Joy on Trans Europe Express
World-class parenting, or forcing your musical tastes on your children? You decide.
Tickets for Kraftwerk’s tour earlier this month were not easy to get. Nor were they cheap. So when yours truly bagged a pair for their show at Liverpool’s Philharmonic Hall it was like Christmas morning in our house. Daughter #1 loves going to gigs.
Any indie band you care to name, she’s seen them. She’s off to Leeds Festival later this summer with her friends to see loads more, get covered in filth and come home smelling like a Turdis portaloo.
But watching Kraftwerk in an air conditioned concert hall, sitting on a padded seat while four German men, who aren’t quite as young as they used to be, stand behind keyboards like robots all night while playing music from another world was like a first class upgrade on the first spaceships leaving Earth.
The rarefied atmosphere was a bit different to being 20 yards from the stage at The Stone Roses’ apocalyptic final stadium shows at Wembley and Hampden Park in the past fortnight – when the air was filled with the smell of cannabis and cordite. Here, the audience was made up of people in their 50s, 60s and 70s.
Apart from a family of four with two young kids sat a few rows behind us who for all we know had tickets for Teletubbies Live but turned up on the wrong night, at 17, daughter #1 was the youngest there by at least 30 years. So we put on our 3D glasses and the magic began. Daughter #1 even spotted where the sequencing went a bit wrong during Radioactivity. Ralf Hütter apologised afterwards, telling the hushed audience, “There was something wrong with the electricity”. It was all I could do to stop myself from yelling, “TURN HIM OFF AND THEN TURN HIM BACK ON AGAIN!” but if they’d walked off in a huff I’d have been torn limb from limb. So I didn’t. After an hour and 45 minutes of music so pure you could taste it, the four elderly gentlemen went off to be replaced by four lookalike robots for the song The Robots. Daughter #1 said that bit creeped her out, but judging by the slew of gig pics she put on Instagram I think the enforced enjoyment paid off.