Live Review: Schattenspiel @ Nambucca, London.

By on 9 August 2011

Schattenspiel opened its doors for the first time in June of last year with the aim of bringing newer dark/goth genres to London, at an event that is not afraid to feature bands and artists normally associated with the European club circuit. An immediate success, and following a short break, the club relocated to the recently refurbished Nambucca with its large open plan bar, comfy sofas and separate club/gig room out back. As with all such events, attendance is as important to the club’s success as the variety and diversity of acts who come to perform and with numbers dwindling in recent months, Friday night’s event is, it seems, crunch time for the club’s future.

With traditional, ornately decorated high Georgian ceilings and the large oak bar taking centre stage, a lone DJ stands high above in a pulpit-like structure overlooking his prospective audience as a mix of Post-punk, Dark Cabaret, Goth, Mittelalter and Neue Deutsche Harte begins developing the ambience with danceable beats while the beers and shots flow freely among the gathering crowd, in a night that is still young. An inspiring venue, Nambucca’s separate dancefloor and stage area is similar in size to Slimelight’s ground floor gig room, with its own independent sound system and ample stage lighting.

The first band charged with opening the evening’s entertainment are Italian doom Goths ‘A Sleeping Body’, in what is to be their debut gig and showcasing an interesting style of slow, melodic grinding guitars with steady, developing drum sequences, each of their four songs crescendo to a wall of sound as this new band for 2011 provide an acceptable account on which they can build.

In contrast, London-based ‘Section 3’ are decidedly more upbeat, with more traditional, Rosetta-esque soundscapes of swinging guitars, punchy basslines and a combination of atmopsherics and gritty vocals. Frontman Dave Roca’s dominating presence on stage throughout songs like ‘It’s Not Right’ and ‘No Way Back’ provided insight to the band’s direction and support for their debut E.P.


The Last Cry

The headline band for the evening need no formal introduction and as The Last Cry take up their positions on stage, anticipation grows for what is set to be an outstanding performance as the opening bars of ‘Punishment’ maximise the full potential of Nambucca’s excellent sound system. In a set that produces two new songs as well as many from the album ‘Walking To The Edge’, Andy Birch’s emotional theatrics from the start, add a sense of realisim to the misery and heartache of each of their songs until they close with the album’s haunting title track.

A late night display of erotically charged, seductive splendour from burlesque queen Celestia Knight rounds the entertainment off nicely as we recline to the bar for more music from the DJs whose choices and mixes have kept things sweet between the live performances. An evening filled with great entertainment from three impressive bands, and a Cabaret , the event has enjoyed success once more with a good-sized audience, and a good all round venue, Schattenspiel will be back with more to offer in September and beyond.


IMAGES; Dan Aitch Photography


About Miranda Yardley

I'm Miranda. Bite me.

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