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The Return of Die Mensch Maschine

Live at the 'Stop Sellafield' concert, Manchester GMEX - 19.6.92

Text by IC. Photos by John Shilcock (top) and IC.
Note: The photos on this page are actually from the Norwich UEA gig
From Aktivität issue 2 (August 1992)

Henning Schmitz and Fritz Hilpert - 'Home Computer' (Photograph by John Shilcock)

From the Kraftwerk point of view, the 'Stop Sellafield' show was something of an anti-climax. Bearing in mind that this show was the main reason why the band were in England, it must have been disappointing for them to play to a largely empty hall, with few of those present actually there to see Kraftwerk...

From the reports that I've heard, there was no atmosphere to the performance when Kraftwerk were on stage, which must have been in stark comparison to both the band and to the fans who had also seen the two warm-up shows. It was no surprise though, I suppose, as Kraftwerk were the first band on, taking to the stage at about 6.30pm and finishing by about 7.15.

Florian Schneider - 'Radioactivity'(Photo by IC)The band played a similar setlist to the warm-up gigs, except that they stopped after the 'Trans-Europe Express' suite; so, they did not play 'Music Non Stop', 'Home Computer', 'Computer Love' and 'Pocket Calculator'. The concert was filmed for TV and it seems likely by the time this issue is printed that highlights of the gig will have been shown on some, perhaps all, ITV regions. ** Apparently, Florian was less than happy about some of the roving cameraman's angles and was seen to make his feelings clear in a very graphic display of , ahem, 'body language'! Bet you won't see that on TV! ***

Live tape recordings of all three concerts have since surfaced and while reading the classified ads in last weeks NME I noticed that a video of the Leicester show was being offered for sale! Many fans no doubt felt that last years tours would probably be the last time that Kraftwerk would play live for quite a few years, if not indeed for the last time. But they've surprised everyone with these unexpected gigs and all I can say is I'm glad! They've proved once more what an excellent live experience they are and I just hope that it's not too long till I next see them live. Here's to the next time Ralf, Florian, Fritz and Henning!


** A show featuring some highlights of the concert was broadcast, but only to some regions. It was later released, in further edited form, as the 'Stop Sellafield' video - it features two Kraftwerk performances - 'Radioactivity' and 'The Robots' but is spoiled a bit by the overzealous use of ideological facts/footage which intrude on the actual performance of 'Radioactivity' far too much.

*** Indeed not!

The reviews;

  Updated: 16 : 5 : 2010