An Advent Saturday with Manntra
Nachtleben Frankfurt 26 Nov. 2022
Saturday of the first advent weekend comes with shopping madness which results in traffic jams, packed sidewalks and crowded shops. Don’t get me wrong, I like crowded shops a lot more than shopping online only. But not the nerve-wracking traffic jams that double the time to reach my goal this evening: Small club Nachtleben nearby Konstablerwache in Frankfurt’s inner city. I am going to see Manntra on their Kreatura tour tonight.
I’m still right in time for the official beginning at 19:00 nevertheless Vanaheim started playing far earlier. So I miss a good part of their slot but what I experience is promising. The Dutch four-piece band describes itself as pagan/folk metal which mixes raging primal violence alternates with danceable, heavy and uplifting melodies. Like it or not but Vanahaeim’s recipe of pagan plus catchy folk makes you want to move! And that is exactly what we can enjoy tonight. Surprisingly, rather the air condition than Vanaheim is to blame for Roman spa-like atmosphere in front of the stage. But once your virtual machete cut a way through the thick air you can have a beer at the fridge-cold bar.
Their name already gives a hint what we can expect from the second band. Storm Seeker are from Düsseldorf and yes, Mr. Hurley und die Pulveraffen is not the only German Pirate Metal Band. The Storm Seekers are five musicians on the small stage although they consist of four members only. It turns out that Storm Seeker make use of guest musician on bass to give the vocalist and bass player the liberty to concentrate on singing and gesturing. They play a nice and inviting show tonight, interaction with the audience is mandatory. May it be rowing, waving your arms, raising your fists or chanting along during my favourite and their final song “Chop the head off”. We will come back to this theme later…
Before the thick air chops off my head, I catch some fresh air outside. Desperately needed! Then it is time for the main act tonight. I already had the pleasure to enjoy Manntra as support of Mono Inc. in spring this year. The nearly finished tour is their first as headliner in Germany. As the previous band Manntra make use of an additional musician, the masked guitarist. So again five musicians share the small stage. Manntra open their set with “Heathens”. Of course Manntra present the songs of their recent album Kreatura as “Tanz” or “Königsmord”, wasn’t there something with chopping heads off during Storm Seeker’s set? Well, not only pirates might have lost their heads but some kings in England and France too. “Not Guilty” turns into an anti-war song and is dedicated to peace in the world. No more war!
“Volhov” is the first of the encore and in between we can enjoy a mix of earlier tunes and brand new tracks. Of course classics as “Oro Ori” or “Barren King” are not forgotten while “Naranca” closes the set as the second and last encore after about 90 worthy minutes. Five minutes later we find another shop crowded: the Manntras joined the other bands at the merch table. Close contact with their fanbase indeed is very important for them. That is how most people know and like it. All of the performers tonight like to talk with their fans, take a photo and all those things. These one-on-one moments are the little extras you will neither have with a video or streaming concert nor can be taken automatically included in the ticket charge. These are the little extras which make bands special and moments unique. It can’t be valued enough.
Rougher and heavier
I run into Markus, Claudia and Gerhardt, a trio from Hirschaid and Aschaffenburg, During our chat they point out that Manntra were so much rougher than on the album without compromising the catchiness of the songs and that they really enjoyed that. However the three of them complain on the AC issue, and the quite poor light. I agree with them. “You can’t help but liking these four Croatian guys”, one of them says. I wonder if I will meet them on the Winter Madness Festival which is close by their places.
No-Gos – A broken AC doesn’t make it any better!
Dear club show visitors! A club such as the Nachtleben is neither a sports stadium nor a festival’s in-field. Sweat neatly cultivated in the armpit over days if not an entire week is considered a weapon of mass destruction. Do not mistake it a pheromone attractor which by the way holds just as true for heavy perfume clouds. Breath-taking, yes but not in positive sense. And as if then the broken AC wasn’t bad enough plenty of knock-out reek from semi-digested garlic, bean-leaden ‘exhaustion’ fumes and an extra helping of sauerkraut-spiced sweat made a true olfactory overkill. Your row neighbours will thank you!
Save The Dates
On December 9th Manntra will officially release their live EP “Endlich Live” recorded at Hamburg Sporthalle in May 2022 during their tour as support of Mono Inc. Check out some of the already available videos to get an idea what you can expect from Manntra live on stage. On September 22nd 2023 Manntra will play their only headliner show in Germany for that year BUT it will be their anniversary show so expect it to be something very special.
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Please buy merch and physical music or download it from the bands official sources and don’t stream it for free because it steals your artists’ income.
Proof-reading and additional editing by Muumi-Katja