Photos by Zarahlena
Text by Papiroflexia
In the midst of this historically turbulent time, before the reality of the pandemic hit also Berlin, on Friday March 6th 2020 Temple Bookings sent out an invitation ;
We and many others responded to their call with full support and by filling up TIEF, one of the best venues in Berlin where to expect quality live music.
This year, International Women’s day was on a Sunday, so going to this gig meant initiating a lively weekend celebration. The evening was all about highlighting fresh feminine energy and appreciating its ritualistic aspects, which are innate in the nature of Womanhood.
Two concerts took place on this occasion.
The two bands playing were mixed gender, yet all members agreed on specifically appreciating the role of Women in the their bands and in general in life.
The evening started off with the band Weddings, an Austrian based trio playing grunge and desert/psych rock with an intriguing personalised twist.
I asked myself why they had chosen such an explicit name.
The answer appeared clear in their music. They are deeply connected to each other. Their strength resides exactly in this connection. Riffs are delivered with conviction and vocal presence is equally shared between Jay Brown (Vocals/Guitars) and Elena Rodriguez (Vocals/ Drums). Bassist Phil Nordling seems to be the fluid constant flowing throughout all the interesting rhythm changes, like for examples in the mesmerising song “Labyrinth”. The lyrics suggest that its equally OK to get lost and find the way out, cause in both cases we give up a lot in order to change!
Labyrinth is a track from their debut album Haunt released on StoneFree Records.
Spotlight was rightfully directed to the drummer and vocalist, She kicks ass! Her voice comes through strong and clear. We all know how hard it is to sing and play an instrument at the same time, imagine the instrument being the drums! Respect to you, sister!
The band Vodun from London was the second and main act.
Vodun is the power.
A trio of incandescent energy bringing Soul to heavy riffs and a long needed (at least in Berlin) discourse of Intersectionality and Afro-futurism in the context of rock. Metal, desert rock, soul and blues are all fused in their sound. The word Vodun refers to West African spiritualism that the band clearly uses as source of inspiration, to be recognised not only in the content of their songs but also in their vibrant makeup and costumes. Their stage presence is theatrical and highly captivating. If you had any doubt whether playing or listening to live music is a ritualistic act, Vodun will absolutely convince you. Sharing music for them is literally a ritual, their Tour in fact was called Lasting Ritual Tour.
In order to describe what I experienced during their gig, I will try to use the metaphor of the fourth wall:
In Vodun’s shows the fourth wall is not broken down, rather sucked up into the powerhouse vortex of Chantal Brown’s voice (the spirit of Oya), than chewed up and scrambled by Linz Hamilton’s guitar virtuosity (The Marassa) , lastly arranged in space and time by the lively drummer Lorena (Sobo), to be than thrown back at us with inebriating Cosmic Gue , you know what I mean, the one we all forgot is still inside us, the fuel!
Learning from Nature, history and our ancestors, projecting positive intentions into the future, these are some of the messages we find in the band’s songs. “Look back to where you started from…” a tribute to 8 inspirational Women warriors, practically a history lesson in the track ”Started from” featured in their second album ASCEND, distributed by the label New Heavy Sounds.
Oya invited the audience to take part to the ritual by not only listening and dancing, rather also by playing the tambourines and other small percussive instruments she handed out to us. The gesture was simple yet unusual and heart felt. It further created the magical bond that occurs between musicians and audience in such intimate venues like TIEF.
This was definitely an inspiring event, it allowed us to let go of tension, but at the same time to reflect in a moment of vulnerability and uncertainty all over the world. It was one the best possible ways to celebrate before initiating the so called social distancing! The spirit shared in the room was yes, of confusion due to the times, but also of hope, solidarity and connection through music.
We all decided to project positive energy towards the scary unknown inspired by Vodun’s suggestion to look back at the past and the actions of our ancestors, in order to make our future better, which we can all agree is not a fucking cliche anymore!
PAPIROFLEXIA (in spanish the art of folding paper) is an observer and practitioner, an explorer of energy flows that manifest themselves through different artistic mediums. She developed stage experience in the field of dance/theater performance with focus on improvisation and live music. One of her greatest passions is rock music and its numerous sub-genres. She considers listening, playing and writing her favorite rituals. Sharing her perceptions and temporary truths with the multiverse is one of her ways to affirm her humanity and contribute to the feminist perspective of evolution. With her words PAPIROFLEXIA wants to bend the status quo, for the realm has seen too many Wizards and too less Witches working on their reviews.