Gig Review – Red Ink and Noel Maurice live at indieberlin @ Neue Kammerspiele in Kleinmachnow

Last night at the “indieberlin @ neue kammerspiele” venue in Kleinmachnow we had the pleasure to experience Australian indierock band Red Ink and Berlin indiefolk artist Noel Maurice. On what was the hottest day of the year so far with temperatures in the mid 30s the evening started off with grilling and caipi’s in the cafe outside where we watched the sun sink down and the heat cool to the pleasant side of bloody hot and Noel Maurice kicked off the musical entertainment aspect of the evening with an acoustic session on the pavement, playing a cross section of pop and folk classics with a smile and a couple of jokes. As the sun finally sank down we moved inside and Noel Maurice played another set, this time of his own material, with excellent US guitarist Allen Devine, known on the Berln underground scene for backing up a number of diverse artists as well as playing as an artist in his own right (his latest album Thrillride was released on Berlin label Cannery Row Records).

Noel Maurice is an established figure on the Berlin scene and after spending nearly two decades playing street music in our town he estimates he has played to over ten million people. His experience showed through as he and Allen played and performed wonderfully well with a professionalism and assurance that comes only through playing a million gigs. The songs were catchy and quirky, with the odd singalong chorus thrown in, and the two were musically very tight.

After Noel Maurice, Red Ink came on stage to the delight of the quite young and overwhelmingly female audience. Red Ink impressed people on this night: They’ve got great songs, they look good, they carry over a warm and happy vibe and their singer John Jakubenko especially has simply a huge amount of energy, every ounce of which he threw into the performance. They don’t hold anything back, this band. The whole place was dancing by the second song and no one sat down until the band left the stage forty-five minutes later. Red Ink have been touring Europe while using Germany as their base and have wowed audiences everywhere they’ve been. Their next stop is Russia and parts eastward. Apparently they’ve been recording a new album in the flat where they’re staying as well, and we look greatly forward to hearing it. Long live Red Ink!

It was also very nice to see them engaging offstage with the audience, which many bands don’t really bother with, but the Red Ink band members were chatting away with all and sundry after the show, signing CDs and T-shirts and generally disseminating likeableness. Also credit to singer John Jakubenko for running off to help the sound people pack the stage equipment up – again a sign of not only being cool, but also knowing how to make sure the sound person is your friend for next time you’re in town – never a bad thing!

Review by Nicky Slater

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