Kato Club, Berlin-Kreuzberg.
An intense two hour-long assault of unremitting, pounding, industrial techno-beat enacted by a manic Norwegian psychopath, and we’re loving it!
The difference between listening to Combichrist on your iPod and seeing them live is like that between admiring the quality of a polished stainless steel cutlery set, and actually being in a Sheffield steelworks whilst the molten metal is poured out, hammered, rollered, stamped, and shaped right in front of you.
Combichrist on audio are reminiscent of Marilyn Manson. Live, with lead singer LaPlegua madly grinning at you from a few feet away, Charles Manson comes more to mind. Their albums sound like a computer is looping the vocals over a drum-machine and randomly inserting electronic screeches and samples whilst the band piss off down the pub. On stage though, the guys thrash the music out with the energy of an out-of-control industrial pile driver. I don’t know how they are going to get to the end of their current tour without doing themselves an injury – whiplash most likely.
LaPlegua was right-in-your-face with the small, intimate audience; spraying them with Becks, posing for photos, and sometimes grabbing a camera and photographing the owner back at them. He repeatedly slapped his head with the microphone and hopped around the stage like a demented Keith Flint (Prodigy), flashing his lunatic smile from his darkened demonic face.
They covered all the favourites from their back-catalogue, injecting them with an aggressive energy that totally revamped the sound. And the mostly German audience chanted along, the language of ‘This Shit Will F*ck You Up’ knowing no boundaries.
Finally the drummer threw his cymbal stand into the middle of the stage and stormed off as if he’d had enough of the exhausting torture we’d put him through. It was over. Andy LaPlegua vowed that he would stay behind and party with the crowd, for as long as the bar stayed open. And you know, I think he really did, but we had the last S-Bahn to catch and wandered off into the warm Berlin night, the electronic heartbeat of pounding blood still ringing in our ears.
I don't have the copyright for the photo of LaPlegua accompanying this blog.
Please complain to me if you do hold the copyright and you object to my use, and I will remove it!