Hooray, I finally have internet in the new place so I can start with the long overdue updates! Interesting that LJ has lost my colour scheme though, it doesn't seem the same not reading my friends page in black and blue. :(
Anyway, M'era Luna was enjoyable once again this year. The were two coaches going from England to Germany this year and I think I was on the quieter one, though Emily's apple strudel cocktail went down well (and far too quickly!) on the coach. We arrived in Hildesheim early Friday afternoon, though the queue for wristbands was rather long at this point. The first evening was mainly spent in the medieval market where I met a couple of blokes who only live a few miles away from me, and also some German guys who teased me for how bad England were at the World Cup! They were friendly guys though and they gave me a beer. I told them I wanted Germany to win after that defeat. I also drank lots of mead before Emily and I went to the Hangar party for the first time in 5 years, and had a surprisingly good time.
On Saturday morning I went to the Hangar to see the first band that I wanted to see Sons of Seasons who were a symphonic metal band that reminded me of somewhere between Dream Theater and Kamelot. A good start to the day. We then went outside for Lord of the Lost who I can't really remember that much about other than an amusing Lady Gaga cover. Back inside for Leandra, who was female-fronted ethereal rock and pretty good. Qntal were meant to be on next but they had to pull out because of an injury to one of their band members so a mittelalter rock band called Ignis Fatuu replaced them and I really enjoyed them, definitely more upbeat than I was expecting. Had a little break for food whist listening to Angelspit. Let's just be polite and say that band didn't really do it for me! I returned to the Hangar for Faith and the Muse, who I was really looking forward to having missed their last gig in London. Despite some early technical issues which I think cut short their set, it was a really good show with a nice setlist and good use of live percussion. They were one of the highlights of the day for me. Brendan Perry of Dead Can Dance fame was on next, and whilst I cannot fault his amazing voice or the quality of his backing band, I was starting to feel a little tired after so little sleep the previous night so went back to the tent for a quick snooze as there was a break in bands that I wanted to see.
I came back in time for fellow Essex boys Nitzer Ebb who were enjoyable but I had to cut short their set so I could return to the Hangar to see folk metal band Eluveitie. I've seen them once before in London but this was even better. They played a longer set including my favourite "Slania's Song". It must also be the first time I've ever seen a circlepit at M'era Luna, which was well organised by the singer to get people who didn't want to be involved well out of the way so noone got hurt. Incidently, I liked the new separate entrance and exit idea in the Hangar. I guess there were safer precautions after the Loveparade disaster, albeit this festival is on a much smaller scale. I would've have minded staying in for the elusive metal band on my list Crematory, but they clashed with stuff on the main stage. Firstly I got to see the second half on Unheilig's set. Their stage setwas much bigger than when I've seen them before, and there were good visuals used. Then the headliners The Sisters of Mercy came on stage. They tend to be a bit hit and miss live, I couldn't hear Andrew Eldritch last time I saw them in London but I'm pleased to say that this was a lot better. Good use of smoke and light in the show, and a better setlist than I expected. Still not the best time I've seen them but far more enjoyable than I feared.
After the bands had finished we returned to the Medieval Market for more halloumi, mead and merriment. I think we were there for a good couple of hours before heading back to the tent.
On Sunday, I got to the main festival area in time for the last song of the opening band Expatriate who were actually quite good and made me think I should have got there slightly earlier. German horrorpunk band The Other were next and I've always enjoyed them live ever since I saw them in London a few years ago. Didn't really think much of Punish Yourself, but Hanzel und Gretyl were more like it for me. Guilty pleasure of the day! Americans singing in German that even I can understand with a hard industrial metal backing, they were a lot of fun, just what I needed after several Weissbiers! Zeraphine were next and this must be the 4th time I've seen at M'era Luna alone. Nice to hear that play quite a lot of earlier material. Saltatio Mortis always put on an entertaining show, and this year was no different though it wasn't quite the same without having brother dr_locrian to do synchronised air hurdy-gurdy with me on this occasion! The 69 Eyes were next playing their usual brand of amusing horror themed rock, it is always good to hear "Gothic Girl" live. Then the Editors played, who I've wanted to see for several years but finally got around to it here. They played a nice mix of all their albums and put on a very professional and solid show. Possibly the highlight of the day for me. In Extremo were also very good, though I don't think they could recreate the heights of when I saw them in 2004 and 2006. Was a little disappointed they didn't use the pirate ship with the firework captain's wheel this time! Pyrotechnics wise though, there are very few that do it better and it was a fun show from probably my favourite mittelalter metal band. This left Placebo to close the festival as they did when I first went to M'era Luna back in 2003. It was a professional performance although I only recognised a handful of songs (and I have their first 2 albums). It was a little irritating that someone in the background kept handing Brian Molko a different guitar after every song but it was a solid performance and Emily really enjoyed it. After the bands, we returned to the medieval market when I realised I had a touch of heatstroke so wasn't really in a very sociable mood. I decided drinking water and sleeping was a much better idea than more alcohol and felt much better for it the following day.
The journey back was mostly ok, though the ferry delay meant some people had to get taxis back into London. I met a few people who had been to Wacken, its a shame that these events clashed this year. It was good that our coach driver was converted to goth over the weekend though. He really enjoyed some of the bands and was wearing a goth black shirt on the journey back!
Hopefully I can return next year, ASP have already been confirmed as one of the headliners! Thanks very much to ade50021 for organising the trip as always. :)
Tune in, turn on, burn out.
- M'era Luna 2010