There was a time when Düsseldorf was the center of German pop music, the birth place of German punk music, followed by the „Neue Deutsche Welle“. During those days of musical movement the band „Fehlfarben“ played a key role in the German music scene. 36 years later Fehlfarben is still around. Their legendary album „Monarchie und Alltag“ (1980) has been named „most important German-language album“ by the Rolling Stone Magazine.
Now Fehlfarben is finally taking the milestone album „Monarchie und Alltag“ on stage, playing all of the 11 songs released on „Monarchie und Alltag“ live in concert!
„Monarchie und Alltag“ (monarchy and everyday life) – what a title for such a groundbreaking punk record! Where does the album title derive from? If you ask Thomas Schwebel (guitars) you’ll get an unexpected reply: while attending a fair Fehlfarben visited a wax museum which promoted their exhibitions showing heads from „monarchy and everyday life“ – two opposites that really appealed to the band.
The boys around front singer Peter Hein from Fehlfarben e.g. their former band Mittagspause belong to those people who searched with fun against the established mechanisms or rules of the rock and pop music scenes in the late 70ties.
Thomas Schwebel recalls „In the 1970s the music had become more aloof, that was the point when we decided to just go ahead and do it without thinking about it too much. You knew 3 chords, so you’d go and form a band – but remember to keep it German!“ This widespread view among Düsseldorf musicians also overlapped to visual arts. After all, it was only a short walk from the Ratinger Hof to the Düsseldorf Art Academy. Just do it and don’t complicate things! – „Punk celebrates the outsider, the plucked figure in the rain“ (Michael Gross).
What once began in a Düsseldorf music pub has drawn wide circles and has never died out completely though popular music has developed very differently ever since. In over 3 1/2 decades after the release of „Monarchie und Alltag“ the band has never been forgotten. Their famous album has been re-released continuously for 21 years until 250.000 sold albums were rewarded with a „Goldene Schallplatte“ (gold status). None of the band members had dared to dream of this in 1980. The target was 5.000 sold albums!
Fehlfarben will go on tour in (almost) original line-up, performing at bigger venues and theaters. For the first time the band will play all 11 songs of their record on one night, supported by further songs from later albums. This is following a concept that international performers have adopted in the past as well – Lou Reed who played his entire album „Berlin“ or Patti Smith who performed all songs from „Horses“.
There will be songs played that are remembered by very many people and sometimes even fragments of lyrics will be called to mind, as for example the famous quote: „Was ich haben will, das krieg ich nicht, und was ich kriegen kann, das gefällt mir nicht“ (I can’t get what I want and what I can get I don’t like“) taken from the band’s own most famous song „Paul ist tot“ (Paul is dead). „This text passage once ruined one of our tours through the former German Democratic Republic“, says Schwebel, „as these two lines didn’t quite conform with the ideas of the SED Socialist Party“.
And anyone wondering who „dead Paul“ was – he was named after the pinball machine at Ratinger Hof which suddenly disappeared one day. Total punk style – all very simple.
The most famous of all Fehlfarben songs is „Ein Jahr (Es Geht Voran)“ (One year (making progress)). For reasons that are not quite clear to the band this song had become the hymn for the squatter scene in famous Hamburg Hafenstraße and elsewhere in Germany.
The band is very much looking forward to playing all of the „Monarchie und Alltag“ songs live in concert as most of them haven’t been performed in many years. Essentially, the songs still sound like taken directly from the good old times at Ratinger Hof. „We take our audience on a journey to another time“ says Schwebel „so they will see that the sound of the old days still pleases them today! This may also be due to the fact that today’s world has become so complicated and there is a need for something straightforward and refreshing“.
The ZDF series ZDF@Bauhaus invited the band onto the Bauhaus stage in Dessau on 13/03/2017. The concert took place in front of a small audience and was recorded live and aired on ZDF Kultur and 3Sat. http://www.bauhaus-dessau.de/de/buehne/zdfbauhaus.html
PLEASE NOTE that the album „Monarchie und Alltag“ is newly digitized on CD and vinyl and will be out on sale when the tour starts!
The live line-up of Fehlfarben is:
Peter Hein (vocals)
Michael Kemner (bass)
Saskia von Klitzing (drums)
Frank Fenstermacher (sax and keyboards), pyrolator (synthesizer, keyboads)
special guest: Thomas Schwebel (guitars)
Fehlfarben Monarchie und Alltag Tourdates:
03.05.17 Bremen // Lagerhaus
04.05.17 Köln // Gloria
05.05.17 Krefeld // Kulturfabrik
06.05.17 Potsdam // Lindenpark
11.05.17 Bielefeld // Ringlokschuppen
12.05.17 Leipzig // Täubchenthal
13.05.17 Dresden // Scheune
14.05.17 Hamburg // Kampnagel
19.05.17 Memmingen // Kaminwerk
20.05.17 Ludwigshafen // Das Haus
21.05.17 Stuttgart // Theaterhaus
26.05.17 Magdeburg // Factory
27.05.17 Freising // Uferlos Festival
23.06.17 Berlin //Volksbühne
30.07.17 Nürnberg // Bardentreffen
23.09.17 Hildesheim // Kulturfabrik Löseke