Friday, 4 December 2009

712 RHESUS, Berlin Kalkscheune, Germany, Saturday 7 October 2006

In Berlin for the weekend, we took the S-Bahn from Zoo Station (shades of U2!) to a nicer part of town, just North of the Reichstag, to this large venue just off the main drag. A bigger room, Garage-like in layout, connected by a courtyard to a smaller club room pounding out rock over the disco (Cave In! A Boston Band's music being played in Berlin!) but also totally empty! Weird! We'd arrived at 10.30 and found the place totally deserted - obviously gigs get going a lot later in Berlin, particularly on a Saturday night... So we alternated between sitting in the main room and out in the courtyard, which with its tarpaulin covers overhead recalled LA's Boardners! Finally saw a bit of activity so sat inside waiting until Rhesus came on, just after 11.30. It wasn't necessarily that we were very early; they're just not that great a draw, as the place was about a third full!

Rhesus, billed by their posters as the best new band from France, sung mainly in English but didn't have anything particular to commend them. They started off well enough with some upbeat jangly pop, then diverted into slower, moodier material, including one plodding song compared to Radiohead by Rachel. Oh dear. Better "live" than their innocuous MySpace songs, Rhesus nevertheless were OK, but nothing more. Neither Rhesus Negative or Rhesus Positive in the end, a band with a strong visual image but no real musical identity or individuality, and thin material. So we headed off after 40 minutes or so, before the end of the set. I guess if Rhesus are the best that French rock has to offer, then, taking into account De Foto's fine performance last night, it's not in as good shape as German rock!

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