Islington Academy

14 posts

Black Celebration 2006

There was talk of last years Black Celebration being the last, but somehow Flag Promotions managed to put together another 9-band line-up and (for once) keep the billing intact from the start of promotion to the big day. Not that the line-up really offered much originality – for Psyche and XPQ-21, this was just one of many UK shows they would perform this year. Deathboy and I Am Immune had both performed at this event at the same point in the billing as in 2005 (the latter under a different name) and even the concept of a ‘farewell show’ from The Chaos Engine (the UK scene’s answer to Frank Sinatra in terms of long goodbyes) seems quite tired now. Continue reading

Mesh – UK Tour 2006

Due to my familiarity with all three of the bands on tonight’s billing, it really was a last-minute decision that brought me here. An exhaustive schedule of Dark City, WGT and Tool had given me a live-band fatigue of sorts and I had no real urge to worsen the feeling. That said, I’d missed Mesh’s WGT performance (and it’s looking increasingly likely that timetable clashes will lead to me not seeing them at M’era Luna either), and I hadn’t seen one of the other bands on the bill perform for some time, so I eventually decided that I should attend. Continue reading

Apoptygma Berzerk (+ Greenhaus)

My attendance at this show was very much a last-minute thing. Six years ago, Apoptygma Berzerk arrived in London for the first time, and I’d bought my ticket months in advance, for what was then only my fourth ever gig (and my first for over a year!). How much has changed in that time – a series of increasingly patchy albums had led to Apop more or less disappearing from my personal playlist, with only the predictable oldies still getting any kind of club play. Continue reading

Covenant – UK Tour 2006

It had been over three years since Covenant last visited London, their only UK since then being last years slightly odd InFest performance last year. Their latest album ‘Skyshaper’ had met with a mixed but (for the want of a better term) ‘cautiously positive’ response, and the continued popularity of their back catalogue meant that the scheduled 4-date UK tour seemed like a sensible proposition. Extra crowd-pulling power was provided by Norway’s ‘Pride and Fall’ along with the long awaited return to stage of Revolution By Night. Continue reading

Gotham 2006

The annual Flag one-day goth fest occurred a little bit earlier than usual in 2006. The usual alternation of Clan of Xymox and Inkubus Sukkubus (broken only in 2003 when The Damned somehow made it onto the bill) gave the Inkies their guaranteed headline slot, though for once there was genuine interest as to what came beneath. Aside from UK scene perennials Manuskript, the bill was refreshingly free from ‘the usual suspects’, with a rare UK performance by Theatre of Tragedy and the London debut of Gothminster the main attractions. Continue reading

Combichrist, Katscan, XP8 and Trauma Pet

This show came as something of a surprise to many of us. Combichrist had appeared on the billing for Black Celebration 2004, only to disappear from the line up at a very late stage, so late that not even Flag, known to have multiple local acts on speed-dial, couldn’t summon a substitute in time. The stories explaining their cancellation were never clear, but somehow everyone kissed and made up ready for another try in 2005. Continue reading

VNV Nation – Matter + Form UK Tour 2005

The regularity of live reviews on this pages might indicate that VNV Nation have played quite regularly in my general vicinity. The reality is that they haven’t – of the last five VNV live reviews, two were from M’era Luna, two were from Belgium and one from InFest 2003. They haven’t played London since Dark Jubilee in June 2002. That’s three-and-a-half-years. For a band with an exhaustive live schedule, who also spent some of their most productive years in the city, that’s quite some wait. Continue reading

Gotham 2005

Well, it’s time once more for the once-yearly London goth festival, the only major ‘gothic’ event run by Flag Promotions during the year. Clan of Xymox were headlining for the third time in six years, whilst The Crüxshadows were making their yearly appearance in the capital as main support. The billing remained constant throughout the promotional period, barring the absence of Demeter on the big day. More significant was the move to the Islington Academy from Koko, a newly-refurbished venue that some of us are starting to doubt we’ll ever get to see. Anyway, the bill was still looking relatively strong by the standards of recent years, so I once again turned up early to check it out. Continue reading

Black Celebration 2004 – Day 2

I arrived on Day 2 to be greeted by a virtually empty Academy. Obviously skipping Slimelight was a good idea if watching all 13 bands was part of your battle plan for the weekend. First up today were Deviant UK. They had a singer in a peaked hat, which looked rather stupid, but the music made up for it, a sort of Numanesque electro-rock, with huge power chords much in evidence. What else would one do with a flying-V, anyway? I quite enjoyed their set, even if none of the songs grabbed me that much. But doubtlessly there’s something here worth of development. If only they dropped that awful hat! Continue reading

Black Celebration 2004 – Day 1

The biggest Flag Promotions event so far, and also one of the most controversial. It all started several months prior to this event, when Flag gave everyone the chance to vote for 3 bands they wanted to appear. Deathboy won the ballot, but weren’t booked, as ‘they’d played last year’. Yes, opening up what had to had been the weakest Black Celebration line-up to date. So weak that I didn’t even bother to do (Icon of Coil AGAIN?). Continue reading