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Cold Red Light and Slum Religion

Posted in Volatile Times on April 28th, 2011 by IAMXTourCorner

Grünspan – Hamburg (DE) (09.04.2011)

” A golden buddha on the wall behind the band sparkled smiling while rain drops ran down his golden surface. “

Still tired but high from that show last night we started very early to beat the streets to Hamburg. To save money and protect the environment we took two nice people with us who we got to know from a car sharing agency. After 4,5 hours we saw loads of cranes rising at the horizon and we were sure – this is Hamburg. Famous for its harbour and fish and well for St. Pauli, its red-light disctrict. Which was our destination for the night to lose ourselves.

What is the first thing we did? Yes checking the location and then going down to the fish market eating some very fresh fish and having a short break in the sun. A big thanks goes out to Kamila which offered us a place to sleep in Hamburg. So we decided to buy her a ticket as a present and she came with us to the concert and was amazed after the show.

Ready to rock we went back to the fish market for a parking place and walked up the streets to the location for the night. A first problem came up – cause tears were running down my face – as we walked caused by the strong wind blowing around our faces. So my make-up was already a bit mhhmmm….. let me say it looked a little rocked down.

As we walked up the streets a young pair passed by and I heard her saying (looking at us) “No these are not that kind of girls who work here.”. I´ve to say we were already at the ‘Reeperbahn’ – the most famous street in Hamburg or perhaps in Germany. A street of sin, sex, love, drugs, alcohol, dirt and desperation. Not that far away from the ‘Grünspan’ two boys passed by pointing at us yelling “Oh…. Batman and Robin.” I mean ok if you walk around like we´re now used to get comments like these ones.

We really somehow felt becoming a part of that world as we walked through that red-light district of Hamburgs suspicious dark lowland St. Pauli. This was a place where differences couldn´t be bigger. Between all that “Cold Red Light” you could find a church inbetween with nuns making their prayers there. This is slum religion. We felt amazed and dirty in the same time.

We loved the atmosphere and nothing could have been better that day than IAMX open their theatre for one night in St. Pauli. As we arrived we already saw two people sitting there. I only recognized one guy directly – it was the nice guy from the merch stand – and I only saw 2 feet of someone else and nothing more. There were two doors and infront of one we waited while the other one was blocked by the two other ones sitting there. So we settled down on the stairs of the bigger door.

Cross Girl was a bit unsure about whether ‘our’ door really is the entry and wanted me to ask ‘the other ones’ whether this is the right door. I felt a bit uncomfy to disturb them in their conversation but I asked them (in english) whether they mind if I interrupt them for a moment. And the so far ‘unknown’ lifted his head, smiled at me and said in German to me: “You can speak German to me. No worries.” The ‘unknown’ was Alberto. I was surprised and amused in the same time, but well they did not know either which was the right door. So we decided to wait where we were – it was the right door as we got to know later from Annette who we met there – coming from Berlin to IAMX’ show in Hamburg.

As well as Tom Marsh came over for a moment to meet the band I guess. He played that night as well in Hamburg only some meters down the street in an other club.

That day the weather god was really kind with us – sending us warm light till the sun set down. While we waited in the sun a strange guy – kind of homeless – asked us whether it´s already carnival and whether we´ve got some stuff for him. You all know what kind of stuff. A few minutes later Reza and an IAMX staff member passed by commenting amused ‘unbelievable’ to us and disappeared to appear again only a moment later. Laughing, telling us that the staff member was asked by a guy whether he’s got some stuff. I think we both made the encounter with the same strange guy.

The ‘Grünspan’ is a wonderful little scene club with a special flair and it was great to wait there meeting again some people from other shows or getting to know new people like Ina and Meike from Landau or Leonard and Lisa from the Netherlands. This is what also makes fun – all those wonderful kinda soulmates you meet.

We entered the location and all was very relaxed even during ‘Noblesse Oblige’ were on stage. While they were giving all to warm-up the crowd they stayed relaxed and calmed down. I mean that´s nordic restraint. First see what happens and then start to move.

Noblesse Oblige

And ‘Noblesse Oblige’ are great. They bring the right rhythm with them to bring people in the mood and to make them move. At least they make Cross Girl and me move every time. We really adore them.’Noblesse Oblige’ you’re wonderful and we hope to see much more shows with you and from you. Keep on with your splendid show.

Noblesse Oblige

After they left the stage you recognized the crowd moving forward, moving together, moving closer to the stage. And then lights turn out and the hard moving beats of ‘Music People’ rises from the speakers. The crowd started to become more wild. I was surprised about that and pretty happy in the same time. Did not expect that.

Well some people might say – ‘Hey it´s always the same show you see. Same setlist and all that.’. You may be surprised same setlist yes but not the same show. It´s always different in a way.

And somehow I enjoy to know which song comes next. It excites me – makes me wild. Makes me want to hear every song immideately but I need to wait and party on. I so enjoy ‘Volatile Times’. It´s like an island between the fast end of ‘Music People’ and the forward pushing beats of ‘Nightlife’. I can escape there in the swaying tunes turning up and down like a rollercoaster when the refrain rises and the slower parts set. It´s a great “place” to rest before the show really rushes forward from one song to the other.


During the rain fell down for ‘Tear Garden’ a golden buddha on the wall behind the band sparkled smiling while rain drops ran down his golden surface. This time ‘I Salute You Christopher’ enchanted me once more. It´s like you take a deep endless breath and you don´t want it to stop. You want it to drive on with it´s beloving melodies leading you somehow into another world for a short while till you loom up to the surface again to get led into an endless fire with ‘Fire and Whispers”.

Think of England’ marks a little the middle of the set nonetheless you don´t feel that there are only “some” songs to go. You feel like it already has only started and there is more to come.You want more. You get more.


The way `Nature of Inviting’ turns directly over into ‘Cold Red Light’ is a masterpiece. Like an endless journey through IAMX’ wild dark paradise. During the encore they played ‘Commanded by Voices’ which I first was a bit sceptic about how it would sound live but it´s gorgeous. I especially like the end of the song when Janine is COMMANDING the audience to sing and she comes to the front of the stage holding her mic against the audience to get their VOICES. And she got my voice which was already a bit rough from singing too loud. It´s such fun.


Then the show is over again and you’re confused about what you should feel. You´re high from adrenalin rushing through your veins and you´re down from wanting more but you can´t. Still paralized from the show we decided to go over to the merch stand to talk to ‘Noblesse Oblige’. They are such wonderful personalities. Both are really loving and we´re so happy that we´ve met them. We instantly bought their new album ‘Malady’ which is filled with the songs they play during their support gig. You should listen to it.

It´s amazing. They are amazing.

They signed our CD and we were already so happy with that as someone tapped on my shoulder. I turned around – Cross Girl was still distracted with ‘Noblesse Oblige’ – and I knew the face. It was the staff member which we saw with Reza when we waited outside of the location. He gave me a transparent round drum signed by Chris. He was searching for us to hand it over. And as fast as he came he disappeared again. We did not ask for it. Chris did it on his own initiative. We still can´t describe what we felt that moment and how we feel about that now. This was unreal and still feels unreal and so wonderful. This is such a praise getting this gift without asking for it. There is really no word which could ever describe it.

The only thing we can say is



To clear up our mind we needed some fresh air and we disappeared in the dark shadows of Hamburg St. Pauli…

…. to be continued

Much love





Setlist Hamburg


PICTURES by Racoon Girl

all can be found @ FLICKR (including Noblesse Oblige)

Noblesse Oblige IAMX IAMX IAMX


VIDEOS by Cross Girl

‘Commanded by Voices’

‘I Salute You Christopher’