Amplexus festival

Jam Club, Venice (It) / 15 May 2004

“Una notte di danze dalla monarchia del Danubio”
with Allerseelen, Scivias, Cawatana, Sturmpercht

cappuchino When a friend invited me to join him on a trip to northern Italy I did not hesitate. Venice, Padua, Verona, Vicenza and Trieste all had a lot to offer, with many cultural and gastronomical highlights. Accidentally I read that around the time we were in the area there was an interesting little festival in Venice. It was called “Una Notte Di Danze Dalla Monarchia Del Danubio” and it was organized by the Amplexus label. Two bands from Hungary and two acts from Austria were going to perform. Luckily I could convince my friend to come along to the ‘Jam Club’ with me.

The ‘Jam Club’ was hard to find, at the dark outskirts of Venice. When we finally srrived there we did not see many signs of life. The whole industrial looking building was dark and there weren’t any signs conforming that there were concerts going on. Only three other people were waiting outside. Somewhat later than announced the club opened, which appeared to have a nice and modern atmosphere, with cosy red sofas to lounge on Gradually more people entered the venue, which would not become really crowded during the concerts.

sturmpercht The concerts were worthwhile, though a bit too short (half an hour for each band), because of the delayed start. Sturmpercht sounded not very tight (yet), but it was certainly entertaining. Cheerful Austrian folklore, which I hope to hear more in the future.

Scivias was surprisingly experimental, with one long but fascinating instrumental soundscape, almost psychedelic. It demanded some attention of the audience, but it was certainly rewarding.
Cawatana, which I saw for the second time, again played a tranquil but also static set, dominated by acoustic guitars. Perhaps if the members look a little less serious and move somewhat more on the stage their performance would become more dynamic.

allerseelenAllerseelen was the defitinive highlight, very energetic and groovy. Of course various tracks from ‘Venezia’ were played. It really made me move and it was nice to see the charismatic Gerhard behind the microphone, well-accompanied by the Cawatana guys on drums. A pity it only lasted for a few songs.

It seemed that after the bands it became more crowded with people who came to visit the afterparty, but we had to leave then to catch the last night train. All in all an interesting night of Austro-Hungarian musical culture in the middle of a pleasant week in Italy.