London - 12 April
"Playfully inspired by the clash between totalitarian and capitalist imagery and the subliminal indoctrination of both"
was a gig I was looking forward to, but truly unsure of what to expect.
Advertised as Sound of Music Tour, it was trailed as featuring some of
the material performed in North Korea, together with a selection of
their earlier material and songs from the 1965 musical film The Sound
of Music. It certainly promised to be an intriguing
Typically of the band it was a case of expect the unexpected. The early
opening set, no support act, started with a somewhat overly long intro
of discordant piano, accompanied by synth effects and drums. Any doubts
that were creeping into my mind as the intro progressed, were quickly
dispelled when Milan Fras and vocal counterpoint Mina Spiler entered
the stage and the band performed a series of glorious renditions of
some of their earlier material such as Now You Will Pay.
fifteen minute intermission, the second set opened with what I can only
describe as wonderfully 'Brechtian' versions of the classic songs from
The Sound of Music.
While this may sound a twee and contrived idea, to
be honest I was almost dreading it, it turned out to be a fabulous and
captivating performance, accompanied by fantastic and relevant visual
projections. Many playfully inspired by the clash between totalitarian
and capitalist imagery and the subliminal indoctrination of both.
imagery for My
Favourite Things, being particularly
effective, happy smiling party comrades surrounded by reassuringly
familiar every day western treats and temptations, from Warhol style
Campbell's noodle soup cans to fairy cakes, juicy steaks and My Little
Pony dolls. The overall effect helping to impart the familiar lyrics
with a darker and questioning hue. Fras's unmistakable growling, almost
sub bass voice, menacingly intoning a list of the good things in life,
as if providing a question mark to their very goodness and validity.
would be interesting to know if the imagery and metphors were allowed
for the North Korean performances, could they really have escaped the
censor's attention? Among the highlights of this section for me, were
and the aforementioned My
Favourite Things, all
of the songs in this section however were engaging and unexpectedly
thought provoking interpretations.
The band returned to more
familiar territory before two encores closed the proceeding's,finishing
with the band's classic and twisted version of Opus's 1984 Europop
favourite, Live is Life.
Laibach's Life is
Life/Opus Dei, once again
featuring those dark vocal tones imparting a cynicism and disdain to
the vacuous feel good pop of the original song.
A wonderful evening enjoyed by a comfortably crowded and enthusiastic
audience, highly recommended. 9/10
Setlist: Part 1: Olav
Trygvason (Edvard Grieg cover), Smrt za smrt, Brat Moj, Now You
Will Pay, The Great Divide, Eurovision, Walk With Me, No History,
Resistance Is Futile Part 2: Do-Re-Mi, Edelweiss, The Sound
of Music, Climb Ev'ry Mountain (Rodgers &
Hammersteain covers) Warszawskie
dzieci, We Are Millions and Millions Are One, The Whistleblowers,
Ballad of A Thin Man (Bob Dylan cover), Bossanova Encore: My Favorite Things
(Rodgers & Hammerstein cover), Anglia, Life Is Life
(Opus cover) Encore 2: Each
Man Kills The Thing He Loves
Review: Cliff Chapman
Photos: Arron Leslie