Our resident columnist has a problem with Falk Grieffenhagen. That’s him out of Kraftwerk, that is. He’s like the new money version of Florian Schneider. Or something
If I’ve paid for a gig ticket, I want to see a performance that tears my soul into a husk. If the artist is doing anything less than bleeding, weeping and vomiting for my entertainment, I’ll not only want my money back, I’ll want them flogged to death with their own kazoo.
So what in the name of Nick Cave’s nose hair was Kraftwerk’s Falk Grieffenhagen doing when the band played in Amsterdam recently? There they were, the Kraftwerk chaps, dressed like they were attending a ‘Tron’ survivors’ meeting, pressing buttons and going bleep-bloop. Yet amateur video footage shows Falk scrolling an iPad mid-‘Musique Non Stop’ with as much enthusiasm as a member of Take That in a tax office.
Was he checking emails? Skyping an IT helpdesk? Editing his Peppa Pig fan fiction? I’ve not been this outraged since my failed ‘X Factor’ audition as Minced Beef Tina Turner. Come on, Falk. That’s like Orbital running their virus checks halfway through ‘Chime’. Or Pete Townshend doing his Ocado shop mid-windmill. Or Ed Sheeran doing something boring in the middle of his endlessly dull—wait, no, bad example.
I’d be jaded if I was in Kraftwerk. They sang about calculators, autobahns and shop dummies. No-one uses those things anymore. Nowadays, we whizz round in virtual pods while selfie-sticking our ‘Candy Crush’ hashtags. Kraftwerk probably stagger around this modern world like crash victims, bloodied spleens hanging out of their nostrils, dazed at the wreckage of the past.
And when they sob at the shards of their own obsolescence, they make the sound of a thousand ZX81s being dropped into a skip. I’m surprised every Kraftwerk gig doesn’t end with them upturning their Amstrads or abacuses or whatever old-fangled technology they use, before screaming, “Who are you people?” at the constantly YouTubing audience.
Calm down, Fats. Falk could have just been operating a sequencer for controlling lighting and stuff. But that’s way too easy. That’s like explaining the moon landings as “they were moon landings”. Pah. No, I’m going full Icke on this one. Remember the multi-televisioned Dixon’s advert that was U2’s Zoo TV tour, when Bono phoned Mother Teresa or God? You know he was contacting the Illuminati, right? Pious, post-modern, lizard Illuminati in Stetsons and sunglasses?
Falk Grieffenhagen, I know you’re speaking to the Illuminati. It all makes sense. The bleeps, the bloops, the mysterious scrolling. If this leads to a lizard invasion, I’m coming at you with a kazoo.