Friday 8 February 2013

Kraftwerk at The Tate

Kraftwerk go bananas
As my ‘friends’ on Facebook will know from all the photos posted on there, I went to see Kraftwerk at Tate Modern last night. It was not the first time I had seen Kraftwerk live, last time was 2003 when they toured Tour de France Soundtracks. On that occasion I went with Amanda, this time I went with another former band mate, Alice from Arthur & Martha.

It was a really great gig and the people at the Tate were really lovely, thanks also to Alice for her determination in getting tickets. The band played the whole of Radioactivity along with some greatest hits; closing with Music Non Stop from Electric Café, which I am pretty sure they closed the 2003 set with. Radioactivity is not the most consistent album but it does contain two of my very favourite Kraftwerk songs, Airwaves and Ohm Sweet Ohm. If I had any small gripe it was that those wonderful two songs hadn’t had the same level of overhauling that the gig hits have. Ohm in particular was a slight disappointment in that it didn’t have the big ending and speed-up that the album version has.

Nevertheless it was a fantastic gig. The sound was great, very precise despite being in the massive space of the turbine hall, and the 3D visuals were worth the price of admission alone. They complimented the music perfectly in terms of the pace and mood, and also added to the playful humour of the band. I particularly loved the visuals to Spacelab and Radioland.

The visuals for Autobahn really reminded me quite how much my own musical aesthetic had been influenced by Kraftwerk. Autovia, which was perhaps the last song written for Saloon (I conceived it as the song to open the 4th Saloon album), when we spilt it became the first Arthur & Martha track. I came up with the idea for the song when gigging in Spain and I saw the word ‘Autovia’ on a road-sign and thought that sounds perfect for a Kraftwerk inspired / rip-off track.  Our own backing video for Autovia also featured VW Beatles, as does Kraftwerk’s Autobahn backing video.

Anyway, I didn’t video anything last night so I will post our Kraftwerk inspired video on here instead. 

If you are off to The Tate to see one of the remaining 6 shows, you are in for a real treat.

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