Michael Rother, Under The Bridge, Chelsea - Thursday 29th September 2016

Tonight at the sold out “Under The Bridge” club, (under Chelsea Football Club’s, Stamford Bridge stadium) is a return visit from highly influential musician Michael Rother (having played at the venue earlier this year). Rother was part of the 1970’s German music scene and was an early member of Kraftwerk, but also formed legendary group Neu! with Klaus Dinger, and Harmonia with Hans-Joachim Roedelius and Dieter Moebius (of Cluster) before releasing a series of solo albums.

Rother’s influence cannot be understated, as generations of artists have referenced Rother’s work including Bowie, Iggy Pop, John Foxx, Ultravox, Radiohead, Sonic Youth and so many more. Much of the electronica of the last thirty odd years, has a lineage that goes right back to Rother’s (and others) early work.

Special guest this evening is Rusty Egan, formerly of Rich Kids, Visage, iThe Blitz Club (infamous nightclub for the New Romantic scene of the early 80’s) and now a electronic dance music DJ, promoter, performer and also heavily involved in the resurgence in electronic music and the numerous international conferences that are appearing.

The first part of Egan’s set is electronic dance music from the last 40 odd years and features a series of classic and modern tracks, with a series of images, album and single artwork projected onto the rear LED screen, including Kraftwerk, OMD, Joy Division, Telex, Roxy Music, Ultravox, Heaven 17 and many more.

The second part features a series of collaborative tracks Egan has recorded for an album “Welcome To The Dancefloor” with fellow musicians such as Peter Hook (Joy Division, New Order, Peter Hook & The Light), Midge Ure (Ultravox, Visage), Tony Hadley (Spandau Ballet) , Chris Payne (Tubeway Army, Visage), Robin Simon (Magazine, Ultravox) Erik Stein (Cult With No Name), Emily Kavanaugh and Kira Porter.

Erik Stein appears looking very dapper, to sing two of the tracks he has recorded with Egan, with Egan joining in on backing vocals. The album promises to be an exciting project and the audience certainly appreciate the music showcased by Egan tonight. Egan closes with a rallying call to the audience raging against the big corporates who dominate the music industry and the Top 40. “The music industry had changed. You have the power!!  Find real music from real people.” Egan has overrun by around 10 minutes, but the audience don't mind.

Michael Rother arrives on stage at around 8;45, with Hans Lampe on drums and Franz Bargmann on guitar (his current live line-up, later introduced as “Hans and Franz”) Bargmann is an ex-member of the Berlin-based band Camera and Lampe was a member of La Düsseldorf and provided drums on the NEU! ´75 album. Rother admits he doesn't talk much, so the audience interaction is pretty minimal through the show.

Opening with “Neuschnee” Lampe’s motorik drummming combined with Rother’s and Bargmann’s guitar work produces something very hypnotic that draws the listener in. “How’s the sound?” asks Rother. No problem here. “Seeland” is a slower piece, that sees Rother switching from guitar to the electro controls for a while. Rother briefly addresses the audience “Don't hesitate to dance please”, the full house don't really need too much encouragement.

Through the set, we are treated to “Sonnerad" which demonstrates where Ultravox got some of their moves from on “Dancing With Tears In My Eyes”. The beautiful rhythm of “Katzenmusic”and “De Luxe (Immer Welder)”. For the final few songs of the main set, the band are joined on stage by an additional drummer, London’s very own Crystabel Riley who helps bring “Hallogallo” and ‘Dino” to a conclusion drawing wild cheers from the audience.

The band briefly leave stage, and return for a two song encore (without Riley). “I think we come to last song” Rother addresses the audience, “Very nice to play with you, thanks you are a lovely audience. After this song we go off stage and hope to see you all again” before closing the set with “Groove 138” to a delighted crowd.

Tonight’s show was a history lesson in electronica, with the influences of so many bands of the last thirty odd years laid out in some of these classic Neu!, Harmonia and Rother’s solo tracks with so many reminders of beats and rhythms of more recent electronica. I can’t wait to see him back again.



1972 Neu!
1973 Neu! 2
1974 Musik von Harmonia
1975 Neu! ’75
1975 Deluxe
1977 Flammende Herzen
1978 Sterntaler
1979 Katzenmusik
1982 Fernwarmew
1983 Lust
1985 Süssherz & Tiefenschärfe
1987 Traumreisen
1995 Neu! 4
1996 Neu! '72 Live in Dusseldorf
1996 Esperanza
1997 Tracks and Traces
2004 Remember
2010 Neu! ’86


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