Thursday, June 22, 2006

Kraftwerk in Cardiff

What was the most cult gig in Wales ever? My vote would go to Kraftwerk's appearance in Cardiff back in 1975.

The electronic quartet from Düsseldorf had just enjoyed chart success with their single Autobahn and were on a world tour promoting the album of the same name. This was the first time they'd ever performed live in Britain and Cardiff was the 4th scheduled date. The Kraftwerk that took to the stage at the Capitol Theatre on September 9th was the classic lineup of: Ralf Hütter; Florian Schneider; Karl Bartos; and Wolfgang Flür.

But that isn't what makes the Cardiff concert so culty - nor indeed is it because Kraftwerk remain one of the most influential bands of modern times. No, what makes this gig so special is that in the crowd that night were various members of the, as yet unformed, Young Marble Giants - Cardiff's very own incipient cult musical legends.

While Kraftwerk synthed their way through such songs as Mitternacht andMorgenspaziergang the youthful YMGs were busy assimilating the sparsity of the sound and absorbing the eerie atmospherics of the performance - ingredients that would help shape their own great album of 1980, Colossal Youth.