Which side of me will win?

Metalcamp 2011: Seriously, what’s with the lamp?

I’m well known internationally for my face-melting air guitar skills, but what many of my fans don’t realise is that I’m also a bit of a virtuoso on the air drums. At least I thought I was until I saw a truly incredible air drummer pounding away on the opposite side of the river as Ash and I headed away from the beach bar after witnessing the Terrible Singing Guy.

In contrast to Terrible Singing Guy, Amazing Air Drummer isn’t performing for anyone’s ‘benefit’ but his own. He appears to be alone and almost certainly hasn’t even realised that Ash and I have stopped in our tracks to stare in awe at his skills.

I’m not sure what the song was that he was playing along to – it was probably Dimmu Borgir or something like that – but the drum part was fast as fuck and sounded extremely technical, and he was absolutely nailing it all the way through.

He must have been a real drummer, not just an air one. Must have been.

That probably makes it cheating, but I was still humbled.

Anyway though, off we trot back to camp, passing the main stage where Trollfest are playing. They don’t really grab either of us so we don’t hang about. Nina loves Trollfest and seems baffled and dismayed when we later tell her we weren’t interested in seeing them.

The next band either of us is interested in seeing is Die Apokalpytischen Reiter, who Ash has shortlisted as a band he’d like to check out. We’re still getting changed at camp when they start and, while their music doesn’t really do much for me, I agree to go with Ash to the arena.

Neither of us knows what they actually look like. Yet.

So what do they look like? I’m struggling to find the words.

Very… German, for starters. There’s something a bit Rammstein-ish about them, only where Rammstein have a very uniform vibe, this lot are a bunch of oddball misfits that don’t really go together. But because they don’t, do.

If that doesn’t make any sense then I’m describing them perfectly.

The keyboard player – or should that be organist? – is the one that really stands out. The back of his organ is transparent and inside there are disembodied doll parts revolving in a slow, sinister fashion. The organist himself? A gimp. Whenever there’s a section of a song with no organ he comes to the front of the stage with a cat o’ nine tails and cracks it vigorously over and over again.

Meanwhile the guitarists have a kind of SS meets S&M thing going on, frogmarching back and forth across the stage with eerily perfect symmetry. Those Germans, eh…

The weirdest moment of all though comes when a wooden chair and old fashioned standing lamp are brought onto the stage and the singer performs a song sat on the chair holding onto the lamp. I can’t explain exactly why this is so fucking twisted but it is, believe me. I reckon they should change their name to ‘Was Das Fick?!’ and be done with it.

I’ve barely scratched the surface of what they got up to during the half hour or so we were watching, but I’m going to leave it at that because I’m starting to scare myself.

Speaking of scary things, the main event of the entire week will soon be upon us. For tonight, my friends, is…

…Slayer night!


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