Black clad fans with multiple piercings could be seen strolling along the damp cobbled streets leading up to the stone clad building of The Fleece, a small music venue hidden between the modern offices of Bristol on Sunday, September 10th.
Inside, the venue was already packed, black stone paving slabs sticky from spilt beers and rustic wooden decked ceilings, held up with various dotted steel pillars. Along one side ran the bar with various posters from over the years displaying many bands who started out playing The Fleece before moving to stadiums – like Radiohead, Nirvana, PJ Harvey, Muse, Amy Winehouse, Jeff Buckley and Oasis all had played here before they were famous.
Prior to the main event, Inertia took to the stage, led by Reza Udhin who formed the band in 1992 and having previously supported KMFDM across the States, and led his troops onto the small stage at The Fleece. A strong industrial and electronic based presence from the band was well received by the busy venue, and the group worked their way through their set warming up the audience who responded by dancing along in time.
Inertia played several tracks from their new album Existential including their latest single “Only Law”, which should see this tight professional band increase their popularity. They looked great and sounded great, with Udhin and guitarist Ollie Cater working the audience up at the front, using the steel poles as a climbing frame. Cater who hails originally from Bristol, and thanked the audience for the welcome home. Other members are Andrew Lowlife on keyboards, and the impressive tattooed drummer Blue Jigsaw. The band produced their own version of Peter Gabriel’s “Game Without Frontiers” before reaching the end of their set to great applause as Blue Jigsaw with a huge beaming smile in the euphoria of the moment, practically jumped into the audience at the front.
Next up KMFDM taking to the stage to promote their latest album Hell Yeah. Several changes to the line-up along the way, so this night were long standing members Lucia Cifarelli on keyboards and vocals, drummer Andy Selway and front man Sascha Konietzko. Additionally there was also Chris Harms and Pi Stoffers from the dark rock/metal band Lord Of The Lost who also were playing earlier on the bill tonight.
What followed was a brutal assault on all the senses starting with the dramatic orchestral intro of “D.I.Y.” from the band’s 2010 album Wurst, a throbbing rhythm and a great start to get everyone bouncing in the venue with impressive light show given the size of the venue.
Next came the first of several helpings from the new album in the form of “Freak Flag”, a far more electronic tuneful number compared to some of the raw aggression in earlier material. However, there is variety on the new album, and up next was the self titled “Hell Yeah” with Konietzko taking the vocals and guitarists Harms and Stoffers standing on the speakers at the front like, Greek gods standing like tall proud columns on either side.
Lucia Cifarelli remains stunning and she moved this way and that hypnotizing the audience with her movements backed by Mohican sunglasses decked Konietzko, who together raised the tempo alongside Selway’s pounding, amazing high-energy rapid fire drumming.
The music holds a highly charged political message, which offered an onslaught of music that is fiercely political, with many of its lyrics taking stands against violence, war, and oppression.
There are older favourites like “Amnesia”, which were also welcomed by the packed audience before the band close the set with “A Drug Against War” and it’s superb lyrics of “Stronger than ever before, KMFDM is a drug against war!” Artists such as these are so important in today’s world where record companies turn out the usual dirge that only goes to dumb down a society and help control and conform its population.
The band return to the stage for a three track encore, including “WWIII” with it’s ‘Hillbilly’ mock intro before a savage attack of accelerated guitar and drums and raging vocals declaring war on just about anything that happens to have pissed them off.
“Hau Ruck” from the self titled 2005 album allowed Konietzko to growl in his native German and you could see how this band have been basically copied by bands like Rammstein with it’s hypnotic heavy beat.
KMFDM take everyone way back to 1990 with “Godlike” from the album Naïve, which ensured everyone went home happy, but still bellowing for more.
Thus ended the UK tour as the band prepared to tour the U.S.A.