FLYER / POSTER
+ FIRE + ICE + FORSETI
This was to be my third live experience of Death In June. Whilst is seemed a shame to be leaving the classy surroundings of the Thames Riverside in favour of a return to the bleak surroundings of London's Elektrowerkz, we at least had the attraction of two support bands, both of which I'd heard in cameo's on other artists albums, but to date hadn't had a chance to experience in their original form. A vegetarian buffet was also included - a nice feta and spinach roll with couscous went down nicely, though the veggie sausages were horrible.
First band on were Forseti, a German act fronted by Andreas Ritter. Utilising a combination of acoustic guitar, cello and drums, they were every inch the European neo-folk act I was expecting them to be. Notably, the vocals were in German only, and I was in no position to play translator, so I'm not sure what they were singing about, but they carried off their set in proficient style, with Andreas later picking up an accordion to add an extra continental twist.
The three members of the band were soon back on stage again, however, this time as backing band to Ian Read's Fire and Ice project. And it's here that I really start to wonder why this style of music classed as 'industrial', as this was Pagan folk at it's very best. Read has a very delicate voice compared with some of his contemporaries, a trait he played to his advantage, giving truly heartfelt renditions of 'Long Lankin', 'The Wind Shakes The Barley' and 'Dragons In The Sunset'. A brief encore saw Douglas P. make a quick cameo prior to his own set, but all my attention was focused on Ian Read, a master of his art and a musician I'll surely be checking out more in the future.
Anyway, Death In June came on stage shortly before 11:30pm. I'd pretty much accepted by then that with last trains to catch, I wasn't going to be catching all of the set. Suffice to say that this was a very different set to the one witness on the boat last November. The additional space offered by the Elektrowerkz stage allowed the band to make use of a number of timpani and particular resonant gong, giving tonight's set a more percussive feel that the 'unplugged' set from last year.
They opened with a trio of thunderous drumming tracks, most notably 'Till The Living Flesh Is Burned', before Douglas donned his sniper veil and picked up a Rickenback 12-string, electing to 'go electric' for this performance. He duly launched straight into 'Heaven Street', obviously wanting to get it out of the way before his guitar disintegrated on him again. A short set of favourites from Di6's vast backcatalogue followed, most notably 'Hullo Angel'.
Andreas from Forsetti was then invited back on stage to play accordion, reprising his role on the 'All Pigs Must Die' album. A suite of tracks was played from this CD, with the title track in particular benefiting a good deal of extra 'bite' from the electric treatment. The final track was 'The Enemy Within', Douglas electing to change the key lyric to 'These are strange days for you and me and Britain' - it might well have been an obvious way to play to the local crowd, but it was a touch that certainly seemed to have it's own perverse relevance.
Unfortunately, I had to leave before the inevitable encore, as it was quarter past twelve. The event had run late and as I live outside of reasonable night bus range I had no choice. It was still a good evening despite this, with Fire & Ice in particular making their mark (as if they hadn't done so in the past) on London's neo-folk fanbase. I just hope organisers start to realise that running late means people have to leave before the end, as well as people like me (who have few friends who are also into this sort of thing) having to wander around aimlessly during the early part of the evening.