Sunday, November 13, 2016

Wolfgang Flur at The Flapper, Birmingham

November 13th 2016
Supported by: Rusty Egan, Eric Stein, Le Cliché, Duke St Workshop

At the young age of 11 I bought my first ever single “Kraftwerk – The Robots” in 1978 and remained hooked ever since.

After seeing Kraftwerk live twice, interviewing Karl Bartos some 10 years ago and a no-show by Wolfgang Fluer at the 2015 Kraftwerk Conference in Birmingham, I jumped at the chance to see one of my musical heroes.

The evening started off with Lancashire based act ‘Duke St. Workshop’, who were really good and quite melodic and seeing an electronic Simmons drumkit on stage was a bonus. The duos performance would have benefited from some decent lighting but was nonetheless quite enjoyable. 

Only 15 minutes later one man project ‘Le Cliché’ was on and their videoscreen-based show was highly energetic and interesting and I was wondering if Le Cliché really acquired all rights to the many ads that were featured during the performance. 

That thought may be beside the point though. While not all tracks were different enough for my spoiled ears they were still all good and well put together, too. 

DJ and synthpop legend Rusty Egan supported by gifted vocalist Eric Stein rocked the house only minutes after Le Cliché had finished his set.

The set featured some great Depeche Mode and Yazoo classics but consisted mainly of tracks from Rusty’s album: ‘Welcome to the dancefloor’, which sounded amazing.

Ex – Kraftwerk member Wolfgang Flur looked very well for someone of the age of 69 as he started his DJ set sandwiched between two Egan sets.

The ‘Musik Soldat’ (Music Soldier) slides featured mostly old and likely private stills from Flur’s time in Kraftwerk.

I would have loved to see Wolfgang play some drums and perhaps add a live synthesist to his set as watching ‘an old guy’ playing some tunes off two laptops, even if some of the tracks were from his latest album ‘Eloquence’, is really boring and not all that interesting.

He brought his own video filming woman to the gig who took it upon herself to tell fans off for using their own phones for filming a bit of their hero – who the fu** did she think she is? 

This gig happened in a rather small room in the bowels of a heavy metal pub – a long way off from venues Fluer’s contemporaries such as OMD or The Human League are playing and it isn’t as if the recordings of a DJ set from someone who’d left the world’s best known electronic music band in the late 1980s really sell any less simply because some fans upload some shaky footage onto youtube.

Pricewise the evening was a steal and quite enjoyable 

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