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Festivalreview: Dark Spring Festival 2019
The Dark Spring Festival celebrates its 10th birthday! Once again, this event proves that small independent events are on the rise, and post-punk, gothic-rock and wave are not just old-time music. Especially in this day and age, many fans and bands are returning to the sounds of guitar. So this year again we experienced a full house at the Haus am U-Bahnhof Schlesisches Tor. Club Bi Nuu is also a great venue for all guests.
The festival is organised each year by the band Golden Apes, and over the years many current scene bands have played. Again this year the line-up was excellent – Giant Waves from Russia, The Foreign Resort from Denmark, Whispers In The Shadow from Austria, Children On Stun from the UK and Then Comes Silence from Sweden were international guests this year.
For several years now, Russian bands have been represented at the Dark Spring Festival. This year, it is the turn of Giant Waves, who quickly won over the crowd with their mix of indie, wave and post-punks sounds. The current album is called “In A Haunted Town” and is available on Bandcamp. It was a great start to the evening and a satisfying selection for an opener!
The second band of the evening comes from Denmark and they are now quite a common sight on German stages. The Foreign Resort travel mainly by car to their own concerts, which can lead to problems – the guys have already reported various vehicular problems! But it does not stop them from going on longer tours – in April they are on their way to the US, if everything works with their Visas! They are also looking forward to presenting their new album “Outnumbered”, which will be released in early April. They played a few of the new songs at the Dark Spring and demonstrated that they also dare to address new and complex topics.
The Dark Spring Festical can also provide Gothic Rock. While the other bands are more in the post-punk vein, Whispers In The Shadow lean more towards classic gothic rock. Singer Ashley also meets this genre perfectly with his voice and his facial expressions and gestures. The last album “The Urgency Of Now” was released in 2018. Fans of this genre should definitely give them a listen and will certainly find similarities with other big and well-known bands.
Children On Stun are our new discovery of the evening. Which is really surprising, because the band has been around since 1991! However, they separated for a long time and only celebrated their reunion in 2015. This British band tackles small problems with good humor – for example, they had to perform without a soundcheck and could not play their current song “Echoes” from the new EP due to technical issues. However, they are professionals and small challenges didn’t faze them. As this can happen once in a while, the singer intentionally or unintentionally ended up in the middle of the audience! Give the current EP a listen. An earworm is almost guaranteed!
Golden Apes have been on the stages of the world for 20 years now – and the Bi Nuu Club in Berlin has almost become their living room. On the upcoming album “Kasbek”, the band broke new ground – a crowdfunding campaign was started in which Gothic Empire was also a media partner. Golden Apes were the fifth band this evening and entered the stage just before midnight. In addition to their songs that they played during recent live concerts, there were also two new songs which offered a great taste of the new album. This album will be released on June 7, 2019. The appearance of the men around singer Peer Lebrecht was as always melancholy and intoxicating.
The stage was then set for the host and headliner of the evening, the post punk band Then Comes Silence from Sweden. The band are built around the cool and flashy singer Alex Svenson and has released four albums so far, the most recent from 2017, called “Blood”. Last year the Swedes gave two great performances at Wave Gotik Treffen and Autumn Moon Festival in Germany. Shortly before the Dark Spring Festival, they did a small concert tour of Scandinavia. Then Comes Silence’s performance started at about 1am and they effortlessly kept the audience awake at this late time of day. Great guitar sound rang through the Bi Nuu with songs like “The Rest Will Follow” and the now so familiar song “Strangers”. “Strangers” has been viewed on YouTube almost 200,000 times. Then Comes Silence rounded off a great evening with their superb performance.
After 10 years, the Dark Spring Festival is a firm fixture in the Berlin calendar of events. The international line-up was excellent once again, with a great location. It is hard to say how it can be bettered! We thank the Golden Apes for their great organization and one of the early highlights in the 2019 festival calendar.