Meltdown Festival: The Notwist at Queen Elizabeth Hall
German indie experimental band The Notwist take to the stage at Meltdown Festival. The six-piece initially started as a punk rock band in 1989, but have since developed their sound into ambient and electronic.
Das Spiel ist aus gradually envelopes the Queen Elizabeth Hall, lead singer Markus Acher’s vocals intermittently reverberating, and is followed by Come In, displaying the band’s ambient sound, with xylophone and electronic turn tables. Kong showcases their roots – part punk, part frenzied indie rock – before The Notwist quickly switch from the hardier sound to perform gentler tracks Boneless, Pick Up the Phone and, highlight of the evening so far, Into Another Tune. Sliding swiftly to headier territory playing One with the Freaks, the group is reminiscent of alternative acts such as The Pixies, Radiohead and Yo La Tengo, with shoe gaze electronic of The Radio Dept for good measure.
The latter half of the performance becomes more experimental as the six-piece traverse through older tracks from Neon Golden (2002), shaking the hall with their intense outro of The Room; Andreas Harberl’s virtuoso drumming is exhilarating. Acher also produces scratches on his turntable, an intriguing method. the whole act an interesting combination of different genres – moving from indie, then punk, and even dance with Run Run Run. Pilot, Gone Gone Gone and Consequence make up the encore, the latter incredibly moving.
The Notwist played a gritty and, at times, mellow show. Their intricate and surprising compositions display musical intelligence and changing inspirations, with the newly refurbished venue perfectly capturing their complex acoustics.
Photo: Vic Frankowski
For further information and future events visit The Notwist’s website here.
Watch the video for Into Another Tune here: