European Concert Special : Silbermond’s first venture out of Germany is a triumph, Live review of Silbermond, London, Saturday 19th May 2012

Posted: May 30, 2012 in Pop, Popular Music, Rock Music
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Silbermond in their first ever performance in the UK at The Relentess Garage, Islington, London, May 19th 2012

Silbermond in their first ever performance in the UK at The Relentess Garage, Islington, London, May 19th 2012

As part of a special week of going to see artists from Europe – my favourite artists, as it happens ;  I finally got to fulfil one of my greatest wishes to see the German band Silbermond in London.  I first got to know of them 6 six year while holidaying around Germany and then later on the same year while learning German in Munich where I bought their second album “Laut Gedacht”, (Thinking Out Loud). I had to wait 3 years though until the release of their 3rd studio album to see them for the first time in the ubercool converted factory setting of E-Werk in Cologne.  It was a grand gig full of atmosphere and left me quite emotional at the end, especially after hearing the song “Unendlich” “Never Ending” which I consider one of the most beautiful non-English language rock ballads ever written.

So who are Silbermond? They are a 4 piece band who originate from the picturesque medieval town of Bautzen, located in a far eastern corner of Germany  near to the Polish and Czech republic borders not admitted a place admittedly that you would  associate immediately  with a popular national group; still I suppose Muse come from Torbay and the Steriophonics are from the Welsh valleys so maybe it’s not that unusual.

The band consist of Stefanie Kloß, Andreas Nowak on drums, Johannes Stolle on Bass and Thomas Stolle on guitar. The beautiful vocals of Stephanie Kloss’s mezzo-soprano pitched voice underpin and complete the band’s sound. Lyrically, the songs orientate towards astute and sometimes hard-hitting social observation or relate to relationships and feelings.  Their music spans the spectrum from soft melodic rock through pop-rock to belting guitar hooks riffs with metalesque undercurrents. Still in their twenties, they have been together since 2001/2 and hit the big time in Germany in 2004.

When I asked the band’s management back in 2006 whether they would be coming to London, they told me that as they sang in the German language there were no plans to travel outside of Germany.  I am glad to say as that as the band popularity has grown that has started to change. So, it was with great pleasure I made my way to the pocket sized Relentess Garage (formerly just The Garage) at Islington for the band first ever foray to UK.

The gig started early : they were already 2 minutes into opening number  when I arrived which happened to be “Unter der Oberfläche” (Under The Surface), a song about the superficial trawl through nightlife looking for love.  This was the first of many songs, Silbermond were to showcase from their fourth studio “Himmer Auf”  “Heaven On” and the title track was amongst those played, along with “Teil Von Mir” (Part of Me), the epic power rock sounding “Du Fehslt Hier” (You’re not here)  and “Waffen” (Weapons) –an anti-war song , which included a guitar solo from Thomas while Stephanie went off the stage briefly.

Stephanie Kloß, dressed in black with white trainers and looking every bit the classic cool European rock front woman, welcomed everyone to the show. She asked who was from Germany, naturally enough ; about half the audience put their hands up. And then she how many were from England,  and most of the remaining hands went up. Much to my surprise when she asked how many were Londoners and a good third of the room stuck their hands. Stephanie spoke English a little from time to time but for the most part spoke German.

You might think that for £17, which was the price of the gig, the duration would be quite short. This was far from the case. Like coiled springs waiting to be released, the band enthusiastically went through tracks not only from “Himmel Auf” but also their growing back catalogue.  We were treated to the up-temp pure rock tracik “Meer sein”, “Symphonie” – a Sarah Brightman Paige song , one of my personal favourites  – In Zeiten wie Diesen (In Times likes This) which is an inspirational song about coming together and the power of people and Nichts Passiert (Nothing Happens), a great accusatory pop rock song  about a relationship going nowhere with a fantastic guitar hook.

During this song  Stephanie, who during the performance had missed no opportunity to be up on what appeared to be a small raised podium with her arm and the mic frequently outstretched to the audience, conducted an organised crowd surf, something of a tradition with Silbermond, to the mixing desk and back to the stage. This is something I also witnessed in Cologne in 2009.

All told, this was as good a performance as I saw back on their last tour with the added bonus that the group came to London. I am delighted that they decided it was time to branch out from Germany.  I guarantee that even if you don’t speak German, you will appreciate the cool euopean rock musicality. I very much look forward to their return visit to London.

 

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Comments
  1. I was one of the English people at this concert and was lucky enough to be in the front row 😀 Though i do not speak German fluently, i did learn it for six years and know all the lyrics to Silbermond’s songs. This was the first time that i’ve ever seen the band live and i enjoyed every second of it 😀 They are one of my favourite bands and it was amazing to be in the front row 🙂 The following day they played at the Goethe Institut in London for free and played a 45 minute acoustic set which was amazing and afterwards i had the opportunity of meeting the band. Four lovely people and i will never forget meeting them. All i want to say is that Symphonie is not a Sarah Brightman song – she covered it for her album in 2008 long after the original Symphonie (Silbermond’s original) was released.
    Thank you so much for your review of their gig at The Garage 🙂 It makes me smile that other English people like their music as much as i do 🙂 I enjoyed reading about your experience there.

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