Szene, 2008

A haunting, long-lasting „Ouuuuuuh“ resounds from the roof into the greening courtyard and fills the air of this mild spring evening. Eli Mardock and his five band members have gathered on the eaves of the concert venue Szene, where they will perform later that evening. The band from Lincoln, Nebraska, brings some stylish blur of color and moving tunes to the suburb of Vienna while strolling around the still empty area. The songs about hapless love are swirled by upbeat cries of the whole group and Mardock’s catchy whistling. While Eli speaks deeply and sonourously, his singing voice is kind of femme-fatale: magical-demonical from amatory disastrousness. Too keen that people would really bother about their – “damned stupid name for a band” – as eagle*seagull themselves claim on their myspace site. Too keen that we could bother when Eli gets confused – “forgot the words” – while playing their new song “The Year Of The How-To Book” from which their second album title derives. They know how to improvise for the acoustic session. For the show, however, there is still enough time left so that Eli can focus on the missed lyrical part as the supporting band has just started – in contrary to his uncertainty about their time schedule – doing the soundcheck.

Michael Luger
Sound Recording
Matthias Leihs
Post production
Simon Brugner


Szene Wien is a venue for concerts in the mainly industrial area of Simmering. Despite being a little bit off the map in Vienna the Szene is quite popular among lovers of every variety of alternative music – and because of its cosy, slightly savaged courtyard. In the past the concert hall with a capacity of about 500 people was home to several shows that marked the live debut of then unknown but later acclaimed bands in Austria. Nowadays there is a little focus on world music but you can still spot some alternative shows on the monthly programme. Just when everything was set up for the 25th anniversary of the Szene – which was a cinema for porn movies before – the venue hit the newspaper headlines in May 2008. The management of city-run Szene was said to be not efficient enough and found itself replaced without further ado. As the new management runs an among Szene visitors less beloved metal venue in Vienna as well there are fears that the Szene might change its advanced alternative programming to a more mainstream one.