Admittedly I’m a new passenger on the crazy train of Electric Callboy, having stumbled across them over the summer but with their eclectic mix of music genres it’s a gig I’ve been really looking forward to and there’s full crowd here tonight at Manchester Academy for the rescheduled September dates.
For anyone who hasn’t come across this band before, you’d be forgiven for wondering what the hell you were walking into as the crowd is in fancy dress ranging from 80s shell suits and mullets through to bowl cut wigs and glowsticks. I’d highly recommend checking out some of their music videos which might provide some enlightenment for those not in the know.
Earlier this year the German electro metalcore band headlined a sold-out show in London as well as performing at Slam Dunk and as the crowd wait eagerly they are treated to singalong tracks from Queen, Bon Jovi and Motley Crue playing through the speaker system.
Opening the set is ‘Pump It’, the first track on their recently released album ‘TEKKNO’. The band come on stage in their ‘Pump It’ outfits from their music video before confetti cannons go off and the crowd go wild! It’s such an energetic start to a gig and one that you’d understandably expect to dampen or soften as the night goes on, but how wrong you’d be!
It’s a night of costume changes, styled to represent the music videos with plenty of interaction with crowd. Before playing ‘Tekkno Train’, Kevin says that this is the most danceable Electric Callboy song saying, “Let’s make this place a big fat dance floor”. With Nico acknowledging that he has thanked the crowd multiple times tonight he states, “I know there’s a lot of thank yous over the evening, but it comes from the heart”.
Perhaps unsurprisingly given the recent Best Video win at the 2022 Heavy Music Awards, Hypa Hypa is extremely popular and the band re-enter stage after another outfit change to fist pumps from the crowd in time to the recognisable opening beats. Kevin and Nico tell the crowd “this song can be a break”, before getting the crowd to crouch/sit down before encouraging them to jump up when the song plays. While getting the crowd to sit they mock their age and about having weak knees.
Before playing ‘Hurrikan’, Nico/Kevin asks the crowd if they have ever heard of Schlager music, explaining that this is a type of folk music in Germany and the band want to try and make it cool again. They both tell the crowd to make some space in the middle and that this song is about romantic times with your friends so grab a partner and couple dance.
Finishing the set with ‘MC Thunder’, the band come out with handheld confetti guns and bizarrely there is an insane dance party vibe to a band that is essentially metal, whilst simultaneously having the most lethal mosh pit I’ve seen at the academy. It’s such a vast change in styles and one that could give whiplash to newcomers, but inexplicably it just works! Never would you expect to see a crowd bopping to europop then 10 seconds later headbanging to the growling vocals from Kevin.
Returning to the stage for their encore, the band play more tracks from their TEKKNO album, finishing the set with fan favourite ‘We Got the Moves’, with the band playing the song in the outfits from their music video with matching bowl cut wigs. Streamers go off during the song bringing the night to a close.
I can’t help but feel disappointed that they only have one UK date on their Tekkno Tour ’23 next year (tickets available here), which will almost certainly sell out – here’s hoping they add some extra dates for us Northerners because I’ll be the first to buy a ticket. With their unique sound, there’s no doubt that Electric Callboy have stamped their mark and I can genuinely see this band going on to have insane success!
Arrow of Love
Castrop X Spandau
MC Thunder II (Dancing Like a Ninja)
We Got the Moves