The 16th PRAGUE GOTHIC TREFFEN was also affected by the the ongoing pandemic. Thanks to progress in vaccinations and low infection numbers in the Czech Republic, it was still able to take place – in contrast to most events in Germany – albeit only in one club this year, the Futurum Music Bar. Nonetheless, it was once again a fantastic festival.
FRIDAY, 27th August
The first evening started with a visit to the dance floor in the small room, where DJ VOID (PL, undertheskin) immediately encouraged some movement. Then it was already time for the first band of the festival, A DULL SET from Prague. In terms of sound, they are somewhere between Motorama and She Past Away, and you could literally feel how much the audience, which had already appeared in large numbers, missed such events.
This was followed by the Bavarian one-man project DIAF with some kinf of dramatic darkwave with lyrics in Bavarian dialect. Despite all language barriers, this artist was also very well received.
Afterwards, JE T’AIME from Paris really rocked. Small technical problems (the synthesizer didn’t really work) didn’t detract from the show – on the contrary, it just seemed to spur the trio on to even more energy. Nice garage post-punk to dance to, and it was getting noticeably warmer in the room.
The headliners of the first evening were the Swedish goth postpunk high-flyers from THEN COMES SILENCE, who once again proved that they are currently among the best live bands in this sector. So they were celebrated appropriately.
Various nice conversations and a bit of dancing followed until I went back to the hotel shortly after 3 am.
SATURDAY, 28th August
The second day of the festival began as usual with a picnic in Kinski Park. It had rained in the morning, but it cleared up, and so a number of people met on the meadow at the Ethnographic Museum.
BODY OF PAIN opened the concert evening with more electronic sounds. The Prague duo performed Synthwave with switching positions of singer and keyboarder, which reminded me a little of bands like Boy Harsher or Syzygyx – especially the parts with female vocals. Definitely my new discovery for this weekend!
BRAGOLIN followed who, after Maria Karssenberg’s departure, now have the same line-up as Zwarte Poëzie. Nevertheless, both projects retain their own style, not just because of the different languages. And shortly after the set started, pretty much the entire audience was moving, and dancing was inevitable in the end at “Into Those Woods”.
Another one-person project followed with REIN from Sweden. Although I am VERY picky about electronic music and REIN’s style is not really my cup of tea usually, it was a great performance and I liked it very much.
Between the last two bands I paid another visit to the second floor, where DJ AÜZ (bassist from Naturata Brutalismus) encouraged people to dance to post-punk tunes – also from Latin American bands.
The concerts were then rounded off by EMPATHY TEST from London. The band would probably only have been filed under “Synthpop” for me, if it wasn’t for the real drummer who gives the songs that decisive extra pressure and bridges the gap to indie rock. Plus a charismatic singer who could barely stand still for a second. This is how concerts are fun!
Afterwards there were more meetings with friends and some dancing, but the fact that my alarm clock was set for 9 am moved me to say goodbye around 2 o’clock.
The PRAGUE GOTHIC TREFFEN has become one of my favorite festivals and has more than earned a permanent place in my calendar. So we’ll definitely meet again in August 2022!
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