2002 – Volksbühne

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At Volksbühne

12th April 2002 – Volksbühne, Berlin, Germany

Set List

  1. Anarcadia: All Horned Animals
  2. Amethyst Deceivers (Version 2)
  3. Slur
  4. A Cold Cell
  5. Broccoli (Version 1)
  6. Paranoid Inlay
  7. Sick Mirrors
  8. A.Y.O.R.
  9. Backwards


Feeling: Reflective

“Backwards / The Remote Viewer” phase.

Before “Amethyst Deceivers,” John says, “Mr. Crowley and Mr. Ausley welcome you to the spectral healthy spa, specializing in astral disasters. Broken auras, ectoplasmic disorders, with celestial lubrication. The strong smell of turpentine prevails throughout.” During the song, John sings the line “I know why the birdcage sings / It’s wrapped its song ’round everything” twice – This line is taken from the song “Something.”

Before “Slur,” John says, “This next song is dedicated to the spirits of William Burroughs and Brion Gysin, and it’s about being sodomized in the ruins outside of war cities of Marrakesh, and it’s called ‘Slur.’”

Before “A Cold Cell,” someone in the audience says, “Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah,” to which John responds, “Oh yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes. This is a [something in German I can’t make out]. This is copied from Stockhausen, of course. Who listens to Stockhausen, here?” Some members of the audience applaud and cheer. “He’s a good man, he’s a good man. He’s an honorary member of Coil, by the way.” The audience laughs. “No, he is, really. Uh, at Sonar Festival, two years ago, we asked him, and he agreed, so he should be here tonight, in spirit.” Karlheinz Stockhausen was a German composer who broke ground in electronic music, and reports indicate indeed he was at Sonar and Coil were connected to him. As the song begins, John continues, “This next song is ‘A Cold Cell,’ and it’s dedicated to all the prisoners of the world, especially prisoners of conscience.” John thanks the audience after the song.

Before “Broccoli,” John says, “It’s death’s fickle finger, or it’s death’s pickled sphincter. It’s death’s fickle finger, or it’s death’s pickled sphincter. This is about ancestor worship. What I do every day is I take aside a small piece of time and I pray and I ask for the strength of my ancestors to come up through me, down me, into me, through each of my imaginary astral antlers, which I wear on my head like a royal stag. All animals are created equal, but some are more equal than others. All horned animals, all horned animals, all horned animals, all horned animals, all horned animals.” The animal line is of course a reference to George Orwell’s 1945 book Animal Farm. It’s unknown whether or not the title of the song “Queer Wolf” had been changed to “Anarcadia: All Horned Animals” by this time.

Before “Paranoid Inlay,” John says, “Cherubim and seraphim are marching up the stairs. Cherubim and seraphim are marching up the stairs. Cherubim and seraphim are marching up the stairs. Cherubim and seraphim are marching up the stairs. Wounded galaxies tap at the window. Wounded galaxies tap at the window. And wounded galaxies tap at the window. Tsk tsk tsk, tsk tsk tsk, tsk tsk tsk. Tsk tsk tsk.” After the song, John says, “A little bit of, uh, moon musick, from the dark, uh, Musick to Play in the Dark.”

Before “Sick Mirrors,” John says, “This next piece is, uh, something we’ve been making up on tour, so. On torso, on torso, on torso, on torso.” As the song beings, he incants, “All horned animals, all, all horned animals, all, all horned animals, all, all horned animals, all, all horned animals, all, all horned animals, all, all horned animals, all, all horned animals, all, all horned animals, all, all horned animals all, hah, ah, all horned animals, all, all horned animals, all, uh, ha, all horned animals, all.” After the song, John says, “Thank you very much.”

Before “A.Y.O.R.,” John says, “What one are we doing now, Sleazy?” to which Peter replies, “Don’t know!” John continues, “I think I should introduce our band. We have Simon Norris, also called Ossian, on keyboards, and we have Cliff Stapleton on hurdy-gurdy, and we also have Mike York, who plays the Breton bagpipes, amongst other things, and here, we have an original wrecker of society: Throbbing Gristle’s, Psychic Television’s, my boyfriend for 22 years, Sleazy Peter “Sleazy” Christopherson. And again, today, I am Angie Bowie.” As the song commences, he says, “Let’s all worship at the church of the hairy mother of God, let’s all worship at the church of the hairy mother of God. An infector calls, an infector calls. I went to the doctor. I went to the doctor.” After the song, he says, “So everything you do, it’s at your own risk. It’s at your own risk.”

Before “Backwards,” John says, “I need a drink of water.” After the song, he says, “That’s it, thank you very much. Goodnight. We hope to see you sometime in the autumn, hopefully. Bye, thank you.”


John Balance – bells on “Anarcadia: All Horned Animals”.
Peter “Sleazy” Christopherson.
Simon Norris (Ossian Brown) – bells on “Anarcadia: All Horned Animals”.
Cliff Stapleton – hurdy-gurdy.
Mike York – Breton bagpipes, bombarde on “Anarcadia: All Horned Animals,” balalaika on “Broccoli” and “Paranoid Inlay”.

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Ticket Stubs

Please contact us if you have any ticket stubs from this event: info@live-coil-archive.com


Linienstraße 227,
10178 Berlin,


Gig Review(s)

The following is a review of the concert by Axel, translated from German into English by Google Translate (original article here):

Author: Axel

Exclusively the report of the unique performance of COIL, written by the immediate impressions, on Friday, the 12th of April 2002 in Berlin …

How to start a concert review when you are still in the birthing, of pictures and sounds Imbued with the danger of perpetually experiencing sprawling impressions and imaginary astral travels? For yesterday’s evening was a unique experience, which surpassed the anticipated expectations extraordinarily.

The co-tour, postponed in the run-up for a long time, due to various health problems, also provided for four German events, the second of which was to be held in Berlin yesterday. Thus they found themselves around 21: At 30 o’clock, the darker figures of the city gradually set in front of the powerful portals of the Berlin Volksbühne, in order to be able to experience the legend of COIL. … Interestingly, the old age and the visual appeal of the audience were overcharged by oldschool fans from SO 36 / atonal times Gothics, hardcore electronics and young, pretty (!) Students.

After a repeated, demanding ringing in the foyer (yes, that is in a real theater …), one went to Biergeuß, or the like, into the hall, remembering the written warning of COIL’s well-known stroboscope lights, Probably again today. The relatively punctual beginning, shortly after 22:00 clock, TARWATER, an electronic duo, to me so far, but only by name, which, In the background on giant screen slightly abstruse film showing, repetitive rhythms and partly similar sequences. Although this sounded quite catchy for this kind of evening event, but for my taste they could not really pull out something and on the stage seemed rather static. After about an hour, it was over and the stage was prepared for COIL with only a few electronic devices, the notorious headlights and two big boxes wrapped in metal foil on both sides.

Sleazy Peter Christopherson appeared, now slightly gray, in white hooded with mirror on the chest, already known from some COIL live reports, and started the intro of cracked voicesloops, and the two guest musicians, Michael York with Celtic Blashorn and Cliff Stapleton with a hurdy-gurdy. Between the clouds of mist, one could finally see two figures dressed in white, who approached with archaic dancing steps and gave the impression of two runaway Yetis, each wearing a longer white fur, hair or cotton wad, and opening the ritual with rattle.

The arrival of John Balance, in a visibly good mood (impatient hop-hitting, sportive punching) and Simon Norris (also a little bit older?), Both now without artificial hair, the actual concert sounded, or should I say performance or finished ritual or, Or

Who in Leipzig at the WGT had the opportunity to experience COIL live, This will be reminiscent of the peculiarly remote mood, which is characterized not least by John Balance’s uniquely vergeere stage presence.

With John’s dedication to A. Crowley now the wonderful “Amethyst Deceivers” developed with strange spectral patterns and colors on the canvas.

Sleazy The brilliant sound each even the minimum fineness in frequency and in the panorama was very good to hear. At Apple , Simon Norris at the synthesizer and incense-burner (!), And John, bellowing again and again in spite of considerable physical fills, suddenly twirling, fiddling, praying, twisting, mysterious signs into superhuman directions (sometimes I was faced with the weighing steps -, step-back actions the quiet,

Very quiet impression of a “hospitalized polar bear”), fused with the entire scenery , and the live “slower” of the “Horse Rotorvator” accompanied by Celtic bagpipes and lyre discreetly from the background Would miss a tribute to William Burroughs and his reminiscence of Morocco, and at the very last was captured by the terrestrial world that COIL had always been able to create …

“This song is dedicated to all the prisoners in the world World, especially to prisoners in conscience … “.

With “A Cold Cell” and never seen shots from Russian prison camps, the performance had already reached an intensity that I personally hardly ever experienced. The connection of almost elegiac, endlessly repeating melody abysses, in contrast to those ABSOLUTE pictures in Slow Motion and John’s almost fragile-looking vocals, was, in my opinion, the first highlight of the evening when one can define anything at all.

In addition to “Broccoli” and “In Emergency”, the “Music To Play In The Dark II” and “… I” were also presented with a never-ending, almost meditative, oriental touch. The hidden occult-ritual bonds (Chaos, Zos Kia, etc.) were not necessarily understandable. John Balance, however, was able to use his mixture of subtle, often imaginative, drawing motifs and word games such as “… Death grows … Death flows … Horned Animals …” In connection with archaic, earth-bound, phallic penetration stances, to produce unclear premonitions. Pulsating, blood-donating, jelly-like structures on the screen, bathed in lilac light, did her the rest.

Suddenly the scene changed and a more brutal, fast-rhythmic piece (title I missed) tore me out of the still resonant atmosphere. Simon Norris and Sleazy continuing to screw statically at the devices, John Balance, sweating with wild expression running in the face, screaming, qietschend, exhausted, declining; Unbelievable what the man is able to do for energy …

With “Backwards”, unambiguous gestures, strobolights and sawing analogue sequences, COIL finally said goodbye, stringing music from the Renaissance from the box left no doubt, That this performance was inevitably finished without addition.

While I realized, perhaps somewhat sadly, that everything was already over, the realization that COIL was one of the greats of the genre and the facets of such a concert is actually indescribable, certainly not Imitating and exhausted myself, then walking home at 1:00 am, somehow a bit altered …


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Attendee Recollections

According to Bob Hoskins who attended this show and the following: “One of the weaker gigs of that tour, the one the day after in [G]lauchau was so much better.” When I asked him if he had any memories of either show, he stated, “[N]ot really. [I]t just was much more intense, and [the] audience consisted of a hardcore [C]oil/post-industrial following rather than the hipster crowd that had gathered at [V]olksbühne in [B]erlin.”

Charles Minnick attended this gig and remembers: “I was at this concert at Volksbuehne. I don’t think anything has suspended my sense of reality as much, either before or since. So glad I got to see them before Sleazy’s and Balance’s passing.”

Known Recordings

Tapes owners/taper:

AMT – “Maarten” (as labeled on the old Coil Hollyfield Mailing List)

Please let us know if you know “Maarten”! We have been trying to get into contact with him for years, in an effort to surface a master-quality copy of his video. AMT #1a is zoomed in, obscuring much of the gig throughout, while AMT #1b is horrible quality!