Earlier this week I entered a contest on FM4; two days ago I was notified by email that me and 49 others had won tickets for the Phantom/Ghost radio session. However, Tosca were playing two free shows at Minoritenkirche as I had discovered after entering the contest (it turns out the church was getting way too full for anyone to enter without spending 3 hours lining up for it first).
I’d never been to the Radiokulturhaus to attend a concert before. The music hall is wonderful, it gives you the feeling that you are attending something quite special; red curtains, proper “concert hall seats” and a GORGEOUS piano. The simple excitement of being there for the first time wasn’t ruined at all by the fact that I’d heard very little of the Tocotronic‘s singer’s side project.
After Martin Blumenau’s little introduction and as the lights dimmed, on came Thies Mynther and Dirk von Lowtzow, quiet and well-dressed. On their studio albums – especially the early ones – their music has a hint of electronic and atmospheric bits and pieces; live it was just piano and voice, with a lot of theatrics. From beginning to end I wasn’t sure how to interpret this bizarre music with its absurd lyrics. With his over-exaggerated gestures and his champagne glass, Dirk seemed lost in a world of self-mockery. As I discovered a bit later, the new record is filled with songs which, though seeming a little ridiculous at first, get stuck in one’s head very quickly. Some of them, like The Beautiful Fall or Thrown Out Of Drama School, are a definite Ohrwurm (directly translated: “Earworm”) as they would say here. The big plus of this strange band is Dirk’s one-of-a-kind voice and the mystery enveloping them; stepping out of the light into the shadows.
The Charge Of A Light Brigade
The Beautiful Fall
The Process (After Brion Gysin)
All Is Hell
Nothing Is Written
All Manner Of Thing Shall Be Well
Relax It’s Only A Ghost
Thrown Out Of Drama School
Phantoms And Ghosts
You’re My Mate (cover)