Lindemann - London 2020

Lindemann Gig Review – Kentish Town Forum

Lindemann played to a sold out crowd at the 2,300 capacity Kentish Town Forum in London on 23rd February; the duo dubbed “the most politically incorrect band in the world” recently by The Telegraph. A super-group consisting of Rammstein frontman, Till Lindemann, and Peter Tägtgren of Hypocrisy and Pain; they have released two albums to date – 2015’s Skills in Pills, recorded in English, and F & M in 2019, entirely in German.

If I had to choose the best gig I have ever been to, it would be Rammstein performing at Resurrection Festival in Spain in 2017. I had wanted to see this controversial German sextet play their unique brand of industrial metal for a long time; the band seldom tour – especially not in London – probably due to the nature of their shows; huge-scale pyrotechnic displays and provocative enactments of violence, death and simulated sodomy. Interestingly, the band will be playing in the UK later this year in Milton Keynes. A place where this sort of thing is evidently ok. But whilst I’m prepared to travel to a remote district of rural Spain to see Rammstein, Milton Keynes is a bridge too far.

And for this reason it was with much eager anticipation that I awaited Lindemann. Their shows are few and far between – even more so than Rammstein. I was clearly not the only one who felt this way, as the ample venue was bustling and packed at 8pm, well in advance of the main act. I found a place to stand towards the back, in close vicinity to the bar; a decision that would turn out to be highly prescient. But we’ll get to that later.

The band appear on stage at 9:15pm – proceeded by the tune of a Germany marching band and the sounds of an overhead aerial assault dropping bombs. They are wearing stark white suits and have even gone to the trouble of emulsioning their faces for added spookiness. Their appearance is striking – as is their performance – eschewing any greetings and bursting straight into a charged rendition of Skills in Pills. This all happens against a backdrop featuring an animated video montage of a lady pooing a fountain of tablets out of her bumhole. All in glorious closeup.

This pornographic video theme continues throughout (or between) all of the songs, and is as much a part of the show as the band themselves. These montages fit perfectly around songs with lyrics concerning fat women, lady-boys and golden showers. Songs you can sing along to with your kids.

After a few songs in English, the band switch to German, before there is a brief musical intermission and a trolley full of cakes is wheeled out on to the stage. The band members then begin lobbing these desserts into the audience. These aren’t muffins or cupcakes, but giant gateaus, massive trifles and huge 3-tiered cream cakes. It reminds me of when L7 threw their used tampons into the crowd at Reading in the mid-90s. Now I’m the kind of person who tends to get hit when there’s cake flying about, and if there’s one thing I’d hate to git hit by more than a bloody tampon – it’s blancmange. For the first time this evening, I’m relieved to avoid the lively, jostling mosh pit.

After the cake-flinging chaos abates, the set resumes with high energy, the songs played far heavier in a live setting than on either of their albums.

Till Lindemann is an imposing figure but there is humour and self-deprecation shown too. When in character he has the appearance of a whimsical and bewildered clown at times; a fetishistic pervert at others. He has the air of a man jaded from too many late night/early mornings at Berghain, broken from too many drugs at the KitKatClub; a man who has seen depravity. Peter Tägtgren by contrast, appears quietly psychotic; at one point violently destroying his guitar after an acoustic number, before resuming with his electric one.

Songs are punctuated by comedic video vignettes featuring the band in compromising situations, and there is an elevated podium that lifts band members high above the stage at various times throughout the night.

Towards the end of the night Till Lindemann begins launching massive raw fish into the crowd with a catapult, and carnage ensues once again. And if there’s one thing I’d hate to git hit by more than a bloody tampon or massive bloody cream cake, it’s a big wet fish. For the second time this evening – with the slippery trout-missiles raining down before me – I’m relieved to be in the relative safety of the back.

For the final song, Till Lindemann dances around wearing a huge inflatable penis before venturing out into the messy hell of the mosh pit, and as the gig draws to a close, I actually wish I was near the front.

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Music

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