My partner and I flew up to Sydney over the weekend for the Under A Blue Moon
There was a goth fashion show, a goth market day, lectures in the local funeral parlour, and the festival wrapped up with Electric Moon
, a goth/industrial concert at the Gaelic Club. Headliners were Destroid, Diary of Dreams and Swedish industrial-synthpop heroes Covenant.
We missed the first few bands because 4:30 is a strange time for a gig to start, and we were on holiday, dammit. These are the band we caught:Ikon
A Melbourne band, veterans of the scene, they sound like a gothed-up version of Joy Division or New Order. Their playing was tight, the bass was driving. But the band could have shown a bit more movement on stage.Voices of Masada
From the UK. They were very by-the-numbers goth rock, down to the long black hair, the bass/guitar/singer/drum-machine line up, and the skin-tight purple trousers. But at least they had some life up on stage. And the teenage fangirls down the front loved it. They kept diving in to take close-up photos of the purple trousers.Destroid
Yet another side-project from German electro-industrial legend Daniel Myers (Haujobb, Cleaner, Architect, etc., etc.). Destroid played an aggressive but highly danceable style of industrial music. Myers has a great stage presence. He's been making this sort of music for 15 years or more, and he looks like your dad would, if he got infected with nanobots and turned all cyberpunk and Matrix-y. Boosting the Destroid stage show were the pair of floor toms that Myers pounded away on. Diary of Dreams
These guys were both 1.) a German goth band, 2.) and a lesson to Voices of Masada in how to do it properly. They came on stage dressed up like a Teutonic remake of Mad Max. They were sharp and bombastic and rocking, the live drummer really fleshing out their sound. There were mohawks. There were guitar riffs. There were lyrics growled in German. I'm not a huge fan of such melodramatic goth rock, but Diary of Dreams won me over.Covenant
Let's be honest here: the sound for Covenant was appalling.
Sure, this band may mix suave Swedish synthpop with industrial noise. But it should be the instruments
that add the distortion, not the sound system. I was down the front and everything had a layer of hiss and crackle over it. Back near the middle of the venue, the whole mid spectrum dropped out so people couldn't hear the riffs.
That's just appalling.
And the stage setup was terrible. It looked like someone had hung a white bedsheet over the back of the stage. It looked cheap and it looked amateur. Especially when the Gaelic has black curtains that could have been drawn closed to add a touch of class.
Despite all of this, Covenant were magnificent.
The band came on dressed in their signature suits and ties. Singer Eskil Simonsson looks like the debonair older brother of Spike from Buffy. He was clearly delighted to be back in Australia, grinning widely, thanking the crowd, flinging his elegant, gigantic hands up to punctuate every chorus.
He was also clearly delighted that Daniel Myers (of Destroid, Haujobb, etc., etc.) was now a member of Covenant. "We used to open for Haujobb," he said. "And now Daniel is one of us!"
Musically, Covenant fought through the terrible sound system to deliver a mix of their older industrial songs, and their newer, smoother dance numbers. Myers stamped his mark all over their sound, adding weird electronic noise, ear-piercing screeches and pounding away on his toms. Highlights of the night were the ferocious "Stalker" and the epic "Call The Ships To Port".
We came all the way to Sydney to see this band. Despite the terrible sound system and the cheap stage dressing, they were worth it.
The Electric Moon festival line-up is playing in Melbourne at the Roxanne Parlour
on Friday the 10th of October.