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Glenn's Journal

Tune in, turn on, burn out.

Indie Daze
Hello again, it has been a while since I wrote here. Been to some great festivals this year like M'era Luna and Sacrosanct but last Saturday's Indie Daze was especially memorable. I would have loved to be at a gig with this line up in the early 90s. However, whilst I enjoyed listening to some of these bands at the time at home, I was a bit young to get into London for late night gigs. By the time I was going to gigs in the mid 90s, indie had mainly lost it's appeal to me and I had got into goth music, so I have some catching up to do!

As for the gig, I got to the Forum in time to see most of the opening act Thousand Yard Stare. This act were especially of interest to me as they come from the suburban Berkshire town that I appear to have made home. The singer had a strange habit of eating apples during breaks in vocal duties, I have to say he's aged better than the rest of the band. The highlight of their set for me was their one top 40 hit "Comeuppance". Saw Simon Landmine after their set, then decided to head next door to the Bull and Gate for slightly overpriced decent beer, as opposed to hideously overpriced crap beer at the Forum. What is it about beer prices in London, even Slimelight are charging £4 a can these days. Don't generally feel like I'm missing out when driving to clubs. There was a half an hour gap between bands and re admittance was allowed until 6pm, so quite a few people had a same idea as me including a couple of blokes from Bracknell whom I was chatting about Ministry with, really should have got their contact details.

The next band were Bentley Rhythm Ace, a band I didn't think I knew much about, but I did recognise a couple of songs from adverts. Apparently they contain members from Pop Will Eat Itself and EMF (both were on the bill later) dressed in sparkly suits reminiscent of notorious 1970s DJs. This was certainly a trippy experience, but I enjoyed them more than I thought I would. They knew how to get the crowd dancing to their acid-rave material.

Next up were Grebo act Gaye Bykers on Acid playing their final gig of a one-off reunion tour. Can't say I knew much about them beforehand other than a song about a killer vacuum cleaner on a compilation I have, which they did play. Was an interesting mix and punk and dance music, with hints towards metal. They were the first band to have a considerable fan base there for them.

Jim Bob was up next playing an acoustic Carter USM set. Some of the songs sounded very different unplugged. Even he admitted that some of them didn't really translate well to acoustic. Still lots of fun singing along. The crowd added their own instrumental noise to "Sheriff Fatman" near the end of the set.

Saw Laura from Bristol in the crowd, who I hadn't seen since M'era Luna so it was good to catch up and we made our way forward for the next band Pop Will Eat Itself. Amazingly, I hadn't seen them before live but this won't be my last time! Really enjoyed getting in the mosh for them, played a fair amount of old classics and "Ich bin ein Auslander" is so relevant in the aftermath of the referendum result. Highlight of the day for me.

Found Echobelly a bit dull in comparison, so went to find food upstairs. Came back for their final couple of songs. Not bad, but seemed a bit out of place on the bill, and didn't really have a crowd for them like the other main acts. I was never really a fan of their style of indie rock though.

EMF were the main headliner and, after some technical issues at the beginning of their set, put on an entertaining show celebrating 25 years of their Schubert Dip album. I was surprised they chose to play their big hit "Unbelievable" so early in the set, then the crowd thinned slightly. They did play other hits like "I Believe", "Children" and "Getting through". Then at the end Jim Bob and members of PWEI came up to join EMF for an "unbelievable" finale (terrible pun fully intended). Was amusing to see them getting lyrics wrong even when they were written on a piece of paper in front of them!

So all in all, a highly enjoyable gig. Felt a bit bad for missing Red Sun Revival on the same night but they regularly play in London anyway.

Black Rose Ball York
In an attempt to keep a written account of my more memorable activities here on LJ, I have decided to write about a trip to York a couple of weeks ago. The idea of going to a gothic masked ball has never previously appealed to me, but this one was different for a number of reasons. Firstly, my good friend Alex was organising it. Secondly, proceeds of the ball went a local charity and thirdly, it was held in the De Grey Rooms, which also used to be the venue of Afterlife, the first goth night I ever regularly attended as a student there in the late 90s. This was also a birthday present to Emily, who in return made me a really cool cast resin mask with horns that we randomly found in Dartmoor a few years ago.

On the Friday I caught the train straight from coming home from work and we made our connection at Kings Cross without any problem. Got to York at about 7.45 to be greeted by a long queue with no taxi in sight. Thought we could walk to the B and B in about 20 minutes, so did so. We had just enough time to change before heading to the pre-ball gig at the Fulford Arms. Got there just as Dyonisis started playing, a truly magnificent set. Noticed a lot of familiar faces from the M'era Luna trip, many of whom were wearing the latest festival tshirt. Spoke to Ade who said he already had over 40 people signed up for next year, looking good. Also spoke to the people I knew from York including my old uni friend Matt who I hadn't seen in at least 12 years. Saw Zed, Malcolm, Alis and Stella too and had good talks with them. Pretentious, Moi? were the headliners and also put on an enjoyable show though the delicious Nightmare beer on sale was taking its effect. Think we were amongst the last to leave at about 1am, though it was only a 10 minute stumble back to the B and B.

Slept in for a bit on Saturday but we did go to Cafe Concerto for lunch. Saw Paul Garside on the way, and also Sophie and her friend Heather who invited us to Museum Gardens after our lunch, where we enjoyed the surprisingly warm weather. Had a large dinner in the Mason's Arms where we were staying before heading back out for the ball. The venue looked as grand as I remembered from 15+ years ago. Also enjoyed music from all the djs that night, Alex, Vicky and Dave Exile. The mask was getting quite uncomfortable though Emily did a great job making it. Found that if I took it off for 5 minutes every hour it made wearing it more bearable. Quite enjoyed a couple of the special cocktails, there was a tasty orangey one called Hades' Revenge or something like that. There was also a tasty brownie stall. All in all, it was a great night.

We had to check out at 10.30, whilst early this meant we had longer to wander around York. Took our suitcase to left luggage near the station before having breakfast at The Hungry Artist. This was a new cafe that looks like an artists studio with opportunities to draw, painting on the walls and a nice collection of mismatched furniture. Definitely a place to return to. Saw Alex, Zed and Malcolm coming out of the beer shop. Zed and Malcolm were getting trains back home but Alex invited Emily and I to Sunday lunch at The Guy Fawkes Inn, an offer which we could not refuse. It was good to see Pip at the pub, she had been to the nearby Warhorns metal festival for the weekend. The pub itself was wonderfully dark and atmospheric. Emily and I had just enough time for a quick wander around the Minster before heading back to the station for our train.

It was a great weekend.

M'era Luna 2015
Wow, it has been a long time since I posted here! In a way I wished I had kept records of all the M'era Luna festivals I had been to between 2010 and 2014. For those not in the know, M'era Luna is a German festival that holds a special place in my heart. It is the first German music festival I ever went to back in 2003. I got together with Emily there in 2004 (though we first met at Slimelight a couple of weeks before) and we remain together to this day. The only time I have missed M'era Luna during this time was in 2007. I like other German festivals like Wave Gothic Treffen but that is a big too large for me, as is Wacken Open Air as far as metal is concerned. Since about 2008, my friend Ade has organised a "Goths On A Bus" trip from various pickup point in England direct to the festival ground, and I have made lots of new friends on the coach as well as establishing greater friendships with people I already knew. It genuinely remains one of the highlights of my year.

First of all, we drove to Emily's Mum's place in Woodford where she kindly offered to look after our pet rats (did I ever mention we have 4 rats?) and settled them into their holiday cages before Emily's Grandad gave us a lift to Potters Bar where there was a slight delay for the coach to arrive but we were still on schedule to catch the ferry. This year, there was an additional pick up point at Harold Wood for Essex/East London folk and this coincided with the driver's 45 minute stop. It became Goths in a Pub as we went into the Harold Wood opposite the station. Not sure what the locals made of us but I enjoyed my pint. Pub stops on the journey are definitely a positive! Went back on the coach and made good time to catch our ferry. Didn't go outside this time but enjoyed chips and beer whilst chatting to people I hadn't seen in a while. Once in France, I actually slept pretty well. Got about 3 to 4 hours sleep before waking up to lightning strikes and thunderstorms going through the Netherlands. This didn't bode well as thunderstorms were also predicted for when we arrived on the campsite. Still all cleared by the time we got into Germany for breakfast and were about 4 hours from the campsite.

After a stop for supplies at a Hildesheim supermarket we made our way to the festival ground. Once there, the rain had long stopped and we arrived early enough to be able to pitch our tents together. There were 2 coach loads of us at the festival ground. Rather boringly I decided to get a couple of hours more sleep, but did go to the Medieval village in the evening. This has been a great addition to the festival over the years. Before this, there was sometimes little to do on the Friday night, but new we can drink mead and eat nice food, listening to the medieval band and watching fire dancing. Stayed around there until the early hours mainly talking with Neil, Alan and Emma before making my way back to the tent.

It rained during the early morning, which helped me sleep a little longer as the tent didn't get too hot. This was the first day of bands. Whilst M'era Luna has a reputation of recycling line ups every couple of years, this time (especially lower down the bill) there were quite a few acts I hadn't seen before. I got into the Hangar in time to see the first of these, Nachtgeschrei, the first of quite a few German medieval acts. They had a metally bagpipe sound and were a good start to the day. Then outside for another medival act I hadn't seen, Versengold. They were lighter and more folky in sound and went down very well with those who were there early enough to see them. Next up were the first band I really wanted to see Coppelius. They are a crazy Victorian inspired German band with cellos and clarinets(?). Loved their Iron Maiden covers of Killers and Charlotte the Harlot. Probably the most fun band of the festival. Then back into the Hangar for German Horrorpunk act The Other, another fun band before going back outside the catch the second half of Ost-Front's set. I know it is an overused cliche to say that such-and-such German band sounds like Rammstein but, in this case, it is an accurate description.

Then there was a break in bands I wanted to see so I had some lunch in the medieval market before coming back in for Deathstars who were as funny as ever though Emily really enjoyed them. Into the hangar for Merciful Nuns who were very like The Sisters of Mercy, even their name sounds like a play on words. Still this is no bad thing in my book, if there is one thing lacking in recent M'era Luna line ups it is good old fashioned guitar driven gothic rock. Really enjoyed their show, brought back memories of seeing the singer's previous band Garden of Delight, and the visuals were very Nephilimesque. Back outside to catch L'Ame Immortelle. Having missed the start of their set, I was surprised to see only Thomas singing on stage, then for the following song, Sonja sang and Thomas was nowhere to be seen. Thought that the two singers might have had a falling out but they were both present on stage for the rest of the set finishing on one my personal favourites "5 Jahre". This was followed by a return to the bagpipes as Saltatio Mortis took to the stage. Another enjoyable show, though they are not my favourite act of the genre.

Decided to go around the market whilst Blutengel were on. Have seen them twice before, and they represent the style over substance pretentiousness that I dislike about the goth scene. Or do they? Returned about 3 songs before the end of their set and they actually have a live band, furthermore a live band that actually sounded like they were playing their instruments. Maybe this is a step in the right direction for them. Then it was the turn of the first of the headliners Rob Zombie. I only have one of his albums and one by White Zombie but there were only a couple of songs I didn't recognise. Put on a good show, much better than enduring Marilyn Manson last year, and he didn't insult anyone either. The main headliner for the first night were ASP, a decent show but probably not the best time I've seen them. "Ich will brennen" always sounds great but I'm surprised they chose a slower song to finish their set. Back to the medieval village for mead and food where I was joined by Neil, Alan and Emma again, seated in exactly the same place as the prevoius night.

Got woke up by the heat at about 8.30. It was very hot, I imagine temperatures were in the mid 30s for the day. Still, we got to the festival ground early and found a decent seated position under a gazebo with an ok view of the stage which helped cool me down a bit. John and Laura were nearby and John looked like he suffering the heat worse than me. As far as bands are concerned Schwarzer Engel, Unzucht and Dope Stars Inc all played I was seated there. Of these Unzucht were the ones I liked the most but it was too hot to move forward from this shaded position. Got talking to a German man who was there with his wife and daughter, they seemed friendly.

Braved moving forward for Tanzwut who played a strong setlist including "Meer"and "Nein, nein" but unfortunately it was too hot to fully appreciate them. I decided to go to the Hangar to escape the heat for a bit and caught Tying Tiffany. Never heard them before but was pleasantly surprised, kind of an angrier version of Republica. They were followed by Assemblage 23 a band I didn't think I knew anything about but recognised a few of the songs from Slimelight many years ago. Then back outside for the rest of the day to catch Apoptygma Berzerk who were somewhat more uplifting, then Mono Inc whose highlights included all 4 members playing a drum solo and an extended version of "Voices of Doom" to finish their set.

Two bands were left for the festival, Einstuerzende Neubauten who put on a really interesting show of hitting things with metal and generating cool sound effects. What industrial music should be, I guess. The headliners were Nightwish who were probably my favourite band 10-12 years ago but who I have since lost interest in. It was a highly polished and professional performance, and Floor Jansen makes a great new vocalist but I should probably accept that most of my favourite songs by them such as "Wish I had an angel", "Wishmaster" and anything off "Century Child" are no longer part of the setlist. Was great to hear "Stargazers" though, shows they haven't completely abandoned the older material. However, the Richard Dawkins narration annoyed me. Ian kindly bought me some mead but unfortunately I lost track of him when he went to return the glass at the end of the set.

BAck to the Medieval village, joined yet again in the seating area by Neil, Alan and Emma (noticing a common theme). However this time more English people joined us and there were some Germans singing traditional folk songs nearby. They heard us speaking in English and asked to sing some traditional English songs and a sing-off began. We struggled to remember any words to traditional folk songs, but the Germans seems very happy to sing along with us to various Beatles songs, The Proclaimers "500 miles" and Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" and "We are the champions". Probably the most fun I had at the festival, there may be video evidence of this somewhere! There was still time to finish my mead at the campsite where I had a good talk with Ian before getting to sleep at about 3am. Had to be up a few hours later.

Got up at about 6.45 to be told that the coach will be slightly later than planned. Still felt a bit drunk and was making basic errors dismantling and packing the tent. Slept really well on the journey back, the people who stayed in hotels seemed to have a lot more energy than me. We stopped at the chocolate factory in Belgium where the group photos were taken and chocolate bought. Ian kindly bought me an 11% Belgian beer. Got our ferry on time and it was nice being outside on the deck seeing the white cliffs of Dover as we approached England. Swapped drivers in Dover and everything was ok getting to drop people off in Harold Wood. However, just as we got onto the M25 disaster struck and the coach broke down leaving us on the hard shoulder. Recovery come and said we should be ok continuing our journey giving us some extra oil. However, the warning light came on again soon after so the coach had no choice but to exit the next junction. This happened to be the road that I normally drive down when I meet Emily's family so I knew a place to park and pointed the driver in that direction near two pubs. For Emily and me, this didn't work out too badly as Emily's Grandad kindly picked us up (he was waiting at Potters Bar and where we broke down was on the route back), but I felt sorry for everyone else. Glad to hear everyone got back eventually.

Still other than that final hiccup, which really wasn't anyone's fault, it was a great festival and everyone I spoke to is interested in going back next year. Thank you so much Ade as ever for organising everything

Dream of being back in 1991
It is not often that I even remember my dreams, let alone record them. But I had such a vivid one last night, that seemed so real at the time.

I was in a bar/function room (not too dissimilar to Chalkwell Park Rooms in Southend if anyone on here knows it). The place was fairly busy, mainly with 18/19 year old alternative/indie types but there were a few goths and metallers around. One strange thing I did notice was a total absence of mobile phones. Given how everyone has them these days (apart from Mad Alex), this was the first sign that something was not quite right. There was a curly haired lad sat next to me who couldn't have been more than 15 wearing a tshirt of the band "The Wonder Stuff". Good taste, I thought but I was surprised anyone under the age of 20 knew who they were. It was at that point I managed to catch a glimpse of myself, I had shrunk to a younger version of myself and didn't look older than the age of 12!

It was at this point I realised that somehow I had gone back in time. I thought about mentioning that fact that I had seen The Wonder Stuff supporting the Levellers a few years ago but then realised that I would never be believed in my current body. I asked him "Aren't we too young to be in here?". "It'll be fine as long as we're quiet" was his response. He then offered me a packet of biscuits. I took this opportunity to look at the sell by date to find out which year I had landed in. I vividly remember seeing Dec 21 on the packet but it didn't show the year. I then caught a glimpse of newspaper lying nearby. My suspicions were true. I had indeed been transported back to my 12 year old body back in December 1991.

Rather than worry about how to return to the present, I had a blind optimism about things I could do in 1991 that I couldn't do in 2013. I could go and see Nirvana, I though to myself. Kurt Cobain is still alive. Then I thought about which other bands I could potentially see in their hey day not giving any thought to the practicalities of actually paying for the concerts or the fact that I would be underage for most of them. Then one of the older 18/19 year old guys got up and announced that they would be going to the local alternative club and invited everyone along. I jumped at the chance of seeing what music would be played at an alternative club in 1991. I also realised that I had my passport in my pocket. This would prove I'm 34 despite my looks. However, the date of birth was the same 15th Febrauary 1979, so all it proved was that I was 12. I was stuck. It was at that point I woke up.

The dream has got me nostalgic about what is was like being 12 years old. I probably started getting into non-mainstream music about then. It was quite assessable on chart programmes. I loved it when Iron Maiden took the number one spot from Cliff Richard, loved watching Carter USM rugby tackle Philip Schofield on the Smash hits poll winners party, I loved KLF teaming up with Extreme Noise Terror on the Brit awards, I loved Nirvana's first performance on TOTP with Kurt Cobain's low singing voice and the obvious miming instrumental theatrics. These must have all happened around 1991/92. I knew I would never be into Kylie, Jason or whoever else Pete Waterman would conjure up. The music would have to be more rebellious and louder. Not long after in 1992, I would hear the Sisters Of Mercy perform Temple of Love 1992 on top of the pops. It was number 3 in the charts at the time. I know many that would mock me for saying this, but that was the song that introduced me to the Sisters and ultimately goth in general. Not that I thought of it as goth at the time. Just some kind of alternative rock, the type of which I hadn't heard before. Think Eldritch would rather be described that way. :) First and Last and Always was the first album I ever got on CD format when I was 15 and remains one of my favourites to this day.

So yes, a vivid dream to bring back musical memories. I blame it on the late night cheese board. :)

Destroying the silence
It may well have been over a year since I last posted here, but this journal was created exactly 10 years ago today! So Happy Birthday Dear LiveJournal, you have not been forgotten. :)

Hi, I'm still here. Anyone else around?

Anyway it has been a been a couple of months since my last update, during which time I took advantage of my extra day off for the Royal Wedding by having an extended weekend away in the Cotswolds. We stayed in a nice old pub near Cirencester which was full of character. We also went for day trips to Gloucester and Bath and walks along the Thames path and Cotswolds Way.

Ir has been fairly busy on the gig front too and I have seen Paradise Lost performing Draconian Times at the Forum, Enslaved and Negura Bunget at the Underworld, Alcest and Dornenreich also at the Underworld and My Dying Bride at the Islington Academy since I last posted. Highly enjoyed all those gigs but it's probably a bit late to do a proper review now :) In complete contrast to the gloomy metal stuff, I also went to see Basildon's finest comedy electro act Kunt and the Gang in High Wycombe last Sunday and laughed my way through the gig. He sure is a great entertainer!

Had this week off work and will be at Nambucca for Schattenspiel tomorrow night. Anyone fancy meeting up at Big Red beforehand?

Thought I'd show that I haven't given up completely on LiveJournal. Infact I do check my friends list almost every day, I've just been to lazy to post anything myself.

Anyway, I've had a nice week off work. My friend Friedemann from Germany came to visit us for a few days. We took him to Windsor and its castle as it is only a couple of miles from where I live. We also really enjoyed Tenebrae, which was far busier than usual this month and played really good music, old and new. We left slightly before the end to introduce him to Slimelight. Not so many people I knew on this occasion and if I wasn't so tired I might have enjoyed it more. Still it was good to dance to ASP. Whilst Friedi was here, we also spent an evening playing Arkham Horror, and took him shopping in Camden on Monday and to the 2 London Tate galleries on Tuesday. I then drove him to Heathrow at about 3.30am on Wednesday where he returned to Dusseldorf. Hopefully we can visit him at some point soon.

I have also been to visit my family in Essex this week as it was my Dad's birthday. Had a meal in Southend and a nice walk along the seafront to celebrate.

Tonight I should be at Vagabonds so hope to see some of you there.

Last week
Can't believe it has been nearly three months since my last update! I will probably write about my adventures on holiday in Devon in August at some point, along with other enjoyable events such as the Battle of Hastings re-enactment and the Blind Guardian gig at Shepherd's Bush Empire.

Anyway, last Thursday I went to the O Children gig in Reading with Emily. The venue was in the middle of an industrial estate about 10 minutes walk away from the train station and it was otherwise very quiet around that area. The gig was reasonably well attended though far from sold out, I spotted a few goths around who were presumably there for the main act. The support acts were of variable quality but worth standing through as O Children put on a really good show. Unfortunately there were sound problems during their opening song Ruins but once sound levels were right I really enjoyed their set. Good to see some use of smoke machines too, and the 6ft 8 singer had a great stage presence as well as voice. We bought their album and it is a very worthwhile listen, especially if you like the idea of a slightly more goth version of Editors. The video for Ruins can be found here.

Saturday night was the really big one for me though, as it was the second Mittelalter night at Zeitgeist and the first that I produced music for. It was well attended and the German mead and Wikingerblut (cherry mead) were very well received. They were selling the stuff in pints (I may have drunk a little too much, hic). Anyway, my set came on just before 11 though unfortunately there was a problems with one of the speakers, so the guitars were more audiable than the medieval instruments. I decided to go far a more metally mittelalter set which went into folk metal territory as other people took charge of the other genres throughout the evening.

Here is what was playedCollapse )

Thanks to Ian for allowing me a chance to play some stuff. Anyway I stayed until the night closed at about 1.30 then got a taxi to Slimelight with Emily, Ant and Scott. The Security were tighter this time to the point where people were getting asked for ID on the door. It was also strange to see the cake room closed for a wedding reception! I saw all the tables in there looking very posh like a full breakfast would be served there the next day. Then there was issue with a bag thief and the police were called in to sort that problem out. Whilst an unusual sight in Slimelight, it was good to see the staff tackling this issue rather than turning a blind eye to it. The thief was taken off in the police car. As for the rest of the night, I enjoyed the music and heard a couple of O Children tracks while I was there. It was also good to see Martin for the first time in ages. I stayed until just before 6 and was pleased that it only took just over an hour to get home.

Now watching the highlights of the Korean GP as I didn't get up in time, even for the re-run, looks like an eventful race!

M'era Luna 2010
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. :)

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I am enjoying reading peoples WGT accounts on LJ today, even if I am a bit jealous! It has been 6 years since I last went, and unfortunately working in a school means I can't take time off for it (might be able to do most of it next time it falls during half term). Still, I guess I get 6 weeks off in the summer and will be at M'era Luna.

Anyway, whilst a considerable amount of you were gothing it up in Leipzig, I was being totally ungoth and took advantage of the sunny weather by going to Bournemouth for the day last Saturday. Had a nice walk along the beach and went to the Oceanarium, before coming across quite a cool alternative/hippyish pub that has a really good continental beer selection (though I had to stick to half a pint of Fruli as I was driving) and apparently has a post-punk night once a month. I am tempted to return to Bournemouth tomorrow night for the monthly goth night now I know it isn't that far away but I don't think I'll know anyone and Emily is in London this weekend. Incidently I'll also be in London on Saturday for French Simon's birthday.