In Berlin for a sightseeing weekend, but we nevertheless figured, hey, if there's local rock to be checked out, we'd better do it! So, having done some research, we headed off to this one from our hotel, going past Berlin's tallest building, the Fernsehturm, and wandering up Greifswalderstrasse, joining the queue outside the venue at 10.15. All the kids in the queue were swigging beer from bottles - must be an expensive venue for drinkies!
The venue was a lengthways bar connecting a sideways gig room, in an old East Berlin boulevard brownstone terrace. A tiny round stage backed onto the window, with sofas either side. This would be a tight squeeze for the band! Got drinks at the very busy bar, taking a seat on the stepped amphitheatre type flooring levels. No support for this one, but a good DJ instead.
The band kept us waiting until 11.20 before bounding onstage to a good welcome from a full crowd, mainly as young as the band themselves. Straight into a bouncy upbeat number, which I mentioned to Rach sounded like Franz Ferdinand without the clever-cleverness, all jerky new wave style rhythm and bouncy insistent basslines. The next number was more coherent, like Hot Hot Heat in its insistent catchiness, despite (obviously) being sung in German! Next up, "Komm Zuruck", which we'd heard on their MySpace page, was equally catchy and set the tone for their set. Young, enthusiastic, upbeat and obviously well chuffed with the crowd response (we'd picked up from our limited German that they'd only been going for one year, and this was their biggest gig to date), the performance reflected all this.
One song which appropriated the Foo Fighters' "Everlong" bassline was a highlight, although the moody "Giganten", which built to a soaring climax, rounded off the set very well, before an encore which was preceded by the venue awarding the band a cake! Anyway, top band from this trip, and a good safe night in East Berlin despite some dickhead playing silly buggers on the walk back to the U-Bahn. De Fotos rocked!