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Laibach (live at The Scala)

London 12 October 2003

 (Click for larger image)Witnessing Laibach perform onstage is guaranteed to be a spectacular experience – not in the form of flaming scenery, explosives or even sheer brutalist noise, but because they put on a show. A proper show with much too much in common with a political rally for some tastes, but a theatrical event nonetheless, and one which grips their audience with an impassioned fervour.

 (Click for larger image)As the group have moved on to a weighty Electro/Techno sound since their messing with the heaviest of Metal for their previous visits to the UK, they arrive onstage to the fading strains of the Blue Danube in high-collared black clubwear, heads shaved, or hair slicked back with bulbous shades for bassist and keyboardist respectively. However, their singer and lead throat, the man with the power to

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Laibach (live at the Festival of Central European Culture)

The Festival of Central European Culture Queen Elizabeth Hall,The South Bank Centre, London 10th July 1998

Across between political rally, religious service and Thrash Metal gig, tonight’s appearance in the centre of High Art’s temple of culture simultaneously enthralls and overpowers with meta-kitsch imagery and extreme volume. From the mechanistic coupling of video projections with the thunderous music, via the part-Rock, part- militaristic poses thrown by the band, to the choice of covers of Europop and Seventies Rock anthems, Laibach are decidedly worrying. What causes the nervousness is the sheer force of the devices involved. Black banners with silver insignia, smoke machines, strobes and Thrash solos; bare chests, computer graphics and Industrial beats; knife- edge irony and uncompromising, straight-faced confrontation with the very soul (or lack thereof) of post-Cold War, post-religious, consumerist culture.

Whether Laibach’s performance would have drawn the unwary into the trap of mass participation in fascistic communion

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