Pratteln - Switzerland
at z7

20 OCTOBER 2002

review  by dalia di giacomo 

- all photos © by Stefan Vogelaar

The public use of these photos  is strictly prohibited without written permission

This evening seems to be a good promising one: The 69 Eyes will play supported by Sulpher! I'm already in a good mood cause i just had a cool interview with the "gothic icon" Jyrki in person, and i can only say that i am so positively impressed, so now there is only the stage confirmation test. But to tell the truth (sorry Jyrki) what has pushed me to this gig is the fact that i will have the occasion to see this new revelation coming from Great Britain: Sulpher! Indeed Sulpher are doing the whole tour with The 69 Eyes, and this sounds extremely interesting!
I have recently heard a lot about Sulpher, they are preceded by so many enthusiastic echoes , and in particular their performance at the M'era Luna Festival was considered so excellent: many critics are defining Sulpher above all as a great live band: we will see! I couldn't be more curious! In the meanwhile the Z7 is getting slowly crowded and, among a lot of gothic girls, i see with satisfaction, that in the crowd there is an appreciable "male component". This is to say: not only women this evening like i feared. Anyway the first rows are occupied mainly by a lot of girls. All the rest ,whatever it can be, is behind..!
SULPHER       review: "Spray"                  www.sulpher.co.uk             
20:31 -  smoke effect!  the smoke  is filling up the air on  the stage, one could also wonder if this smoke, hit by yellow-orange-red spotlights, could smell ofsulphur! And then darkness is emphasizes by an industrial intro. Everything is ready for the entrée and i really cannot wait for it, enthusiast like i always am  when i can see a great stageacting! I hope only not to be disappointed after having heard so much marvellous about them. Ehi ok here they are:  drummer Monti, bassist Mud, and, behind the keys, Kevin, and finally the singer- guitarist Rob Holliday who begins to set free  all his expressiveness and  capacities with You ruined Everything... Among the first things i 'm noticing there are the great energy united with a certain level of aggressivity mixed anyway with good taste and a valuable quantity of self confidence. Rob is playing his guitar very often bent, so that he's holding his guitar in a very low position ,  proposing a  new image, very original , very different from most of guitarists seen,. extremely agile and extremely inspired he's singing with such a determination and such a natural energy that i'm already amazed. Oh.. but the whole band is particular and original: the strange fact is that my attention was not only attracted by the performance of band frontmann Rob: eh no! , cause every member is really interesting. Bassist Timmy Mud is in my opinion the right counterpart: very confident  with his headbanging and his way to hold bass is  an effective pendant : with his long hair lock , often is bent  too on his bass, often doubling the scales proposed by Rob. ...On the contrary, Nathan ,behind the keys is hitting my attention  due to his  his incredible calmly behaviour, practically motionless ,  concentrated on  effects and "noises" contrasts so much with Rob's strong temperament . Finally drummer Monti is doing a very effective work behind hid drums, and i should underline that so rarely a drummer is so visible on the stage , not hidden by tons of (mostly?) unesuful cymbals and drum kits. He's one of the few drummers that seem really involved also optically in the band, like i've only sometimes seen in death bands, being not an hidden motor. And drums equipment is well calibrated , precise, exact. 

So let's see how the gig will goes on, trying still to slow down for the moment every too quick enthusiasm due to this cool first impact!  And we go on with  Unknown, one of the most  renowned Sulpher songs, now the bands fully proposes their capacity to  mix aggressivity with calm moments  full of tension and sensuality, expressed also by the incredible inner tension with which Rob holds the microphone.  What a surprise: this songs sounds so persuading live! The intermittent lights emphasize not only Rob's body but the whole musicscape in a brilliant way. 

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there is no time to have a rest because another of their hits is attacking us : Misery, and i 'm tellin to myself: "ah yes this is that other well-known song! yes i recall it!" it was one of my fav already when i was reviewing the cd. Typical Sulpher, hypnotic, heavy, with a lot of electronic effects that paradoxically are successfully in remaining in background though very focalized . 
And finally Rob announces the smash hit One of us: red and blue lights let me remind me  the Das Ich gig, seen just some days before. And these lights explode in other white lights straight directed on the audience. I remain enchanted by One of us more than i did when i was  listening to the cd. Rob invites then the crowd to make an applause for  The 69 Eyes: ok nice!  And with calibrates lights, agreeable industrial sounds, energetic vocals , fully persiading stage acting from Rob & Co. the performance develops proposing Problem, and the *f*cking great Scared (i love so much its lyrics too , oh gosh!!). Well what can i say more?? The performance was simply kicking ass, never seen a so self confident band that is acting already like having years and years of world experience on the shoulders , and having being till yesterday practically  an underground band (though having cooperated with Gary Numan, for example). But maybe it's really this the reason: I see the same phenomenon also here in Switzerland: cool, fantastic underground bands are the real pleasure in every genre of the rock and metal lovers, more than some affermated act. 

 I'm fully enthusiast, Sulpher are phenomenal, both  to be seen and to be heard; the "Spray" stuff  sounds great live, Rob Holliday is an incredible frontmann, with an incredible attitude in singing , and proposing his person, though we cannot define him as an entertainer of the crowds. The band is fully convincing and cool. I'm already thinking with joy of the interview with them after The 69 Eyes show! And next time they will sound in Switzerland or in near German zones, i will be definitely there. Yes!

you ruined everything
one of us
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THE 69 EYES  review: "Paris kills"     www.pariskills.com  www.69eyes.com 
And now!  and now one can notice a certain little nervosism in the audience, above all many girls are beginning to look for a good  place  in order to have the best view of their beloved band. Finnish gothic icons Jyrki & Co seem that will win  another success tonight, letting dreaming and bleeding romantic hearts again. Ah well, but me, i am still thinking of Sulpher, and  i can imagine that The 69 Eyes will perform a rather different show. (sigh of not relief!) Ohibo! I am not so much satisfied about their last album Paris kills, i hope they will offer a good gig at least. I still remember when i saw them last year in Germany when they supported Paradise Lost, and they were rather resolute and energetic. 

21:40 atmospheric intro and maze of clear lights, many girls begin to scream, in particular when then Jyrki appears wit his long black coat and his sunglasses. And we start at once with Crashing high from Paris kills and the rhythmed and classic Angel on my Shoulder from "Blessed be". Jyrki is looking extremely cool and his voice is simply perfect with his typical timbre. But, am i blind or what i see before my eyes is another different  band  in comparison to what it was  one year ago? The impression is that  The 69 Eyes are now an adapted band, Jyrki is self -confident like an actor, he knows well how to sing and how to stageact, being the ideal frontman for this kind of music. But something is lost, methinks: the band around him is a total disappointment for me: guitarist Bazie in my opinion is playing in no exceptional way, he sometimes provides Jyrki with some backing vocals  , and  me  with  tons of  a vivid sense of dislike , ok it's my impression, but sorry it's the impression i get, i personally find him extremely unpleasant and nasty. On the contrary, bassist and guitarist Archzie and Timo seem to  me  nice and in a way good mooded , but in my opinion they too are doing nothing more than their duty. The only  other one, besides Jyrki , i'm liking is drummer  Jussi   and his way to maintain rhythm often lifting his right arm. Anyway  he is giving some gas  and a sign of energy. My god Jyrki! i personally am finding that  the band around you is rather lifeless!


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And while we go from Forever more (from Paris kills) till the applauses after Gothic Girl, i'm caught by a little feeling  of boredom. And it's a pity cause Jyrki is really giving his best (honni soi qui mal y pense!). After Velvet Touch and Grey , he is singing Don't turn your Back on Fear in a brilliant way,  supported by guitars that,  from time to time,  become crunchy and heavier. I must say that Betty Blue is one of the most appreciated song by the audience and that on the whole The 69 Eyes are offering a smart  performance  anyway, without doubt, but too soft in my opinion.  Jyrki is thanking for the many applauses saying that this crowd is supercool, but the more excited screams are coming when he takes off his coat for  Stolen Season and then when later  he will  no more wear his sunglasses. A particular acclamation is reserved for The Chair and for calling the encore at 22:52. And as first song of the encore, Still Waters is interpreted in a  superb way:  ah damn, a final "i feel so complete" falls so sensual and spectacular! Sighs and applauses sighs and applauses. And finally Brandon Lee. Ah well a classic night to spend in two a luime at candlelight!! But better listening to it than watching it! In  few words: Jyrki really great  in his genre, and then le deluge!! The show was good coordinated, refined , hi-class, sensual, a little bit vampiric-mystic but.... not lively, complessive energy degree : only few  degrees above zero for me. Ah bahh, let's go to speak with Sulpher now!



crashing high

angel on my shoulder

forever more

gothic girl

velvet touch


don't turn your back on fear

sleeping with lions

betty blue

stolen season

the chair

wasting the dawn

dance d'amour

framed in blood

still waters run deep

brandon lee


dalia di giacomo    


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