Thursday night, on the 24th of November, two Romanian bands, one quite old and one a newcomer joined their forces and shared the stage together in Club Surubelnita.
The opening act Alice Null is a new band in the scene and for them this was the first time they played live, 2 years after starting up this project. The music they play is not commercial at all, it can be defined as a mixture of dark urban neo-folk with some eerie vocal and guitar passages and effects.
Earlier this year, in April, their first demo tape “Null and Void” was released by the Romanian label Valse Sinistre and since then the band has worked on many of the songs that will be featured on their first full length which will be released somewhere next year.
Since the band focused their whole attention on rehearsals and writing new material, the concert activities were put aside and they waited for the perfect opportunity to reveal itself.
It turned out that, just like the ouroboros is eating its own tail, Thursday night’s event was the last in this format for Negru Latent and also marked the debut for Alice Null. A chapter closes, while another one opens.
The 2 members of Alice Null band, Alice Null (vox and effects) and Alex Void (guitars and effects) started the show at 22.00 sharp, and for exactly 45 minutes they delivered a strong set of melancholic and depressive music, not for the ears of happy people.
I was nervous, the band was nervous but after the first 2 songs they relaxed and everything went as planned. If there were some inherent mistakes, they were so small that those who did not know the songs didn’t notice them.
Most of the audience heard the songs for the first time, but their reaction was quite enthusiastic and supportive, despite the gloomy atmosphere that emanates from this music. The lyrics deal with death, sorrow and sadness and reflect exactly what the 2 musicians try to transmit on tape and on stage. This kind of atmosphere cannot put you in a joyful mood, but the audience reacted very well, making this first concert a very good start.
To highlight this depressive message, the band set up a small “altar” with bones, flowers, candles and incense sticks which created a very powerful impression.
From the demo they played 3 songs, “Sleeping“, “Reminiscence” and “Eclipse“, the other 6 songs being new ones that most likely will be featured on the debut album.
All in all, this was a really good debut show from this talented and promising new band, which represents a breath of fresh air on the Romanian scene. Their music is very enjoyable and Alice Null can really be an option for good quality music made in Romania. Keep and eye open for them, I’m pretty sure this band will have more to say in the future.
Next on the bill were the veterans of goth/darkwave music Negru Latent, a trio whose music is deeply rooted in the old fashioned gothic movement. Formed 9 years ago, they are one of the oldest Romanian bands that still have the courage to play this music on a professional level even though, due to several line-up changes which occurred during the years, they did not release a record so far.
I have to admit that I never was (and still not am) a huge fan of this music and I did not pay too much attention to this genre over the years, but what I heard Thursday night during Negru Latent‘s performance pleased me a lot. It had a certain dark and decadent feeling, based on the keyboards and the vocals. Even if the concert started with some technical issues, the problems were eventually solved and the band managed to end the concert in a satisfactory way.
I enjoyed their performance a lot, it opened a new perspective on a genre which I did not exactly know before. I am glad I was in the audience to witness their show, the 3 musicians played with pleasure and dedication, which is a really great thing. When you play your music from the heart because you believe in what you do, it clearly shows in your performance. That’s what they did, in spite of all the technical issues which occurred during the show. I wish more bands could do this, not everything is about money and fame, but for passion and pleasure.
Among the old, classic songs (Cantecul Absurdului, Piratul Placid, Miasme etc), the band even played a new track, Nimic de Facut (Nothing To Do), which integrated perfectly in the middle of the set list.
Overall, this was a very pleasant night with two different bands, united by the same thing: love for music. I really hope Alice Null will find their path and place in this scene (were they are sort of the only ones playing this kind of music) and Negru Latent will continue on this winding road with a different line up.
Alice Null Set list:
3. In My Dreams
5. Everything Stops
6. Through Fire
8. To Be Alive
Negru Latent Set List:
1. Un lac fara fund
2. Prima data in pericol
4. Te-am imortalizat
6. The last rose of summer
7. Cantecul absurdului
8. Nimic de facut
10. Piratul Placid
11. Nu-s eu