Commemorating 50 years of German Krautrock band Neu!, founding member and solo experimental artist Michael Rother hosted an evening of live renditions with special guests DJ Stephen Morris and Paul Weller performing alongside his band, formed of Franz Bargmann (guitar) and 1975 Neu! member Hans Lampe (drums).

Rother started the show on the soaring guitar streams of B-side ‘Neuschnee’ from Neu’s 1972 debut single and the glockenspiel tones of 1975 single ‘Isi’. The band then played the choppy ‘Groove 138’, with warbling synth and meteor showers of electronics, which Rother mentioned was taken from a Harmonia track.

‘Weissenee’ from the first album took over with its long strides of mesmerising, liquid psychedelic sitar before bubbling away beneath the watery depths. Rother included another Harmonia cover, ‘Deluxe (Immer Weider)’; purely instrumental with two overlapping layers of guitar and skyrocketing electronics. Rother further played an early solo track, ‘Zyklodrom’, from his 1977 debut album, ‘Flammende Herzen’.

He continued the show on Neu’s eponymous debut album, performing opening track ‘Hallogallo’ (remixed this year by Stephen Morris) as well as ‘Negativland’, the latter with Rother’s partner Vittoria Macabruni singing vocals for the proto-punk masterpiece. The show ended on an encore of ‘E-Musik’ from Neu’s third studio album, ‘Neu! 75’, for which Rother invited New Order’s Stephen Morris and The Jam’s Paul Weller onstage; Morris on electronic drum equipment and Weller playing rockabilly guitar strokes.

03/11/22: Michael Rother @ Clapham Grand, London.

Photos © Jose Ramon Caamano/Baba Yaga’s Hut.

© Ayisha Khan.