This Place Feels Like Home: How I Fell in Love with Germany

July 2016. I’m chilling at Jubilee Gardens during some downtime in London, as I have done a few times before. After all, Southbank is often a good place to kill time. I see these cool-looking dudes with guitars on their backs walk past. Our glances meet so I give them a nod, they give me a nod. I worry that they’re a band I really should recognise so don’t bother asking who they are. A while later I decide to head to the undercroft to check out the skaters, and I see these guys again. Ok, I think, it must be fate. So I catch one of them and ask them who they are cause they seem to be my kind of band, then he proceeds to give me a couple of stickers with their name on. Breathe Atlantis. An alternative rock band from Essen in Germany. We say goodbye and go our separate ways.

Two months later after some Facebook chats and semi-impulsive plans being made, I find myself at their album release show in Essen. I had a short work shift the morning of the show then travelled there afterwards as it was my weekend off. My flight was late, I have not even checked into my hotel yet and I have missed all of the support bands, but I am here. Despite having had some introduction to them online, I am still nervous as I only briefly interacted with the drummer back in July. During the show I gave a confused look to him whilst the singer was saying something to the crowd and he motioned for me to ‘jump’. So I jumped along. Sang along. Loved it. The show was very energetic with crowd surfers coming from the back of the room and mosh pits but it was so much more respectful of personal space than similarly energetic shows in England. It balanced enthusiasm with not actually hurting anyone else. Afterwards, one member poured me a drink. The merch guy invited me to the afterparty. Despite being overwhelmed with the language barrier and general social aspect of it, I felt welcomed. A walk around the city the next day and I get a feeling I hadn’t had since my first visit to Copenhagen 3 years prior. I feel at peace. However this time it is somehow different. It just feels ‘right’. I cannot explain it, but something about the ambience of the city makes me feel like this is where I am meant to be.

Over the next year I branch out, listening to other bands on their label (Redfield Records/Redfield Digital), through Facebook connections and on the compilations of a little clothing company called Oakheart, who had a stall at the release show. I start planning a longer trip and come August 2017 I have a whole week in the city planned, staying in an airbnb apartment, navigating public transit and living like a local, which only solidified my sense of belonging.

Breathe Atlantis have no show on, so they invite me to come hang out in their rehearsal space. Hearing the pure non-mixed sound through headphones gave me an even greater appreciation for their talents, particularly the vocalist. I go to four other shows that week. One is a punk show with a Mexican band & a Croatian band and the atmosphere is just as good as last time. I also catch The Creepshow, who I am ashamed to say I had not seen previously. I also took a trip to Bochum to see my favourite musical in its dedicated theatre – something I had wanted to do for several years.

On the last day of my holiday I go onto Düsseldorf and see two shows in one night. Firstly a small festival that appears to actually be someone’s back garden but hey that sorta thing isn’t unheard of (Leefest, anyone?) and there’s a pretty good band called Vanbargen playing. After a couple of bands I head out to the main event I was in the city for – When Stars Collide at ‘Rock Am Kraftwerk‘, another outdoor all-dayer. When Stars Collide, Breathe Atlantis’ label-mates, are a synth-metal band with a fantastic light show. One of them I had been talking to came out to meet me and gave me a wristband for free entry. He also allowed me to use his band food/drink stamp card to save me money. They put on a great show despite the technical difficulties. I received a dedication before their pma anti-suicide song ‘Blind’, my favourite of theirs. It was a perfect end to a perfect week.

Over the rest of the year I continue to expand on my collection of German music and wonder when my next trip will be. After all, I need to start slowing down on big trips and sort my finances/life out. I decide to go to one show in February 2018, called Riot Vision Fest. It’s a hardcore half dayer with a couple of Redfield Records bands (The Pariah & Elwood Stray) and some other acts including one from the U.K. called Polar so it was admittedly nice to hear some English accents. Whilst I didn’t quite have the rapport with them that I did with When Stars Collide & Breathe Atlantis, it was still a good night. Two other gigs pop up that I want to go to within the two months following that event. I can’t afford both, I don’t know if I can afford just one, but I figure it out & thanks to a couple of friends letting me crash with them manage to get to both.

March 2018 was a dream line-up. Two of my favourite Redfield-related bands, Team Stereo (who actually have a couple of Redfield staff as members) and City Kids Feel The Beat plus another pop-punk band called Waste of Mind who I was initially less familiar with but loved after seeing them. The latter play a song called ‘Home’ which gave me the title of this article, and hearing it in the area I love was great. Team Stereo were just as happy to see me as I was them, much like Breathe Atlantis were in previous visits. They wanted to take a photo with me. I had wanted to meet the frontman since my initial discovery of the scene back in 2016. During one song we moved closer to each other & shared a mic for my favourite line of one of my favourite songs by them. CKFTB put on a brilliant show & it was great to finally see them. Whilst the show wasn’t in Essen, the atmosphere of the show was still the same I was used to.

Most recently, I went to see a band I had discovered through a merch company promo pack that came with the order of another band’s album bundle. The Prosecution are an amazing semi-political skacore band who put on a brilliant show despite the frontman having to be seated due to a bad back. The support acts, Sidewalk Surfers and Rag A Muffin, also put on a good show and again the atmosphere is on point. A notable moment was during the song ‘Where We Belong’ by The Prosecution. A crowd/band chant of “say it loud, say it clear, refugees are welcome here” that, as an outsider (though not refugee) who hopes to move there one day, rang especially true and gave a sense of camaraderie against the xenophobia creeping back up in the world.

I currently have no solid plans to return for a long time, beyond catching a farewell show in November (a band called A Traitor Like Judas) due to a small convention I needed money for plus that whole ‘sorting my life out’ thing I was supposed to be doing in the first place. My financial & medical ties in the U.K mean I am unlikely to be able to move there pre-Brexit and I am unsure if I ever will – perhaps I will find a good reason to stay here beyond needing to for my medical issues, gender transition & whilst paying off my overdraft. I know I have only seen a fraction of the country for very brief amounts of time but I found myself getting more emotional as I waited for my flight back to London every time. I get ‘homesick’ for it. I miss Breathe Atlantis so much it hurts, as OTT fanboy as that may seem. I hang an ‘I ❤ Essen’ keyring from my backpack and a ‘Germany’ keyring from my workbag. I have a Redfield Records/Oakheart tattoo because that label and those compilations have been big players in my music tastes and experiences over the past two years nearly.

The best way to end this is with a quote from a song called ‘Fire Fighter’ by Grizzly. I think it sums up my feelings about Breathe Atlantis, Essen and all the bands I have seen in the past two years. “Because of you I know where I belong, I finally found the place that I want to call home”.

Luke Elliott

The Social Music Network

 

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A Combo Of All Your Favourite Fusions, Statue Thieves Feed The Sounds For Your Soul

 

The boys over at Statue Thieves have made it apparently clear that their blend of rock psychedelic fusion is no joke, and that they have every intention on standing out with their eclectic sound.

Comprised up of 4 musicians Craig Ingham, Ivan Muela, Gennaro Oliviero and Michal Domin, each with a key component to the weird yet strangely familiar style Statue Thieves preserve.

The reason i say familiar as they clearly draw inspiration from the 60’s and 70’s, with bright guitar effects reminiscent to the likes of Jimi Hendrix.

If this sounds like your kind of thing, be sure to check them out:

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/thestatuethieves

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/5wHg2AqewiKhluNdAFamMV

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thestatuethieves/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/statuethieves

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thestatuethieves/

Website: http://www.thestatuethieves.com/

 

Ben Ridley, Turning His Classical World Upside Down, With New Pop Album ‘Sing’

 

Being able to switch music genres, midway through your career is something that some musicians crave, to have satisfaction in your work in one field, to them do a full U-turn and create something complete new is one hell of a life goal, and Ben Ridley has made it clear that his new found pop career is here to stay!

Ben Ridley’s previous music path was quite different, consisting a classical piano compositions, however, with the recent release of tracks such as ‘Sing’ and ‘Dancing Mood’. These tracks take the traditional elements of a classic pop song, but with added flare that only Ben could bring to the table.

With the added addition of more pop treats guaranteed further down the line, Ben Ridley is definitely one to keep your eye on.

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NmbBMAky4e8

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Ben-Ridley-194235297798511/

Instagram: BenRidleyMusic

Twitter:  BenRidleyMusic

Taking A Stand, Saint Mars Release New Project That Highlights The Effects Of Bullying

 

Breaking barriers between Europe and the USA, Saint Mars have incorporated the voice of 13 year old Tryzdin Grubbs, a talented young singer who found fame in a internet viral video, in which he covers Adele’s ‘Hello’, making him an instant hit!

This experimental, pop-rock project is a concept album that revolves around the harsh effects of bullying, especially in a younger generation. To convey this, the band gained the youthful, yet defined voice of 13 year old Tryzdin Grubbs.

The sweet and soft voice brings the track to life, and gives it a new and experimental twist. With a brand new single out on April 28th, be sure to check them out:

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/saint_mars

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJDziNXZFtNpmd_BIZ1z_EA

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SAINT.MARS.OFFICIAL/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MarcDarcange?edit=true

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/saint.mars/

Website: https://www.saintmars.net

From Around The World: We Take A Look At What the Different Countries Have Given Us, From Finland To Hawaii

Yes, its no doubt that when it comes to music, there is a universal love. Heck!, music can even make a change on such a grand scale, it does more than politics can, so as our way of showing our gratitude, we decided to make a list of different styles, genres and country’s.

  1. Kukahi: Hawaii – 18 Year old ‘Kukahi’ is modern singer-songwriter who’s unique and colorful personality makes him a perfect representative for the way music is challenging the mainstream of today. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7XtJzn3BBm4
  2. System Of A Down: Lebanon, Armenia and USA-Throughout the years, it has been no secret that SOAD have been open about their dislike for the US government, as well as using the events of the Armenian genocide to fuel their inspiration, and with a mix of Lebanese, Armenian and American blood in the band, this surely has a fitting place on this list. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iywaBOMvYLI
  3. Adam 888: Sweden-This is a fairly different side of the coin, however this fairly new hip-hop/cloud rap artist has been getting heads turning, with the release of his new track ‘Chakra 123’, influenced by artists such as Post Malone and Jaden Smith, Adam 888 is sure to be a name to watch out for. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3_pz80AQv5k
  4. HIM: Finland-formed in 1991, by Ville Harmoni Valo, HIM have had great success with a total of 8 albums released in their 27 year career, as well as a symbol that will do down in history as perhaps the most tattooed symbol of a band ever, HIM are without a standout band that any music fan should check out. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-SQGJ0rfIEk
  5. Flight Of The Conchords: New Zealand- Yes, i know what you are thinking; Can 2 Kiwi’s be considered a band, and to that i say, they are so much more than a band, they are a legacy… plus their songs are funny as hell! Yes the fantastic duo have managed to crack the world with their novelty music persona and are still doing it to this day, this a massive UK tour lined up for the summer, you better get up to speed with the life’s of the music comedy duo. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WUAcN9UCnbU

Wartoad Show No Sign Of Slowing Down With The Release Of Brand New Album ‘What Rough Beasts’

 

 

After celebrating Christmas with a cover of the Slade classic ‘Merry Xmas Everybody’, Wartoad are breaking through into the new year with a revved up, anger fueled trip that will bring the punk out of you.

The new album ‘What Rough Beasts’ features tracks highlighting their collective anger and rage, especially with one person known as the current president of the USA, which is something that definitely takes guts.

However, with a band that is scattered around the globe, you would imagine this is a tricky thing to get over, especially when playing live, but this doesn’t prove to be a huge hurdle, as they communicate from their respective terfs, making the music making process quite intriguing.

As the the new album has officially been released, we strongly advise that you go check it out:

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/wartoadpunkband

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCp4v3OAPSnr1iZWdeJym5rQ/featured

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WartoadPunkBand/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/WartoadPunkBand

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/wartoadpunkband/

Website: http://uat.badracketdesign.com/wartoad/

Review: Hunter’s ‘So Gay’ Track Gets The Bigger Man Remix Treatment

 

Hunter, the man responsible for the recent release ‘So Gay’, a electro-blues fusion track which talks about social issues, and tells the story of a man declaring his sexuality in a bold and confident way.

With the song gaining traction within the LGBTQ community, as well as social media groups and larger scale radios, Hunter decided to take his tune to the next level, introducing the ‘Bigger man’ remix, mixed by Krupatron.

The track itself is a completely new take on the original with mainly techno and house based instrumentation, with his vocals having the occasional skip or double hit.

 

This is a great tune, and with a slightly techno/pop-bloodhound gang feel and Hunters husky blues vocals, it proves that the coupling of these two elements really do work and they stand out as powerful and brilliantly entertaining.

So be sure to check him out:

Website: http://www.hunterthevoice.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Hunter-Hunter-126407388048990/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/HunterTheVoice

Instagram: hunter.the.voice

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3eJ-jIzxaZ2ahFwDiva9dA?view_as=subscriber