2001/02/26, Grosse Freiheit 36, Hamburg, Germany

Exxile on Euphoria 2001

February 16
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February 22
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February 25
February 26
February 27
March 1
March 2
March 3
March 5
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March 7
March 9
March 10
March 17

This was the first show of the German leg of Exxile on Euphoria, and thus the first joint performance of Sisters with Paradise Lost. It was also first of two gigs in what Andrew Eldritch calls his hometown.

The show sold out so quickly that nobody was surprised when the additional date was added; that one also sold out pretty soon. The chosen venue is quite close to Docks where the band played three glorious gigs in 1990 -- reportedly it's even smaller than Gaswerk G1 where Sisters played their previous Hamburg gig in 1998. Incidentally, the three 1990 dates were immediately superceded by gig in Berlin and were supposed to be preceded by a gig in Deinze (that one got rescheduled) -- just like this time around.

The setlist was identical to the first London gig, also the first night of a two-nighter, with the exception of Summer being moved two songs forward. The difference was also the slow version (112 BPM) of Body Electric, performed the third and last time ever, much to the joy of majority of fans.

This show marked the return of Flood I: out of seven previous gigs of this tour it was performed only in the first London gig, yet was later included in nearly every other gig of the tour. As Flood I's live premiere was in To the Planet Edge tour in 1999, this show featured its premiere performance in the city it's so closely associated with: according to the Official Version of Reality, "Flood" and "Floodland" take their imagery from the wave(s) which in case of a nuclear explosion would promptly drown the lowland Hamburg, situated "at the head of the river, at the source of the sea" (Eldritch has confessed he'd mixed Hamburg's nuclear alarm warning test with real thing once, and went to the middle of a street to expect the ultimate wave before being seriously laughed at by his girlfriend). The song itself was written in Hamburg, where Andrew was spending his time after Hussey split "sitting here now in this bar for hours trying to write it down" and eying "strange men rent strange flowers" -- Turks selling flowers for lovers-to-be; "down the river there's a ship will carry the dream of the flood" is suggested to refer to a ship carrying a nuclear power head in Elbe. (It was also suggested that the song deals with sexuality exclusively -- which reminds of European Union/personal relationships camps trying to interpret Summer). Anyway, more speculations about the lyrics of the Flood I (together with speculations about lyrics of other Sisters songs) are here, and lyrics themselves are here.

Support act: Paradise Lost.

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  • First and Last and Always
  • Ribbons
  • Come Together
  • Crash and Burn
  • Body Electric (last performance of the slow version)
  • Will I Dream?
  • Dominion/Mother Russia
  • Summer
  • Flood I
  • Alice
  • Giving Ground
  • We are the Same, Susanne
  • Romeo Down
  • On the Wire/Teachers/On the Wire
  • Anaconda
  • Vision Thing
  • War on Drugs
  • Capricorn
  • I Didn't Know I Loved You ('Till I Saw You Rock'n'Roll)
  • Snubnose
  • Temple of Love
  • Thanks to Dreams.Never.End@t-online.de. Setlist scanned by Stuart Czuba (stu@czuba.freeserve.co.uk).

    Setlist | Reviews | Links

    Written by Jan Piatkowski (jan.piatkowski@uni-duesseldorf.de) for Dominion mailing list

    Before we got into the venue, Vicus and I caught up with fellow Dominitoes in a pub on the other side of Grosse Freiheit 36. It was very nice to see old fellows and some new faces there. We were sitting there with Tina von Stein, Eva, Miriam, Matthew, and Stuart. We had a really nice chat, and once again I was surprised to meet up with such friendly list members. Later on (before and after the gig) we also met Christian P. and W., Posy, and Robin "Uncle Sister" Colman. A very big "Cheers!" to all of you! I enjoyed it very much.

    It was the first time I saw the Sisters in a hall, and - like it was written elsewhere before - this venue was quite small. No wonder that it was sold out very soon. But my impression of the Grosse Freiheit 36, located in St. Pauli, was quite good.

    First, the special guests Paradise Lost hit the stage. Yep, I guess it would have been a very bad idea to call them "support act". As far as I know, their brand new CD Believe In Nothing was released in Germany yesterday, so it was quite a good opportunity to catch up with the Sisters on their birthday trip, thus further promoting their new album. I really wish the Sisters had something similar to promote!

    Nevertheless, Paradise Lost sort of rocked, playing some of their gems, and some brand new pieces. Though I got the impression that Nick Holmes, the band's singer, was not in such a good mood. Anyway, maybe with the exception of their last output Host, I liked most of their material, so I enjoyed their performance.

    After a short break, in which Vicus, maintainer of the Poison Door website, accidentally managed to toss beer down my back, the Sisters intro music (Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow, The Shirelles) started and fog began to fill the hall. It was about time!

    First And Last And Always was the first song of this evening, played in faster mode, and it kicked. Like the rest. My impression of the sound was that it had a bit too much bass, but generally it sounded very raw and rocking. Which I liked. Andrews voice also had this raw touch, but he rarely got into the higher tones. I thought that his voice sounded almost like he had a hangover. Don't know why.

    Anyway, Ribbons was outstanding! In addition, every unreleased song since 1993 found its way in to the set, with War On Drugs and the instrumental Snub Nose being the only ones which were played as an encore. They were all extremely good, and I really liked seeing my favorite Romeo Down improved again.

    There were also many old songs played, like Alice, Anaconda, and the brand new slow version of Body Electric. It sounded somewhat cool, very heavy, but the regular version, fast and manic like it is, would've been also great.

    During Giving Ground, when Andrew hit "my" side of the stage, I gave him a big thumbs up! He pointed at me and nodded with his head. I was really enjoying it.

    Another surprise for me was Flood I. It was outstanding, very tight, very powerful. It made perfectly sense that this song was played in Hamburg - "at the head of the river / at the source of the sea / sitting here now in this bar for hours / trying to write it down" - because Floodland was written there. I really loved it! Another genuine Hamburg piece was Vision Thing, which marked the end of the regular setlist.

    It's hard to pick out any song, I think they were all so perfect, even the both new cover songs Capricorn and I Didn't Know I Loved You (Till I Saw You Rock & Roll).

    After the last song, Temple Of Love, Andrew took a deep bow before the audience. The Sisters were at their best, intense and tight, always hard-kicking and entertaining. Too bad that the crowd seemed somewhat unmovable, from what I've seen. Sometimes I really got the impression that I was one of the very few who went wild in the first row, but Vicus told me that this time the audience in Hamburg was quite ok. I somehow missed the "action" which I experienced in Hildesheim 2000.

    Stuart Czuba:
    > The Hamburg dates were very, very good. The first night, during the Glitter
    > number, Adam and Andrew actually looked on the point of giggling at each other.
    > Dominionites are beautiful people.

    I think it's always exciting to see the faces behind these different names and e-mail-adresses. Those I've met in Hamburg were very nice. That includes you, Stu.

    After all, it was a fantastic night, and I can't wait to see them in Cologne next week.

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

    Was a great gig. The best I've seen so far (just on THIS tour, of course!). Does anyone else noticed that the vocals of Crash And Burn were 75 % playback? Was too obvious, at least for me. Although, the track has improved with a slightly different, added guitar part in the middle. Superb versions of Romeo Down, Alice and Flood I. The last one was played much longer than last year, so it almost had the length of the studio version.

    I'm satisfied with yesterday night, aren't you?

    Cheers to Matthew Dadson (I'm still Christian Nr. 1), Eva and all others I met and will meet again tonight(?).

    Written by Tina von Stein (t_von_stein@hotmail.com) for Dominion mailing list

    It was the first concert of this tour at which Mr Eldritch did NOT wear the York t-shirt. He wore a shirt with "United Federation of Planets" written on it. And there are less York shirts to be seen at each gig now.

    Miriam thinks that after the first song he said "heimspiel". That's the German word for "home-match"(?), hope you know what I mean.

    And I found the slow version of Body Electric interesting, but I prefer the fast version. It is better to jump around like crazy.

    Ticketscab and pictures by Jan Piatkowski (jan.piatkowski@uni-duesseldorf.de); full versions are here.

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