1. Kölner Kreativ Rock Festival

InVertigo, Jack Yello & Martigan

December 10, 2010
Yard Club / Die Kantine, Köln (Cologne) (Germany)

It doesn't happen that often that a progressive rock festival takes place in Germany. Accordingly, most Germans have to cross the Dutch or Belgian border to attend such a festival. However, this time they could visit the first Kölner Kreativ Rock Festival in Köln (Cologne) to witness three excellent German acts! Unfortunately the Yard Club wasn't crammed with devoted prog heads. Bad luck for those people that weren't present; they certainly missed a special occasion. Apart from that, this festival proved that Germany brings forth superb progressive rock bands. The Germans don't need bands from abroad to show them how progressive rock should be made. The three bands that performed all sounded very professional and delivered tremendous performances. Unfortunately, due to the mixing desk, the sound wasn't always perfect. InVertigo, the first band to perform, probably had the best sound of the evening.


The five musicians of InVertigo all hail from the industrial Ruhr-area and together they form a rather new band in the German prog scene. Their music can be described best as a blend of rock and neo-progressive rock. Sometimes they sound like bands as Sylvan or Porcupine Tree. Lead singer Sebastian Brennert sometimes sounds as Mariusz Duda (Riverside).
Their debut album Next Stop Vertigo released earlier this year already made a strong impression. For that reason I was very pleased that they replaced Shades Of Dawn at the last minute. The keyboard player of this German band had some serious health problems and couldn't give a concert during his recovery. However, InVertigo were a good replacement as I could notice during the 75 minutes they were given to show the audience their musical talents. They started with a nice science fiction intro to get in the right mood followed by the first song Take Your Time. The band proved that they had no difficulties at all to perform the material of Next Stop Vertigo on stage. Almost the entire album was perfectly performed. Only Saturday Evening was left out of the set, but instead we could enjoy three new pieces that sounded quite similar to the already recorded songs. They all sounded very pleasantly. During Dr. Ho, the band's final song, we could notice that the band members don't take themselves all too serious. Keyboard player Michael Kuchenbecker and bassist Matthias Hommel wore funny wigs to point out that the song deals with hair (see pictures below). The final notes of this song included some parts of Deep Purple's Black Night. I couldn't find out why they ended the gig this way and I just forget to ask! Nevertheless, the band may look back at a very good presentation enjoyed by most of the spectators.

Jack Yello

This year Jack Yello released the album Xeric (see review) which is a real masterpiece in my opinion.
Dirk "BoViE" Bovensiepen
So logically I had high expectations of their performance. When they started the set with Shadows Of A Nightingale it was obvious that the man behind the mixing desk didn't succeed in getting a satisfactory sound. Apart from that the volume level was a bit higher than with InVertigo. However, after a couple of songs the sound improved a lot, although the music was still a bit too loud. I also noticed that some songs got a heavier rendition than on the albums Thorns Of Anger (2003) and Xeric which was mainly caused by the way Lutz Grosser played the electric guitar. For Jack Yello this concert was special because two band members had decided to quit the band: bass player Dirk Hülpert and drummer Uwe Poprawa. They already found a new drummer in Marcus Arnrich. He used to play in Darius in which the current Jack Yello-vocalist Dirk Bovensiepen sang as well. He still resembles Fish during his Marillion-era, but he's also a great entertainer who knows how to communicate with the audience. He seemingly suffered from the hot old-fashioned stage lights, but that didn't prevent him and the other musicians from delivering a fine performance. Bravo! Unfortunately Jack Yello didn't come back for an encore, although it was requested by the audience.


For most people the final band was the main reason to attend the first Kölner Kreativ Rock Festival. That also applied to me, I guess. Earlier this year Martigan gave an incredible performance at the same location which still remains my favourite live show of 2010. During this concert (see review) the band's performance had a big impact on me and I wanted
Kai Marckwordt
to make sure that this wasn't just an incident. Could they again grab me by the throat? Well, they did and I enjoyed every second of their concert. All musicians were in great shape. It was just a pity that lead singer Kay Marckwordt had some feedback on his microphone at the start of the concert, but this problem was fixed after the second song. As I had expected, the set list was almost the same as the one they performed during the Progfarm Festival in November 2009. Only the final encore Craze This Town was left out. Again we could enjoy the epic piece Boatman's Vision that certainly belongs to my personal favourites. The wonderful guitar parts done by Björn Bisch moved me repeatedly. Also the drum solo of Alex Bisch was included in the middle-section of Red & Green. Martigan were the only band that returned on stage for an encore. Again we could enjoy The Pride from the album Man Of The Moment (2002). Kai Marckwordt wore his long coat and had put his white hat on while entering the stage for the last time. This song was the last treat from a band of which the music never gets bored, no matter how long they play. I've seen them three times now and every time they perform like real professionals. What more is there to say about a band that plays beautiful and perfect progressive rock music? I can just compliment them with their great performance!
I would like to thank the organizer of the festival. He made it possible that three German bands could give excellent performances for people who had the courage to drive all the way to Köln. He made the promise that more of such festivals will be organized in the future. Hopefully more people will attend these shows than the hundred that showed up this time.

Henri Strik (edited by Peter Willemsen)

Setlist Martigan:

Touch In Time
Mask And Raven 1
Images And Tales
Red And Green
Much More

The Pride

Pictures Martigan by Arthur Haggenburg

Click on the picture to enlarge.

Line up Martigan:

(left to right)
Alex Bisch:
drums, backing vocals
Oliver Baumann:
Kai Marckwordt:
lead and backing vocals, guitar
Oliver Rebhan:
keyboards, backing vocals
Björn Bisch:

Setlist Jack Yello:

Shadows Of A Nightingale
You've Got
Dawn Of My Time
The Cold Whisperer
Every Day
The Bridge
Thorns Of Anger

Pictures Jack Yello by Arthur Haggenburg

Click on the picture to enlarge.

Line up Jack Yello:

(left to right)
Dirk Hülpert:
bass guitar
Uwe Poprawa:
Dirk Bovensiepen:
lead vocals
Lutz Grosser:
guitar, backing vocals
Uwe Ziegler:
keyboards, backing vocals

Setlist InVertigo:

Take Your Time
The Night
Night On Broadway
Dr. Ho

Pictures InVertigo by Arthur Haggenburg

Click on the picture to enlarge.

Line up InVertigo:

(left to right)
Carsten Dannert:
Matthias Hommel:
bass guitars, vocals
Michael Kuchenbecker:
Sebastian Brennert:
lead vocals, keyboard.
Jacques Moch:

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