SynthWave Live 2, Electrowerkz – a European Extravaganza!

❉ Ange Chan reports back from a truly a European affair, proving the power of the synth transcends political boundaries!

“Synth Wave Live 2 celebrates the 2nd Anniversary of Artefaktor Radio and is distinct in that it is an electronic event put together by knowledgeable electronic music enthusiasts. The line-up has an artistic core but is varied so whether you like Classic Synthpop, Italo, Synthwave, Post-Punk or Electro Weimar Cabaret, there literally is something for everyone who likes electronic pop music”.

The second Synthwave event was held at Electrowerkz in London’s Islington again this year, and was supported by Portobello Radio, Bombshell Radio and celebrates the second anniversary of Artefaktor Radio, run by Renato Moyssén and also tirelessly organised by Rob Green, all of which was supported by the ever-ubiquitous Chi Ming Lai of The Electricity Club.

In the gloomy shadow of Brexit it was great to see that the event was truly a European affair, with both artists and fans travelling from far and wide to be there, proving the power of the synth transcends political boundaries. It’s literally all about the friendship and music!

Headlining the event was Irish synthpop trio, Tiny Magnetic Pets, hot from their recent support slot opening for OMD on their 20-date UK leg of The Punishment of Luxury Tour last year.  Andy McCluskey said of the band, “I love the whole album but there were tracks that blew me away – so beautifully crafted, so emotional, such clever writing with perfect emotion, so we offered them the whole UK tour…”

For the uninitiated, Tiny Magnetic Pets are; Paula Gilmer, Sean Quinn & Eugene Somers.  As well as supporting OMD, they have also supported synth legends Michael Rother at the Electri_city Conference in Düsseldorf, and also  Wolfgang Flür (ex Kraftwerk) when he played at Dublin.  Their current album “Deluxe /Debris” featuring Wolfgang Flür, was released in September 2017 via boutique London indie label Happy Robots.

There were also performances from Rob Green’s band The Department, as well as sets from Real Experts (featuring Bridget Kyle Gray of Destination fame, alongside Andrew Maley).

Knight$, fronted by the ever-exuberant James Knight treated us to old favourites opening with What’s Your Poison following with Gigalo and When the Lights Go Out as well as their accomplished Pet Shop Boys cover Heart which was accompanied by guest singer Nina. We also heard some new tracks from their forthcoming album/pledge campaign which I’m personally very excited about.

The ever-fabulous Shelter who have worked with Heliophile and Erasure in the past, also treated us to new tracks off their forthcoming album.

From Germany, Katja von Kassel delivered a slinky version of Fade to Grey backed by Chris Payne’s Electric Circus, who’d also played their tracks Space Invaders and  Roundabout earlier.

Hot from their tour of Germany were The Frixion.  Lloyd Price of The Frixion said:

“It’s a real honour for us to be asked along to play at Synth Wave Live 2.  The Frixion is such a new act, that I was totally blown away when we were asked to play this year. It’s going to be great to play alongside lots of my favourite bands. Can’t wait to hang out with them all!”

Welcomed back to the event was SoftWave from Denmark.  Sweden was nobly represented by the excellent Vogon Poetry all resplendent in their military jackets, and from Norway was Antipole who kicked off the proceedings.

With DJ Sets from the legendary Rusty Egan plus a late set by Lynda K, the event had something for everyone, and punters danced into the night.

The event was run in collaboration with The Electricity Club, who said “Synth Wave Live 2 celebrates the 2nd Anniversary of Artefaktor Radio and is distinct in that it is an electronic event put together by knowledgeable electronic music enthusiasts. The line-up has an artistic core but is varied so whether you like Classic Synthpop, Italo, Synthwave, Post-Punk or Electro Weimar Cabaret, there literally is something for everyone who likes electronic pop music”.

The synth community is particularly vibrant at the moment with quality music on offer by both new and established bands. Seeing them live at such events is a sheer joy, especially whilst socialising with like-minded friends at the same time.

All in all, SynthWave2 was a huge success and goes from strength to strength.  I’m already looking forward to SynthWave3!


❉ Tiny Magnetic Pets https://www.happyrobots.co.uk/tiny-magnetic-pets

❉ Shelter http://www.shelterofficial.com/

❉ Knight$ https://knights101.bandcamp.com/

❉ Vogon Poetry https://vogonpoetrymusic.bandcamp.com/

❉ The Frixion https://m.facebook.com/TheFrixion/?locale2=en_GB

❉ Chris Payne Electric Circus https://www.electroniccircus.co.uk/bios/chris-payne/

❉ Katja Von Kassel http://www.katjavonkassel.com/

❉ Real Experts https://realexperts.bandcamp.com/

❉ SoftWave https://softwave.bandcamp.com/

❉ Antipole https://antipole.bandcamp.com/

❉ Rusty Egan http://rustyegan.net/

❉ Artefaktor Radio http://artefaktorradio.com/

❉ The Electricity Club http://www.electricityclub.co.uk/

❉ Ange Chan is a poet and novelist.  Her 4th poetry collection “Fame; What’s Your Name?” and her second novel “Baby, Can You Hear Me?” were both published in paperback and Kindle in 2016.  

Her latest poetry collection “Songs of Sorrow and Heartbreak” was published in October 2017 and her  third novel “Champagne Flutes and Pixie Boots” is a work in progress. 

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