I’ve loved Kraftwerk ever since the mid-70’s when I fell about laughing to “We are the Robots…” on hearing it for the first time. I’ve never managed to see them live but tonight had the chance to see one of the original members, Wolfgang Flur, at my ‘local’, the Brudenell. I’d spent the day in Manchester for Maxines 50th, held at the Black Jack Brewery (which was ace) and I had the chance of either going to see Wilco Johnson and Hugh Cornwell at the Academy, or New Luna at Night & Day in Manchester…..but decided to come home for Wolfgang….
First up were ‘Virginia Wing & Xam Duo’ who did a good line in atmospheric electronica. The live vocals and sax helped give their dance tinged tunes the human touch.
Peter Dugall’s set was more dance oriented and he did the whole set from a laptop. It looked like he was fiddling with something on the keyboard but you couldn’t really tell.
Wolfgang Flur (‘ex-Kraftwerk’ as he kept on reminding us with a smile) called his set ‘Musik_Soldat’ with lots of images of a german helmet, which he got out and wore near the end whilst walking up and down the stage. He seemed to make no attempt to be pretending to ‘play’ his laptop – just pressed the button to a new tune and triumphantly snapped his hands in the air.
His set was heavy on dance beats in a Techno style. There were a few re-mixes of Kraftwerk tunes which were the stand out tunes and sounded great. Would Kraftwerk have veered that way if he had stayed in the band? There were lots of old band photos projected on the screen and a film of him in Dusseldorf with the german helmet on…..interesting….this set would have sounded great at night in a field at Glastonbury….and there was some rave type dancing at the front…..but I think it might have been lost on a lot of the crowd……”I felt like he was taking the piss” said one disgruntled punter I chatted to in the bar after……I didn’t feel that and enjoyed it….but…..I hear Wilco and New Luna did great sets……I did get home before midnight though….
Bob the Chiropodist