LIVE REVIEW: Anneke Van Giersbergen, Mojo Fury, Death Letters, London Borderline

//LIVE REVIEW: Anneke Van Giersbergen, Mojo Fury, Death Letters, London Borderline

Anneke Van Giersbergen London Borderline live review

Live Review – Anneke van Giersbergen + Mojo Fury + Death Letters

London Borderline, Wednesday 19th September 2012

Words by Nicholas Holmes

Photos by Tess Donohoe


For once the Borderline’s air conditioning system was working, making it less of a stifling cavern than usual. Good job too as the temperature was guaranteed to rise with a gig by one of the most beautiful women in modern rock music, both in a vocal and visual sense. Dutch singer Anneke van Giersbergen first came to prominence as front-woman of The Gathering and is also well-known for her collaborations with Canadian maestro Devin Townsend, including his most recent album “Epicloud”. Anneke also has an album of her own to promote, “Everything Is Changing”, released in Janauary this year.


Before that, opening act Death Letters make a crashing rock sound with strong melodies and vocals vaguely similar to Placebo’s Brian Molko and Claudio Sanchez of Coheed and Cambria. The Dutch duo are like an all-male metal White Stripes, comprising drummer and guitarist/vocalist. It was a shame to only catch their last two songs, and the final song builds from a gentle melody and mournful vocal to impressively loud crescendo.


Mojo Fury are all together different. From Northern Ireland, looks and sound-wise they are clearly heavily influenced by 1960s rock with a lanky mop-topped frontman and songs akin to a heavy, slowed down Beach Boys, or The Wildhearts played at half speed! It is great fun, and there are moments of catchy dance rock with elements of stoner in there too. At times the rumbling bass is so low it shakes the foundations of the building! These guys would be great on a sunny afternoon at a festival with a drink in one hand and a good smoke in the other.

Mojo Fury 

The fun continues as Anneke takes the stage to loud cheers and a nursery rhyme-like intro. Though this the first date of the new tour, there is little sign of nerves as she bounds on for the bouncing pop rock of opener of “Feel Alive”. She’s hit that stage of life where hippy mentality grabs people as they approach 40, and that is also clear on bass-driven “My Boy”, which as the title suggests is about her son. It’s arguably not very rock n’ roll, but it is honest and sweet. The more pensive “Take Me Home” completes the first 3-song burst plugging the new album. It is a piano-led track with haunting electronica that is reminiscent of Garbage.


Then the mood slows for two tracks from her Agua de Anneke project. “Beautiful One” and “Fury” have a folk feel, in the vein of Joni Mitchell. It is a lovely sound. Another track from the latest release, “You Want To Be Free”, raises the pace. It is a pop rock chugger not dissimilar from louder moments of U2, and again echoes of Garbage. Lyrically it addresses the frustration of seeing someone making a poor choice of partner and suffering the consequences. “It makes no sense to me!” she sings to whoever it was written for. The “oh yeah yeah yeah!” refrain is infectiously catchy.


“Circles” returned to slow, emotive ballad mode. It continues the theme of the previous song, speaking about an apparent inability to move while not giving up hope. The thoughtful mood turned to one of longing as Anneke performed “Here Comes The Rain Again” by Eurythmics. She more than pulled it off, and the band played a rocked up version of the pop classic. For a child of the 1980s, it was a moment of moist-eyed nostalgia.


Next is a nostalgia trip of a different kind, when Anneke revisited the moody days of The Gathering. “Saturnine”, built on a slow persistent riff, is a lyrical two-fingered salute to someone who at the time must have royally pissed her off. The opening line of “The day you went away, you had to screw me over…” says it all. While it pleased long-time fans, it would be fair to say it’s not who Anneke is these days, especially sentiment-wise.


Returning to the new album, “Stay” showed that she can still rock out when she wants to. It’s a moodier, heavier sound musically with echoes of The Gathering era. “Too Late” has a swirling almost 1970s sound, with keyboard flourishes and rolling drums. The set ended with “1000 Miles Away From You”, which has a slow repetitive militaristic rhythm and atmospheric melodies on guitar and piano. Then it kicked up a gear into a stirring orchestral-style epic of longing.


After a brief pause, the crowd cheered loudly for another The Gathering song, the moody “Even The Spirits Are Afraid”. They sing and clap along to the hypnotic drums and guitars, and on what had been a bit of a polite subdued night, people seem ready to let their hair down at last. Anneke certainly was, and she leapt from the stage into the front rows to get her groove on for “Hope, Pray, Dance, Play”. It also has a swaying rhythm, with its rumbling bass and atmospheric keyboards, not unlike the Finnish love metal sound of HIM. The energy levels peaked when she threw in “Hyperdrive”, one of several Devin Townsend Project songs that she leads on. The Devy lovers in the crowd went crazy and the band also loved playing the “Addicted” track. The whole place was rocking as Anneke’s incredible voice soared once more.


Not quite the end with time for one more Agua de Anneke song. The insistent beats of “Witness” kept everybody moving to the final note of a great gig with a fantastic vibe. Anneke is brilliant at building a rapport with her audience, both on and off stage. She took all the well-deserved compliments with grace and humour, staying for ages after the show to sign autographs and take photos with eager fans. A lovely woman in every way.

Anneke Van Giersbergen London Borderline live review

Anneke Van Giersbergen London Borderline live review

Anneke Van Giersbergen London Borderline live review

Anneke Van Giersbergen London Borderline live review

Anneke Van Giersbergen London Borderline live review

Anneke Van Giersbergen London Borderline live review

Anneke’s latest album, “Everything Is Changing”, is available now from all good stockists.

More news, information and tour dates are at:

She can also be heard on Devin Townsend’s latest album, “Epicloud”.

More details here:

More about Mojo Fury:

More about Death Letters:

Venue information:

By |2012-10-15T00:00:00+01:00October 15th, 2012|Gig Reviews|0 Comments

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