Berlin is a city of creative freedom drawing international artists to settle and produce year round. There are some nights that no only remind you of this but make you grateful you’re here. December 19th was one of those nights.
At the helm of the evening were two guitarists and a drummer. On vocals and mostly rhythm guitar was Juliette Wallace – a London born siren – and standing stage-right behind her was the German-born lead guitarist Verita Egert, while killing it on drums was Felix Ritz. The band’s name was Kamoos.
The trio had a dark melodic sound reminiscent of psychedelic 60’s music from Warhol’s factory, yet somehow equaled with a foot forward in the modern rock scene that came through in grinding and hard hitting distortion, and experimentation in guitar levels, absent of a traditional bassist.
They played a Christmas show at Loophole on December 19th, a vibrant little place in the heart of Neukolln with a reputation for showcasing experimental bands.
A room draped in blacklight, the crowd covered in luminescent paint
Guitars rang on a selection of so many carefully chosen pedals that the stage looked like some sort of industrial keyboard. We, the audience, stood in a room draped in blacklight, the crowd covered in luminescent paint.
On arrival there was a queue of raggedy fans ready to strip clothes and have the invisible paint applied to them by band members already in their pre-applied warpaint.
Behind the stage were luminescent illustrations of eyes stacked tile-like across the walls, and above us were a series of balloons made freakier by the reverse light. It was a suitably cool and creepy scene for a Berlin rock show during Christmas time.
It was this progression, the smoothness of it – like being taken by the hand – that felt intimate and stylish.
The vocals rang over a number of interesting but effectually simple chord progressions, brought to life with an ongoing sequence of guitar solos. If I had to think of two bands similar it would be Jefferson Airplane meets Queen of the Stone Age.
One song could feel morose, beautiful even, with minor progressions under raspy vocals and fluid guitar melodies. It was this progression, the smoothness of it – like being taken by the hand – that felt intimate and stylish.
While one song might be slow it could rise in its tempo and lead you into a faster and harder one, changing the atmosphere of the whole night seamlessly.
These ‘harder’ songs were not exactly angry, but more blues on distortion. And that’s not to say it was ever ‘slow’, in fact Ritz made sure the beat never rang flat as to conjoin what was happening on guitars. It was music that at one point might have you swaying and the next moving your whole body.
Even as they dipped in and out of musical motifs – rock, blues, jam and psychedelic to name a few – there was no lag. There was barely a break between the songs.
Kamoos have just be signed to a label, have an official EP coming out, and music video launch party for their son Xray Me on February 14th at Toast Hawaii, Berlin.
It’s a band like this that rightfully give Berlin its reputation as a creative hub. Kamoos are refreshingly outside the realms of conventional rock, so do yourself a favour and check them out.
Written by, Ed Sherrington
Photography by Jonathan Peters