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The Return of Die Mensch Maschine

Kraftwerk image

'The return of Die Mensch Maschine' is a report on Kraftwerk's three UK live shows from June 1992
Compiled from Aktivität issues 2 (August 1992) and 3 (January 1993)
Texts by IC, Ian Floyd. Photos by IC, Prof, John Shilcock, and Martin Lynch

June 1992 saw the return of Kraftwerk to play 3 concerts, less than a year after their last live appearances in the UK. As seems to be the norm with Kraftwerk nowadays, news of the gigs came with little or no notice. Initially, it had been rumoured for a number of weeks previously that Kraftwerk were to take part in a proposed concert for the benefit of the Greenpeace anti-Sellafield campaign (REACT!) along with U2 and Public Enemy, to be held in Manchester.

On Monday the 1st of June, the details of the Greenpeace concert were announced to the world; the event was to take place at the G-MEX centre in Manchester on the 19th of June and Kraftwerk were included on the bill, along with U2, Public Enemy and BAD II. Unfortunately, but inevitably, with U2 present it was obvious that demand for tickets would be high. The result; only personal callers to the Manchester Apollo box office from 5pm onward from June the 1st would be sold tickets. No credit card or mail order bookings accepted. Unsurprisingly, tickets sold-out quickly. (Allegedly! - it appears tickets were later available!)

However, the good news came in the form of two low-key warm-up dates by Kraftwerk; in Norwich (at the UEA) on the 17th and in Leicester the following day (at the Leicester Polytechnic Arena). News of the two gigs was spread amongst much of the Kraftwerk fraternity that had attended the unnoficial convention held in Blackpool back in January, with the result that a good few familiar faces were able to meet up once more, at one gig or the other, or even at both! Bearing in mind that both of the venues are quite small, both nights were well attended; the Leicester gig had in fact been reported in the NME (though where the rumoured 'three hour marathon set' came from is anybody's guess as it never happened!)

The reviews;

  Updated: 16 : 5 : 2010