian guitar riff (half of the two-guitar arrangement). After some half minute of wandering if this is THAT the drums and guitar guys kick in with... yep, THAT. The crowd goes wild. So do I. And just as the vocals have to start Wayne screams "Only joking!", echoed over and over as the band returns back to Wasteland mode while everybody blooms with wide smiles. Mission became the first act which got enthusiastic involvement from the audience.

    Next are And One, sounding much like Erasure, only with more prominent old Atari games sound factor and with less catchy tunes. Audience seem to enjoy it. I don't, and leave for the hangar. Haggard is there, mixing heavy metal, pseudoopera girls, violins and some kind of a piano. This can come out either great or stupid, and this is the later case. For reasons unknown, the band seem to opt for pointless solos repeated over and over again. I head for the exit.

    After scoring Cassandra Complex autographs at the autograph booth (they were lost before the end of the night) I hook up with Dominion crowd again, have a chat with Tom Meert about the possible future of the Tours site, few words with Jan who's still doing the Sonic Seducer translation (viral effect working, no?;), and an attempt of communication with a Japanese girl who came all the way for the Sisters gig ("Have you met Andrew?" "Yes, I did, I asked him to come to Japan and he said 'only as a tourist'"). Eventually, the talk switches to German language while me and the Japanese smile stupidly. As last attempts to guess what the talk's all about fails it's bye bye for all from Andrius.

    By this time HIM were on stage and sounded quite good, yet I opted to have a rest and a supper before the main event. I did see last 20 minutes of their gig, which was quite good (despite me setting up my recording kit during most of that time). They do great covers, and their own melodic material sounds convincing enough not to dispute their slot just before Sisters. They were also the only band except Sisters to have a decent lightshow. Well, all bands in the festival did have some kind of lightshow, main idea behind which was "turn two or three lampies on and off to the rhythm and pretend it's good", while HIM's approach was "turn a lot of lights on so the stage is filled with them, and turn two or three lampies on and off to the rhythm so it looks like it's not just an illumination" -- and HIM were the first band to play in the dark, when such an approach could work. Sounds of Tiamat raging in the hangar were heard during HIM's quieter songs.

    At around 22:20 HIM are off the stage, roadies are in setting Doktor Avalanche and tuning the guitars, and some kind of techno thingy is coming out of the speakers. In the stir that followed HIMs finale I find a place sufficiently away from the stage to enjoy the lightshow, yet near enough to see the band properly. The place comes with half full plastic bottle under my feet to get the additional 10 cm for the best view. Next half an hour or so was spent listening to the aforementioned thingy spiced with the sound of guitars being tuned and Doktor being tested; all in all, it exuded very psychedelic mood. As the roadies set up three microphones, I'm sure we're in for some changes. The question remains whether the band is now three- or four-piece. A roadie starts tuning bass -- hey, we'll have Mike or Chris on bass! No, wait, Romeo Down has bass anyway. Hm hm hm. Whatever.

    Debate still rages whether the pre-show music was new intro or just some random tape -- it played only during the equipment setup until the band showed up, but then, there was no time for a decent intro anyway because of the tight play time limitations. We'll have to wait for next gigs to sort that out.

    Anyway, the band is onstage, a threepiece as it seems. Guitars are picked up, and intro to Anaconda starts. Anaconda! It's back! Having it as an intro indicate that the band has serious intentions for it. Neat.

    Andrew's voice sounds slightly different from bootlegs, and the sound is so high I wouldn't hear myself if I was screaming together with Andrew. Which I don't. First lines of the song cannot be heard, but this is fixed quickly. The sound was perfect throughout the gig, except one short feedback.

    My poor sighting bars me from seeing who's on stage. Adam is easily spotted by his short hair and that guitar, Andrew is there in the white jacket, but who's the third? His hair reminds that of Mike's, as are the clothes, yet his movements are much more relaxed. And Mike never sang. Anyway, the show is on, and things look great, so the second guitarist issue is postponed until better times.

    Anaconda is raw and great, Train/Detonation Boulevard pass nicely. Ribbons is always better when you can see the man and share his emotion instead of just hearing the screams coming out of the speakers while cozily drinking tea in your room. The crowd seems pretty unenthusiastic though, little movement is spotted -- and few acrobats in the front are already climbing friend's shoulders. Imminent ritual for worsening the view of back rows.

    Intro to Will I Dream? is less sharp and sounds much better than before; the rest of the song is as bad as ever though. Dominion/Mother Russia, which usually marks the spot where people give in to having fun, is played unusually early, and doesn't achieve the expected reaction. Andrew lets crowd repeat "king" part -- nobody did where I was standing. By this time I start to realize that for whatever strange reason if whoever in the crowd wants to move from point A to point B, s/he certainly passes the spot I'm standing -- I've lost the count of times I had to move slightly to let people go. Enough of whining.

    The gig started as a stormer, yet somewhere around this time it lost something and become not as charged; aftershow chats confirmed this opinion is shared by other fans, too.

    Either I got used to Summer or the band perfected it, but this time the tempo changes didn't seem artificial, and the song flowed very naturally from beginning to the end, performed flawlessly. During intro of otherwise standard Giving Ground Andrew returned assault to his former partner: "How diplomatic of Wayne to forget what it's all about".

    Intro of the next song wasn't familiar -- as expected, we're in for brand new beauty. This one sounds even more industrial than War on Drugs, it's got guitars all over it enhanced with Doktor's synths and sounds like When You Don't See Me from hell. Similarly to Summer, it's got slower and more melodic chorus about "what I have found cannot be broken" which finishes with phrase "crash and burn" just before tempo picks up again. The various parts of the songs seem disconnected at first listening -- just like Summer seemed initially. Musically the song is the most radical of all new offerings, similarly to how When You Don't See Me stands away from the others on Vision Thing album. Andrew must be feeling the same way -- after the song he comforted fans with "don't worry, you'll get used to it. Probably sooner than we did". It's hard to judge it after the first listening, and I'm not sure if I will love it or hate it after few more times.

    Right after that Bei Mir Bist Du Schön is played. Having recognized the catchy tune I immediately get in jump-scream-rage mode and suddenly realize I'm the only one having great time here -- everybody else is staring at the stage with puzzled look on their faces. Don't worry, you'll get used to it? Not at the 20th row, that's for sure. I finish off lipsyncing the song (not as good as I though I can though -- apparently, I've listened to the Andrews Sisters original much too much).

    On the Wire/Teachers/On the Wire followed flawlessly. The abilities of the two male backing singers are appreciated to full extent as their unison give strength of cunami to the final verse of On the Wire -- it now sounds even more powerful than in 1993 when fabulous Jovanka Wilsdorf was at the mike, and that version isn't easy to outrun. Jovanka made the song melodic and nice, while three screaming men create the unforgettable mood of rage which is frightening in its determination; losing Chris' backing vocals would be a great loss to band's live sound.

    Main guitar part to We are the Same, Susanne was lost in the mix, giving the song an interesting twist. Vocals were so clear I guessed I noticed the famous vocals switch from English to German, but it might have been just wishful thinking. I think Andrew was differing from "Susannah" to "Susanne". Nice and pretty, either way.

    Romeo Down has only one non-bass guitar in it, and it was played by a different person than previously. In the process, the song benefited a lot: Mike's Susanne might be absolutely fabulous, but guitar duties are much better handled by Chris. Period. I wouldn't mind if Mike's 15 minutes of fame with the Sisters are finished.

    The lightshow was top as always, and paying attention to it was well worth it. Nigel's favorite trick during Romeo Down was casting bloody red light on Andrew -- which was very fitting. Photographing the stage was pain in the ass though as the lights were changing each second, and quite often I found myself following the gig through camera lenses while waiting for the right lights combination to reappear.

    Flood I went down well, War on Drugs didn't. Apparently, the song sounds much better from bootlegs than live on stage -- either that or I was already getting tired from balancing on that water bottle and not enjoying the show to full extent. Either way, at about the time of Romeo Down the gig picked up again, and War on Drugs was the last letdown until the finale.

    In the past I was skeptical of the shortened Temple of Love, but in this gig the song was the major highlight -- I remember the storm of guitars and blinking lights all around the stage while the song suddenly starts to make perfect sense and you just can't keep yourself from letting it all out. Groovy.

    First mock pause is in place. None of the bands could have decent encores as the time limitations were quite tight, and neither could Sisters. The band leaves, crowd cheers somewhat, and some ten seconds later they return. Flood II. This is also sometimes irritating on bootlegs, but in this case flowed great. Wave after wave after wave.

    Band exits again, and returns to the sound of sirens in the background. Lightshow starts, and we're obviously in for yet another new song. Only Adam and Chris are present, in rock'n'roll heroes stance, against the background of lights-gone-mad, in up tempo guitary song. Soon it becomes obvious it's an instrumental -- and not a bad one, judging from the first listening. Andrew enters as it finished and announces "Chris Starling and the legendary Mr. Whammy". This Corrosion starts. Yet another perfectly fitting one, the highlight for me being watching Andrew doing the countdown to the final "hey now hey now now" with his hand and seeing somebody on friend's shoulders unhesitatingly mirroring Andrew's movements. Utterly bastard groovy, no?

    Finish. The band leaves, the crowd ponders what to do until the roadies come in, and immediately leave then. Oh well, had there been no time limitations, this audience wouldn't have got Sister Ray anyway. After Mission gig, some attempt of organized "we want more" was made even as roadies were clearing the stage -- and it's not the case with Sisters.

    I find my way to the front row, look at setlist in somebody's hands, write down new songs names, jump to barrier, stretch my hand out for another one, rush to the girl who got it (why oh why I don't have appropriate breasts and appropriate smile?). While negotiating with her to scan the setlist for the Tours site a meaningful conversation takes place: "Where do you live?" "Litauen" "In which country is that?". A voice from my back asks "Litauen? Are you Andrius?" Hey, that's Christer Andersson, who agreed to share duties on the Tours site and whom I only saw three years ago while being sufficiently drunk not to remember much afterwards. Strange things happen sometimes.

    In joint effort we convince the girl that Lithuania is indeed a country, I leave her Tours site address and my e-mail. Christer copies me the setlist he's been writing down during the gig, we quickly chat our time away while rushing to meet with Christian who wants to go home, walk with him to the car where I make Christer's upcoming party-in-a-tent much better by passing him my Lithuanian vodka-strength Starka (one of the best things Lithuania contributed to the world, together with basketball players and local beer). Me and Christian then go to his place, write an e-mail to Dominion, drink nice tea, after which I'm transported to nearest gas station and start my journey back.

    Some thirty hours later I'm home, tired, sick with cold, but happy.

    Written by Jan Piatkowski (jan@never-land.de) for Dominion mailing list

    Just came back, and I say: It was VERY great to see this band, especially because it was the first time I've seen them.

    The new songs are very very cool. "Crash And Burn" had a very heavy industrial touch, indeed. I also enjoyed the first four songs, with "Anaconda" as an opener (great), and a groundshaking "Ribbons". "Flood I" was stunning. "War On Drugs" was awesome. Too bad that there were minor sound problems at least during the intro of "Dominion/Mother Russia".

    Eldritch closed "We Are The Same, Susanne" with something like "Irgendwann mal", if I got it right. In English it means "maybe sometimes...". Probably to echo the last "let the ether fall" line in the song.

    I think Andrew was smiling all the time. "Macht Spass, ne?" Of course! ;))))

    "Chris Starling and the legendary Mr. Whammy" were also great. These words were used by Eldritch just after "Snub Nose".

    IMHO The Mission kicked ass, too. It was a hell of a rockin' gig, although they had by far too much bass in their sound. Still it's no comparison to the awesome Sisters gig later that day.

    Two things are also worth to be mentioned:

    1.) At some point during the gig, Wayne Hussey started introducing his band to the crowd. He began with Craig Adams, then told "and my name is Wayne Hussey"... and he said, before he went on to introduce the other members, that we, the crowd, should remember these two names.

    2.) The Mission T-shirts at the merchandising stand were about 5 DEM more expensive than the Sisters'. Man, that's a way to get some extra money if you don't get royalties for being the festival headliner... ;))))

    Concluding this one, I'd like to thank all the people on this list who I've met. A great "Cheers" to Alexandre (you're always welcome), a big "Hey-Ho!" to Christian P. (we'll meet in London), and a mountain full of hugs to Solly for so much.

    Written by Jeff Smart (smartie-@t-online.de) for Dominion mailing list

    Jan Piatkowski:
    > Eldritch closed "We Are The Same, Susanne" with something like "Irgendwann
    > mal", if I got it right.

    No, he referred to some guys shouting "MARIAN".

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

    4:40 -- we've just came back home.

    Great gig, one of my favorites so far, including the fact that really a lot of well known faces showed up this time. A lot of people from UK, Sweden, Switzerland, Austria, Belgium, some from Holland, and also some guys from South Africa. It was a very nice day with a lot to talk about.

    All in all I think the gig was a bit too short, but great. All the new songs from 97/98/99 have been performed and songs like Romeo or Summer have been worked over very fine I think. They are nearly smooth now.

    I love the new song Crash and Burn. It's really full of energy, reminds me kind of Vision Thing. Also this instrumental Snub Nose was great. If I understood right, this one was introduced to welcome Sheehan?

    What I missed was First and Last and Always, and Comfortably Numb. I really loved that Flood I and Bei Mir, which most of you already know from the 99 boots, I guess.

    Eldritch was in a great mood. I haven't seen him this way often. I think if anyone has seen the Philly gig in 97 (or the video), one can compare these gigs.

    Merchandising? There have been the 99 style shirts in green with the planet edge backprint, a 99 style shirt in white with the logo in green on the front, a yellow (!!!???) 2000 shirt and also the same in black (printing is pink front is the logo with "trip the light fantastic" written around, so I guess this is the title of the actual tour; back is the logo with the tour cities written beyond, without dates. The Nottingham extra date isn't mentioned). They also sell some "Gegen Nazis" and "Bastard" shirts. Prices have been 40DM per shirt (18$) and there has been the 2000 type as long sleeve for 50DM (22$).

    They also sold the new album (naw, sorry that must have been a dream because I really need some sleep now).

    AND: I DIDN'T TAPE ANYTHING AND AM NOT GOING TO DO SO IN THE FUTURE, DON'T ASK! (That was just because I already had about 15 mails when I came home right before writing this mail you're reading right now. Everyone was "did you tape...?" NAW! Hope to see some of you in England or Scotland. Was a nice day, goodnight.

    Written by Stuart Czuba (stu@czuba.freeserve.co.uk) for The Sisters of Mercy Tours site

    The band played the most slick, streamlined set I've seen from them in a long while. As soon as it was over I wanted more - it only felt like an hour, at most. Having had some time to reflect on it things have started to click into place:

    There was no intro tape -- no suspense, no build up in the traditional Afterhours manner. They strode onstage and before anyone knew what was going on they were viciously attacking Anaconda. Train swept along behind it with no time to lose. The band definitely had an urgency about them, yet where before they would have become a little ragged around the edges (sometimes for the best, sometimes not) this evening they were confident and assured.

    Chris Sheehan doesn't have a noticeably different style to Mike Varjak and his patch may be a step further back from the edge of the stage but I never saw the worried frown on his face that Mike used to get at regular intervals.

    The set skipped over any FALAA material (only playing 3, maybe 4, pre-Floodland songs) but included the juicy Crash and Burn (very fast and catchy), the bulk of the still unreleased material they've played previously and a new instrumental that I was wasn't particularly convinced about but perhaps I was over hasty.

    This is a new model Sisters, the emperor has new clothes and they well worth checking out. Catch them if you can.

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

    I have obtained an average-quality bootleg of the gig which I listened to this morning on the way to work. Although nothing compares to actually hearing the two new songs live, I can make out a few details.

    Crash and Burn really does kick arse! The song is in the same vein as Will I Dream, but rocks harder and is far stronger. To be honest I've always thought of Will I Dream as being strictly potentially album material (as opposed to a potential single) but this new song sounds to me like its crying out for single release. It starts off with a fast drum and bass pattern which continues throughout the song, then a killer power-chord guitar riff kicks in which involves a lot of right-hand downstroke action and palm muting. This riff wouldn't sound out of place on a Motörhead or Ozy Osborne album. There are keyboard strings in the background which are especially prominent during the chorus which is pretty melodic.

    Part of the first verse goes:
    "The hum of the power lines..."
    and "...Trip the light fantastic"

    And the first part of the chorus goes:
    "...It's you I drive, or am I driven? Can I break what I've been given?"

    then follows something I can't make out followed by "...Crash & Burn."

    The other new song, Snub Nose, sounds to me like its a work in progress. The song is pretty short (barely 3 minutes), the tempo is comparable to Body Electric and the riff structure is more simple than the other new song (but rocks equally as hard), which leads me to believe that this will not be left as an instrumental and lyrics may be added later.

    I'm still not sure about the new cover version, Bei Mir though. It just doesn't have the same impact as, say Comfortably Numb or Sister Ray does. When I heard it in New York last year it failed to set me on fire but I thought it would grow on me. It hasn't yet.

    Just before Giving Ground, Von's exact words were: "How diplomatic of me to forget what this is all about. But then that's Mr. Easy Going for you." - an obvious dig at Mr. Hussey.

    At the festival I didn't bump into any of the UK following apart from Pete French and Marge. Where the fuck were you all? Hiding backstage and not enjoying the glorious sunshine that day? Tsk.

    Written by Christian Pommerening (body.electric@gmx.de) for Dominion mailing list

    Not much to add from my side. M'era Luna was my 5th Sisters gig and in some way I think it was the best until now. The sound was brilliant (apart from 3-4 songs in the middle of the set where they had problems with the PA), the band played together very harmonic, the choice of songs was clever and energetic, Andrew was in fantastic mood (and VERY WELL dressed - I loved the leather jacket), the brand new songs are better than I ever had expected. Just a perfect night and at all a brilliant festival with perfect organization. There were other good band as well, but they can't compared in any way to what the Sisters offered in this night. I felt like the happiest man on earth ;-)

    Lovely greetings to all Dominion people I met there, namely [protz ! ;-)] Solveigh, Jan, Alexandre, Robin, Christian, Jochen, Sven, Thomas, Vicus and to all I possibly forgot. Hope to see at least some of you next Saturday in Dresden.

    Jan Piatkowski:
    > Eldritch closed "We Are The Same, Susanne" with something like "Irgendwann
    > mal", if I got it right.

    He said this already several times after or before "We Are The Same, Susanne". Even in non-German gigs.

    "Waiting for the next one to arrive".

    Written by Jochen Upheber (mercyman@t-online.de) for Dominion mailing list

    Christian Wojtysiak:
    > Great gig. The new songs are fantastic.
    > Great versions of WOD and Flood II

    You're right Christian. The new songs are very guitar-based, the sound might be a little bit mainstream for some people but I immediately liked them the way they are. The second one lasted for about three minutes I guess, totally instrumental. Snub Nose was so great, was I the only one that began to headbang?

    Worth mentioning is also the absence of Amphetamine Logic and Vision Thing. This might be due to the fact that they weren't allowed to play longer and had to cancel them from their setlist, but apparently they were just replaced by the new songs.

    The sound was great, same with the light show - as usual. And yes, Andrew was in such a good mood. Several times he just stood there, looking into the crowd and smiling all over his face. "Macht Spaß, oder?", he said after one of the first songs.

    For those who want to know he wore black leather trousers and a colored shirt I guess - and a white leather jacket. "Thank God he had a hair-cut" my sister said when he entered the stage. She had also seen the pics from the Planet Edge shows.

    I had a great time. Greetings to Steve, Spencer, Speedy D., Sven, Annika, Raf, Marleen, Christian (2x), Thomas, Robin, Jan, Solveigh and others.

    Written by Anders Blixt (ajje73@hotmail.com) for Dominion mailing list

    Back in Sweden, extremely tired after 9 train changes and 15 hours of traveling, I can only say that this was splendid - they simply kicked ass in Hildesheim - if only for the planned 90 minutes, in my opinion a little short!

    During the Mission gig I met some nice people from Dominion (Christian, Robin and especially super friendly Tobi and his friend comes to my mind) while listening to Wayne's jokes. I've never heard Mission live before and it really sounded like a pee in space compared to what would follow hours later.

    After the two more qualified bands And One and HIM had played, I still had my worries about the state of the Sisters before the gig - I had said to myself "They probably start with a long intro and a slow song to correct sound problems" but about 20 seconds after they smashed in fast Anaconda as a bloody great opener I just smiled like a fool and thought "no long intro, no slow song, not even close to sound problems!" This was instead the beginning to an act of perfectionism, or as my girlfriend put it: They sound like on record but harder.

    Highlights? How many can I pick? Let's just make one thing clear, the amazingly powerful instrumental Snub Nose rocked Hildesheim big-time, and if there is an album on it's way then this could be the next Temple of Love. War on Drugs was also outstanding, my God, and the lights to Summer were one of the most beautiful things I have seen on a stage! I hear the superlatives from me coming like matter from a bad stomach -- but ok, Susanne was a bit disappointing compared to the superb one from Visions at the Forum bootleg. So now I have said something negative too, just because.

    This is the short version: An utterly bastard groovy gig!!

    Written by Don F Robertson (vonbek@globalnet.co.uk) for The Sisters of Mercy Tours site

    It's been a long Journey - all the way from Aberdeen in the North East of Scotland, but I'm finally getting to see the Sisters live again. First, the scorching sun and everyone else on the bill need to be survived.

    Aenima and Faith And The Muse are passable entertainment, however it is not until Mark Almond appears that we get a true star performance. The Mission follow with an average performance. There is more than a hint of bitterness, which peaks with them launching in to the music from Marian during the middle of Wasteland until Wayne announces, "Only joking."

    Neither And One or HIM have made any impact on the UK and for me their sets drag.

    Finally, it's lights, smoke and action.

    Andrew emerges resplendent in a white leather biker jacket as Adam and Chris launch into Anaconda. Train merges in to Detonation Boulevard and then it's Ribbons with hardly a pause.

    Then set remains largely the same as last year's To The Planet Edge tour, with Flood I and Bei Mir Bist Du Schön remaining in the set. One new song, however, is unveiled, possibly titled Crash And Burn. It's fast and riff heavy and in a similar vein musically to Will I Dream?

    The "new" songs form the meat of the set -- Summer, We Are The Same, Suzanne, Romeo Down, Will I Dream? and War On Drugs growing in stature and popularity. It is only afterwards that I realize that there is no Amphetamine Logic or First and Last and Always or Vision Thing, which have been permanent fixtures of any set over the last decade.

    Eldritch appears good natured and dismisses Hussey's earlier bitching with a quick quip before Giving Ground. He can afford to be gracious - it's his headline.

    They perform two brief encores. The first contains only Flood II. The second starts with a guitar jam at the end of which Eldritch introduces Chris Starling and the "famous Mr. Whammy" (Adam Pearson). To my knowledge this is the first time the band has performed an instrumental.

    The evening is brought to a close with a thunderous rendition of This Corrosion. Things are looking up for Glasgow and London.

    Written by Pete French (pete@toybox.twisted.org.uk) for Dominion mailing list

    I though the Sisters played a very good gig - and the fact we hadn't seen them for a couple of years mad it all the more excellent. On the other hand I talked to a lot of people there who didn't go just for Sisters and a lot of them didn't think much of it. Your expectation of a band alters your perception of them a lot: people who hadn't seen the Sisters before and went along expecting a set consisting of note-perfect versions of all the greatest hits were probably disappointed with the new material and the harder edge that it has these days.

    > Have fun with "The Mission" and we have fun with "The Sisters Of Mercy" !

    ...or possibly both, depending on your taste.

    Mission have been rather bad recently - Eurorock was so-so, London last Thursday was dreadful and I have to say I missed them at M'era Luna due to being too drunk to walk. On the other hand they played a gig in a small club in Bedford last night which was an absolute stormer (which surprised me greatly).

    Mind you, even last nights Mission gig wasn't as good as the Sisters were on Saturday :-)

    Written by Robin Colman (sisters@pandora.be) for Dominion mailing list

    Jochen Upheber:
    > Snub Nose was so great, was I the only one that began to headbang?

    Ah! That was you?? I noticed one headbanger there :-) Snub Nose was great, personally I think they should use it as an opener!!!!

    And the new tour shirts are there also 'trip the light fantastic', available in black long or short sleeve and in YELLOW. Another good reason to go to Dresden :-))))

    > Greetings to Steve, Spencer, Speedy D., Sven, Annika, Raf, Marleen, > Christian (2x), Thomas, Jan, Solveigh and others.

    Not me?

    > I had a great time.

    Me too :-)

    Written by vicus@gmx.net for Dominion mailing list

    Back home again.

    As many people wrote, the Sisters were brilliant. So I won't repeat any fulsomeness here - If you have the chance to go to any of the gigs - GO THERE !

    Other good performances: Cassandra Complex, Marc Almond, and the first two songs of Tiamat (then I had to leave for the Sisters). HIM was ok, but not really good.

    The Mish ahem... Well, I felt much younger: old songs, old jokes...

    Caused by heavy abuse of alcohol I didn't see much of the bands on Sunday ;o) Anne Clark was ok, Fields weren't that bad as they were in Roskilde and Project Pitchfork were bullshit, but they made the best quote of the festival: "Zillo ist tot!"

    Written by Martin Holc (martin.holc@bsy.de) for Dominion mailing list

    Hussey was in fighting mood in Hildesheim:

    "...the second best guitar player you get to hear today."
    "There are only two pop stars performing on this stage today, and the other played just before us"
    Then after starting to play Marian for a few seconds he stops and laughs "Just joking, just joking".

    When hearing the melody lines of Marian I almost hoped seeing A.E. enter the stage but only for a split second when until realized Hussey was joking around.

    The Sisters gig was good, but The Mission and Fields of the Nephilim blew away all other bands on this festival even though playing in the sunlight. The Mission have been the f***ing best band this weekend.

    Hell maybe I should not compare the Sisters on an Open Air festival to the Sisters live inside a building. Maybe the Duesseldorf gig from Event Horizon made me a bit touchy ...

    Written by Sven Togni (togni@pandora.be) for Dominion mailing list

    I've nothing against Mike, but the sound was so much more consistent and Adam seemed a lot more relaxed playing with Chris. Before Adam was quite nervous in the beginning of a show and you saw and heard it, now he seemed confident and took the stage with a bit of air and a good attitude! Whooow what a change for the band. Only remark, I was surprised that Chris would ever wear something like that yellow T-shirt ;-)

    Waiting for the next one to arrive!!

    BTW, those that saw the Mission (and saw them last week as well) didn't Wayne seem to talking so much trash? Guess he was somewhat frustrated to play that low on the bill and have TSOM headline. Well I'd say he deserved it as it sounded like shit!

    Written by Frank Spieker (Spiek@gmx.de) for Dominion mailing list

    Here are the comments of our special friend Wayne: "There are two real pop stars performing this day, one of these played before us, I think you'll guess who the other is".

    "This is Craig Adams, my Name is Wayne Hussey. Two Names you should remember later this evening."

    They did the same Marian/Wasteland "joke" as at Eurorock.

    Ok, I'll change the topic.

    "Ladies & Gentlemen, let's rock" -- Eldritch in the beginig of "Temple of Love".
    "OK, jetzt geht's los"
    "Schönen guten Abend!"

    Written by Bryan McPhail (mish@mame.net) for Dominion mailing list

    Frank Spieker:
    > They did the same Marian/Wasteland "joke" as at Eurorock.

    Actually they've been playing that at every show for the past 6 months or so...

    Written by Alexandre Barette (barette@web.de) for Dominion mailing list

    Almost everything has been said: What a wonderful show! What an Eldritch in an incredibly good mood! What fantastic versions of This Corrosion, Flood 1 & 2. And the 2 new songs: blastin'!

    It would have been a 101% perfect show without a festival-management dictating the time schedule. Anyways, no regrets!

    And thanks a lot and big shout-outs to Solveigh, Jan, Christian and Robin. It was so nice to meet all of you, I had a really great night. See you all soon.

    Written by Matthew Dadson (matthewdadson@matthewdadson.screaming.net) for Dominion mailing list

    Saw the Sisters at Mera Luna.

    1) Hello to other Dominitoes I met on the Argon Event bus tour thingy - that's probably just Plinky.

    2) IMHO the Sisters totally wiped out every other band there (including Mish and Nephs who I rate) and the vocals and guitars some of the best I have heard from them).

    Written by plinky@lycos.co.uk for Dominion mailing list

    I think everyone on the [Argon Event] bus rated the Sisters very highly tho' VNV Nation (mock me If I've got that wrong - I didn't see them myself) were very highly rated too.

    And hello to everyone who popped over to Bar Brasil where Mattheus and Suzie dished out the evil Pitu.

    Written by Filip De Vos (filip.de.vos@pandora.be) for Dominion mailing list

    AE only changed clothes ones during the whole gig !

    Picture at the top of the page comes from Hildesheimer Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper; bigger version is at http://private.addcom.de/visionthing/mera.htm. Ticket scanned by Christer Andersson (christe@nada.kth.se).

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