For those unfamiliar, Lindemann is the side-project of Till Lindemann (Rammstein) and Peter Tägtgren (Pain / Hypocrisy). The two friends have combined their powers to create a German-Swedish industrial metal super-duo, with songs about everything from lady-boys to the Yukon river.
This was the band’s first ever “proper” tour (they played a few dates in Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan back in 2018 to coincide with the release of Till’s book Messer) and I was very fortunate to nab a ticket when they went on sale back in November last year, and even more fortunate to be approved to photograph the show (albeit from the balcony – so apologies for the slightly “atmospheric” shots).
I have seen Rammstein live a few times (most recently in Milton Keynes last summer) and saw Hypocrisy for the first time in November 2019 when they supported Amon Amarth at Brixton Academy, but was really excited to see Lindemann live as I have been a fan of their music ever since the band’s formation. This was the 10th show of their 12-date UK / European tour, and the only show in the UK. It was therefore hardly surprising that there was a massive queue of fans snaking right around the block when I arrived at the venue.
First support was German “military dream pop” artist Jadu. I wasn’t sure what to expect but I absolutely loved her music right from the start and her performance was really engaging. Jadu was dressed in a shiny latex uniform and accompanied by Mats on keys, Ludvig on guitar and Pascal on drums – who were all dressed in military attire to go with the theme of the music. She will be back in the UK on 11th September to play a headline show at The Underworld in Camden, and I will most certainly be going along to that one.
Next up were industrial pop band Aesthetic Perfection from Los Angeles, featuring Daniel on vocals, Elliott on synthesizers, theremin, bass and guitar, together with Joe on drums. Their set was high-energy right from the very start, and all three band members were full of infectious enthusiasm. Their music was a great warm-up for Lindemann and the fans seemed to really enjoy their set.
At around 9pm it was time for the main event – what so many Lindemann fans (including myself) had been waiting five years to see. I had seen some photos and videos of shows earlier on in the tour so had a rough idea what to expect, but nothing came close to what I experienced. The room was rammed and everyone was ridiculously excited. The band took to the stage, all dressed in white and launched straight into “Skills in Pills” from their 2015 debut album of the same name. The crowd went insane. The song was accompanied by a large video projection featuring naked ladies and pills. That is all I will say as parts of it were quite graphic, but I wouldn’t have expected anything less from Lindemann. Second track “Ladyboy” is one of my favourites from Skills In Pills so it was wonderful to finally get to see it performed live. I wasn’t allowed to photograph the first three songs (usually photographers get to shoot the first three songs of a performance), but the imagery playing on the video screen for these first three songs may have been the reason for it. For the third song “Fat” we were treated to a video of large ladies covered in lube / jelly writhing about in a pit.
Now it was my turn to take photos. I was incredibly nervous as it transpired that I was one of only two photographers approved to photograph the show, and the second had not picked up their photopass. I was therefore the only person documenting Lindemann’s debut London show, and I felt the pressure… especially as I was only told when I arrived at the venue that I had to shoot from the balcony, so didn’t have the time to hire or borrow a larger lens to get closer shots of the band. The security team were wonderful and let me take shots from various places on the balcony as long as I didn’t get in anyone’s way, so my photos may all be quite far away from the artists themselves, but I think they capture the general vibe of the show pretty well. Lindemann (and Rammstein) have been on my bucket list to photograph for years so this was such a brilliant opportunity and experience for me.
Their set featured a great mix of songs from both Skills In Pills (sung in English), plus their 2019 album Frau & Mann (largely sung in Till’s native German tongue). Particular favourites of mine were the anthemic “Steh auf”, “Knebel”, together with “Platz Eins”, for which Till and Peter donned dark sunglasses and ventured into the crowd surrounded by a circle of security guards and fluorescent tubes. It was camp, but in a very heterosexual way… and I know that’s quite contradictory. Their music is very tongue-in-cheek, although some of the lyrical content is rather dark. Other notable moments of the evening included the band throwing cakes into the crowd during “Allesfresser”, a fine mist of fake blood being sprayed from the stage during “Blut”, and Till using a catapult to launch fish guts into the crowd during “Fish On”. I feel for whoever had to clean the venue afterwards, but it certainly made for a memorable evening!
I was expecting something weird and wonderful and the show was certainly that. Hopefully Lindemann don’t leave it so long before coming to the UK again, as I would happily experience it all over again.
Pics by Katie Frost Photography
Lindemann Set List:
- Skills in Pills
- Frau & Mann
- Ich weiß es nicht
- Home Sweet Home
- Golden Shower
- Platz Eins
- Praise Abort
- Fish On
- Ach so gern
- Steh auf