Reeperbahn Festival day 3: The arrival of the next major headliner

J.N. October 19, 2018

The third day of Reeperbahn Festival would almost top day one, especially the afterparty making it a night to remember. There might also be a vid floating around on the Internet of some kind of tattoo promises but you shouldn’t take it too serious considering the time of the night for such a promise. And then I lost my pants. But let’s not jump ahead, ok?


The discomfort and stress of the loss of my Dead Kitten woke me up early and I even decided to skip breakfast just to get hold of a Dead Kitten Jr. Luckily Ms. Sis supplied me with a packet of nuts because I couldn’t hardly walk when I left the apartment. JustMe Music in the bunker saved the day though; after looking through a huge pile of Dead Cats – the parents of the Dead Kitten – the cashier managed to find an even hairier Dead Kitten than we had. Happiness!

After making a quick detour back to my own flat to see Ms. Anonymous leave for her daily chores I was back at Spielbudenplatz just a few minutes to 1PM to do an interview with one of the most promising two-pieces on the rock scene there is at the moment.

Canadian cleopatrick, spelled with a lowercase “c”, were discovered by a heavyweight at the Spotify office in the US after their single “Hometown”, and she had an immediate crush thus helping the guys to get incredibly ten million plays of the song and organized a massive tour. As a headliner – with just two EP’s and booked for 36 dates (so far) in Europe. That’s a hell of a start of your music career, isn’t it?

However, Luke Gruntz and Ian Fraser just seemed so determined to hit the big scenes and didn’t even seemed to be in a hurry to get there; “We’re just 21 years old and have many years to come”. That’s all you get for now but that kind of attitude is something many bands need to have. I’m quite sure they will make it though, especially when you already headline a tour with just one EP.

Ms. Sis and I parted ways to do different things and I headed for the conference Music Moves Europe Talent Awards to hear a bit more about the new EU funded project where new talents among the member states will be spotlighted. And one of my old MTV heroes from the eighties/beginning of the nineties, Steve Blame, was hosting the event. Unfortunately there wasn’t time to stay long enough to have a chat with some of those responsible for the project – it would have been interesting to hear more about it – because there was another interview around the corner.

Kurt Uenala and his alter ego Null + Void is probably quite unknown for most people if you don’t have a particular interest in the electronica scene. However, if you ever have listened to Moby and/or Depeche Mode you’ve probably heard his programming and his voice in his role as a back vocalist. There’s no need to talk more about the contents of the interview, just read it in the magazine, but it was for sure one of the most interesting interviews I’ve done in 2018. And also, it’s rare to meet someone as positive as Uenala, everything was great – but what can be boring when you get to work with some of the biggest artists in the world and can use them on your debut?

A quick run to Spielbudenplatz after the interview and a girlfriend meeting before it was time to go to Molotow and get a good position before cleopatrick’s Hamburg debut show – and what a show it was! Frontman Luke Gruntz took immediate control of the stage and caught the attention of the massive crowd – it must have been too many people in there (?) – from the first riff.

You just have to admit that a new headliner might have been born, something to go on stage together with Royal Blood in the future. When you consider that they don’t have a massive back catalogue to compose a setlist from and still make a completely awesome heavy guitar riff based show you just have to understand that something big is going to happen. Hell, I can’t find any song only reaching average quality, every single song is far beyond greatness.  Please come back soon guys!

Just a quick break and then another round of The Ninth Wave, the third time for me this year and the second during the festival days. And Haydn Park, the frontman, is still a spectacular view on stage, a modern diva with a voice from the eighties. It’s impossible to not get hooked by their performance, and when you consider their already fairly high quality EP’s they should have a bright future.

After the show I found myself on my own again since the staff were scattered around at different clubs in town and I really didn’t have anything to do until Null + Void would go on stage after midnight – but two hours of boredom at a festival is impossible! Going through the schedule brought me one floor up at Molotow, to the Skybar, where Norwegian act LÜT were about to play, and although I’ve just heard one or two songs before, leaving no impression at all, I just found myself standing in the front row with a few beers to get the time going.

Bam! I was wrong again! LÜT starts at 110% and then just gain speed until the end of the show. Singer Markus isn’t on the stage after the first song at all and run around like a maniac in the crowd. At one point he’s crowdsurfing and almost tear down the disco ball because of the minimal space the venue offers – but it makes a great show! Although I’m not that familiar with their albums it’s clear to me that they musically remind me of their fellow countrymen Honningbarna, and performance-wise it’s not far from it either.

You need to understand that showcase festivals are about leaving an impression to get people listen to your music, and one of the best ways of doing it is to add an extra rowdy show – people won’t forget! And they won’t forget LÜT for sure. However, they will not remember Swedish Death Candy (no, they’re not Swedes, we just have sweet candy) half an hour after LÜT. Sounds fairly good on album but I must have stumbled upon their best songs because it didn’t stick to me at all. The show wasn’t that cool either, or I might have started to reach a point of saturation already. After five songs I walked over to St. Pauli Museum to catch a glimpse of Null + Void before what I thought would be an early day and a good night of sleep. I was wrong in many ways.

Null + Void was anything but boring. Usually I’m not that found of DJ sets or small show setups with a few synthesizers but this night it worked out really great and when Ms. Sis arrived we got our legs moving a bit, had a few pics and beers before we realized “let’s go dancing tonight”. A quick detour to the apartment and then back to Molotow for “just one beer” and an hour of dancing – we thought.

Can someone explain to me why I couldn’t find my pants the next day and had to get help to find them?

Interview photo on Kurt Uenala of Null + Void by ©Mandy Privenau  (the rest by sloppy non photographer staff members)


About The Author

Music researcher with an unhealthy passion for music and music festivals. Former studio owner, semi-functional drummer and with a fairly good collection of old analogue synthesizers from the 70's. Indie rock, post rock, electronic/industrial and drum & bass (kind of a mix, yeah?) are usual stuff in my playlists but everything that sounds good will fit in.