VNV Nation @ Koko, London

9th October 2011
Review & Photography by Sabrina Dersel

VNV Nation aka “Victory not Violence”, is a British/Irish electronic music band now based in Hamburg,Germany!

Formed in 1990 by Ronan Harris, he met Mark Jackson four years later, he joined VNV Nation as the electronic drummer for live shows. This combination of electro-Industrial sound with Synthpop and EBM had a breakthrough album in 1999 with “Empires”, which topped the German charts for seven weeks.

The band have just spent the whole September month touring in Germany and central Europe and now due to illness this causes vocalist Ronan to cancel yesterday’s show in Birmingham, and having to cancel all pre-show interviews, it is with a certain worry that people are hoping he will be able to sing tonight.

VNV Nation
VNV Nation

But all is good as tonight’s show opens with “Chrome”; a very well know and loved VNV tune! This is not just a gig, this is a giant party starting at this very second. The countdown on LED monitors does a perfect job at getting people ready to begin a memorable night. I have never heard an artist asking the audience members so many times if they were happy!

VNV Nation
VNV Nation

Mark Jackson is definitely an entertainer, he wants you to have the time of your life and despite his poorly condition, he delivers an unexpected great performance!
Joined by two keyboard players, he even advises one of them to smile at the camera (mine) pointing at him!

VNV Nation
VNV Nation

After a few songs, involving new tracks from their new opus “Automatic”, he asks his dear crowd to stop a minute and do a little breathing exercise; everybody breathes in, then at his signal breathing out, in, out…the noise of 600 people doing this will be unlikely forgotten and even makes him admit that this is very freaky!

The song “Illusion” starts as the giant disco ball of Koko lightens up.
This track is from the album “Judgement” released in 2007, and was dedicated to Sophie Lancaster after her tragic death. “Control” follows and everybody goes mental!
The encore is ordered by a stomping audience, who aren’t ready to go back home just yet. ”Legion” and ”Beloved” are played and no one gives sign of stopping this Sunday party.
But all good things have an end, and sadly Ronan explains that is voice is starting to give up again so he regrettably announces the last song for tonight in the form of “Perpetual”.

The energy given by the band tonight went against all expectations.
VNV has the energy and talent to captivate an entire crowd, even a Sunday night after probably a weekend of partying for most of the audience!

To celebrate the just released album “Automatic”,the band are giving away a free a track called ”Control”, available on their website, check it out!