Sunday, January 01, 2012

Fehlfarben -> Paul ist tot -> Berlin -> April 2010

I finally got around to post this photo-gallery/video I made a while ago, using Fehlfarben's seminal track played live and a gallery of photos from my trip to Berlin. 

In April 2010 I travelled to Berlin to see Fehlfarben, the legendary German post punk band whose "Monarchie und Alltag" album remains one of the most important German language rock records and one of my favourite albums of all time, for the first time on a tour promoting their excellent new album "Gluecksmaschinen". It was a great show, worth travelling for & hopefully I'll get to see them again sometimes, they don't come to London though. I took a few photos during the show (mostly a bit blurry and not that great) and quite a few photos walking the streets in Kreuzberg and Friedrichshain, looking at graffiti, gig posters, corners, squares, exhibitions, demonstrations and meeting old friends, so I put them together with the recording of "Paul ist tot" from that night (thanks to Gavin for the bootleg!)

"Paul is tot" (Paul is dead) is the coda of the Monarchie und Alltag album, the last song, it's very famous, it's long, monotonous, depressing, dirgey and very simple and effective. Most tracks on the album are pretty fast and snappy, this one is mostly melancholic and brings back memories for me, trying to find a perspective where there is none, and generally capturing an atmosphere of utter defeat, an inability to communicate, a somewhat shell shocked ambivalence towards anything you can say or wish for, a moment in time, an empty room after someone has left, an absence, and lots of memories. This live version is actually quite playful and muscular in its delivery.

Some of the things you can see in this video are....: 
0.06 a defaced poster of Mireille Mathieu
0.15 view of the white house right on the Spree in which a friend lived in the 80s and 90s. I have no idea where he is now as he doesn't live there anymore and I've lost touch. The whole area has been gentrified. He used to live there pretty cheap in a massive flat overlooking the river and all these derelict warehouse buildings on the East side (that are now clubs, galleries, corporate offices), when the area was right by the wall and a bit of a dead end...
01.17 Fehlfarben bow out after two encores
03.13 The long running Cafe Jenseits in Heinrichplatz had to close down due to rising rents but was squatted for the time being.
04.21 The legendary SO36 punk rock venue, Germany's CBGBs. or something...
04.36 Genesis P. Orridge collage exhibition
04.42 Chez Frank
04.56 Tray-cee K u l t s t e i n
05.10 The Dennis Cooper shelf, chez Nico
06.10 Frank in the Cafe Kaiser in the big complex of shops, cinemas, etc that is now on Potsdamer Platz. In the 80s this was a wasteland by the wall, one of the buildings standing was a semi derelict ballroom where we saw Sonic Youth in 1986 together, an incredible show. This ballroom, the Kaisersaal, was also used in the seminal Nick Cave live concert scene in Wings of Desire, and is now incorporated into the complex and restored and used for functions, they actually allowed us to go in there and have a look at it again and I can sort of remember it....
06.25 Frank outside Mr Dead and Mrs Free record shop with the new Fehlfarben album in the window. This shop was around in the 80s already and seems to have survived!

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