Clan of Xymox / NamNamBulu

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As the time approached 7 o’clock, the time stated on the ticket as the beginning of the concert, I could only see about 10 people lined up outside the venue. This worried me. I did not know just how well known the goth giants Clan of Xymox were in Russia and was hoping the group didn’t get dissapointed by a low audience turn-out. Luckily I was soon proved wrong.

The opening band was a Russian group called Yulia Crow (Юлия Кроу). The band consisted of a drummer, a bassists, two guitarists and the lead singer, Yulia Crow. Wearing a white T-shirt dress, a fluffy angel halo, ballet shoes and bloody eye makeup, her style was rather reminiscent of asylum Emily Autumn, or early grunge Courtney Love. Yulia had quite a stage presense with her firey eyes and lurching movements which made her particularly hard to photograph. What I found to be quite distracting was the over usage of props, ranging from a plastic skull, to a fake prison chain, to a noose, to a skeleton parrot. It seemed as though Yulia had raided the Halloween prop store and left the shop empty. The songs ranged from themes about death, the afterlife, and sexual themes. Stylistically they didn’t sound all that interesting. Luckily my attention was drawn to the second guitarist who was dressed in drag and fully made up. He looked like a cute girly goth angel, which is a very rare in Russia, so it was a pleasant sight. Overall Yulia Crow had left quite an impression on me and it wasn’t entirely a good one.

 

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The opener for Clan of Xymox, as had been advertised on the ticket were NamNamBulu. I had come across their music when I was doing research into EBM bands prior to attending Infest and I was looking forward to dance.  I was quite surprised that t a crowd of people had already filled the room and were quite making quite a welcoming atmosphere. I had no idea that Namnambulu have been around since the year I was born so I expected a spectacular show from the seasoned musicians. NamNamBulu had not been to Russia since 2004 or 2005 so it was a welcome sight for them to be received with such open arms. Henrik, the lead singer, delivered beautiful and powerful vocals alongside the body-moving beats. Tracks featured were played from most of the old albums, but mostly focused on songs from their 2003 album, “Distances.” I had not danced EBM for over a month so it was nice to pull shapes to the fast NNB songs. Overall the show was very soulful and touching, and the crowd threw their hands up and bobbed their heads. The Moscow synth loving community did not fail in showing their support. Namnambulu left the stage glowing and loved.

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With two opening bands, the anticipation had substatinally grown and the crowd was hungry for Clan of Xymox. The crowd erupted with biosterous applause once the band came on. They went on to play a selection of songs ranging from their 1985 debut album “Clan of Xymox,” to their most recent release of this year, “Matters Of Mind, Body & Soul.” Some of the songs that had stuck out in my memory as those to get the most crowd response were “Hail Marry,” “She’s Falling in Love,” “Emily” and “A Day.” The response to “A Day” was paticularly explosive! They were so loved by the crowd that they played 2 encoures! The first encoure included “Delete” as well as a Bananarama cover of “Venus,” to which I giggled quite a bit. The crowd chanted the name of the group, as well as yelling “MORE!” To this Xymox obliged and played one more song to close the night. It had been a truly successful night in celebration of goth culture and gothic music. The crowd and the bands had all enjoyed themselves and all in all it had been a very rewarding night.

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