The second semi-finals at the Kulturfabrik also started at 8pm with a musical guest from another Emergenza city. The choice fell on Playmotive from Barcelona who were announced as a nu metal band. Playmotive took most of their inspiration by copying Tool, but playing two levels lower than their big influence. They put more brutal influences into their music and the fact that they were covering a song by the Deftones showed more or less that their roots lie in the near past. Their gig was better than the one Tool played in Ettelbruck, but surely not a sensation. Playmotive got far more response by the public than Dragster Baby the day before. On April 27th, Lifewire will play a gig in Barcelona during an Emergenza event. Let's hope that our Spanish friends will appreciate them so much that they decide to keep them.
The first Luxembourgish band of the evening was Chief Mart's, one of the most original bands our tiny country has to offer. The psychedelic instrumental five-piece played only three songs, all sounding quite differently. The first one was a bit calmer and very relaxing and reminded me of Ozric Tentacles. The second one was faster and played with many more effects. Parallels to Hawkwind were obvious. The third one was lasting 16 minutes and was unfortunately the band's weakest one. I think that you should be more commercially thinking if you only have a playtime of 25 minutes. At least this song took a very brutal and noisy end. Chief Mart's were a better instrumental opener than Spyglass the day before. Very funny was the kid sitting on a chair with a computer on his knees and eating three bananas.
Ophidian was one big revelation from the preselections, the other one definitely was Couchgrass. Five girls and two boys are playing very chaotic, dirty and funny garage rock. The band's eyecatcher is singer Amy who seems totally insane on stage. She's jumping around as if bitten by a venomous spider. When she's talking to the audience or to other band members, you wonder what's going on in her head. Couchgrass play lo-fi rock in the real meaning of the word. They may not be the most technical musicians around, but that's not important when it comes to raw and mean garage rock. And two mighty pussy lickers dancing on stage in homo-pink ballet wardrobe was the most erotic thing I have seen since my last scrambled porn experience on Canal+.
NomaD's LanD is a three-piece founded by Portuguese people living in Luxemburg. They are one of the bands who reached the semi-final as lucky losers. They play simple songs showing elements of pop, rock and even some hardrock. The lyrics are very important to the band and they sing about love, friendship, money and politics. Wow, those subjects have never been treated in rock music before. Some people told me that NomaD's LanD would bring lots of Portuguese people to vote for them. Unfortunately they had chosen the wrong day to play as the same day there was a soccer match opposing F91 Dudelange to Benfica Lisbon. As Portuguese people prefer soccer to music, there weren't many people in the hall voting for NomaD's LanD. I even think that they got the least votes today.
Lots of the younger spectators had come to see Inborn. When the band entered the stage, the audience was very crowded in the first rows. Inborn are a part of the Emergenza bands that can be described as alternative rock. Their music shows elements of very different styles like rock'n'roll, grunge, metal and crossover. Compared to other similar bands, Inborn are more extreme and very noisy. As the band is still very young, I will consider their gig as a very promising start. But Inborn still have to learn how to make better songwriting. The use of a megaphone and a didgeridoo distinguishes them from other alternative rock bands. My general impression is that many young people are listening to the same bands where they take their inspiration.
The luckiest loser of all were Fourmis. As Aching Mind decided to leave the contest, the 17 remaining bands had to vote who should replace them. Although Fourmis were the quietest band of the evening and didn't fit at all into the rock-based program, I have to admit that I liked their acoustic set somehow. It was very interesting that all three musicians were contributing vocals and that they were switching instruments (guitars, keyboards, drums and violins) from song to song. Sandra Cifani who's also the Vaselyne Connexion singer has the strongest voice, much inspired by Bj÷rk. Claudine Muno has also a very good voice, but sometimes she's sounding too emotional. Fourmis are nevertheless a very interesting band, but I think they could play better gigs in a small club than on the big stage at the Kulturfabrik.
Sixth band of the evening were Lifewire, no doubt another contested winner of the preselections. They play very melodic hard rock with some theatrical elements. Some people compared them too well known bands like Bon Jovi, Europe or Survivor. I think that the best comparison would be Spinal Tap, an American comedy metal band of the late Eighties and early Nineties. The singer looked ridiculous in his jacket that looked as if made from an old carpet he didn't need anymore. Finding a style for a metal band is always very funny. Ophidian are playing super metal, Infiniti are playing televie metal (no joke!), so Lifewire can only play comedy metal, circus metal, carnival metal or funny metal. But it is not funny that they are selling a CD with three songs and a video clip for 10 euros. Maybe they need some money because the video that was filmed together with true knights from Vianden cost apparently 20.000 euros.
Myein were the seventh band that entered the stage. They are another young alternative rock bands that qualified for the semi-finals. A difference between them and other similar orientated bands is their funky touch. As it was already late in the evening and I was a bit tired, I didn't pay too much attention to them. For a more detailed look at their music, you will have to wait for the review of the finals in May.
Next up was the project Puma! who sucked already in the preselections with their funky and jazzy stuff. Musicians who change from concert to concert try to show the public in an arrogant way how good they can play. Especially the singer was looking and acting really silly on stage. The project leader David Gawlik bored me already two years ago at the Emergenza with his Gawlik-Tamagochi project. This gig was pure and unmotivated bullshit that received its right reward in the end.
Last but not least were the Mighty Pussy Lickers. It was already surprising that this unusual three-piece reached the semi-finals. I thought that they would be lost on the big stage and didn't have any chances for the finals. But always expect the unexpected from a pussy licker. Today they didn't have the best start with their opener 'Kakadu' which suffered from severe sound problems. But as they started their Christmas song (remember: it's never too early or too late for a Christmas song), they seemed to get divine help and all technical problems vanished. A real smasher was 'The Gayest Guy On Earth', a not-really-cover-version of an Anal Cunt favourite. Their charts hit 'Night Of The Vampire' (originally performed by Roky Erickson who is just as insane as MPL) where metal meets reggae was everyone's favourite. End of this extraordinary gig was another new song called 'Balls' with a fantastic chorus and deep, thoughtful lyrics. The Mighty Pussy Lickers did not only get great support by the audience (lots of stage divers), but also by two Couchgrassies dancing on stage in tutus and by two guys being disguised as 7-feet high juicy, tasty mega-pussies.
Then came again the big moment and everyone was waiting for the results:
Position 4: Chief Mart's (a real surprise to me, but I'm glad to see them playing again).
Position 3: Myein (alternative rock seems to be very popular).
Position 2: Couchgrass (everybody's darlings!).
Position 1: Inborn (the youth will rise again).
Four bands also got eliminated definitely:
NomaD's LanD: (soccer rules!)
Lifewire: (reason rules!)
Fourmis: (were playing the wrong time at the wrong place)
Puma!: (wisdom rules!)
A few remarks to end this review about the two Emergenza semi-finals:
Congratulations to the jury for their good musical taste. Even if they seemed to be deaf during the preselections and decided to have Aching Mind and NomaD's LanD as lucky losers, they took this time a much more original choice by designing Ophidian and the Mighty Pussy Lickers.
It is very strange that the four winners of the preselections (Thorax, D-Fact, Lifewire, Puma!) didn't reach the final. But all the fourth positions of the preselections (Ophidian, Mighty Pussy Lickers, Chief Mart's, Holy National Victim) were successful this weekend.
At the end we shouldn't forget that GUM Entertainment is another Emergenza winner as they were again able to organise such a great event without greater problems.
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