Xmal Deutschland – Hammersmith Clarendon, London W10 – 07/07/83

Hand In Hand / Kaempfen / Geheimnis / Qual / Young Men / Incubus Succubus / Sehnsucht (part)

A good Friday night out this one, Dead Can Dance, Gene Loves Jezebel and the headliners Xmal Deutschland upstairs at The Clarendon in Hammersmith. Most of the recording survives, but alas not all…unless it is on another tape that I can not find at the moment…The remainder of the gig was not on the B Side of this tape but a load of studio stuff was – How weird – hope I did not record over the rest of the gig! May have done I suppose, by accident. Huummm.

Anyway get a taste of one of the better bands that entered these shores in 1983 and remained tip top until at least 1985 when I stopped collecting the records or going to see the the performances.

I did attend quite a few performances by Xmal Deutschland in London from 1983 to 1985, the stand out shows was this performance in Hammersmith, the gig at the Venue in Victoria and the also what turned out to be the last night at the Lyceum up the Strand. The band’s music was a little on the gloomy side, but the gigs were generally a celebration. I never got to know or learn what Anja the vocalist (the girl with the blond fringe in the photo) was singing about, but used to love watching her actually singing. I think I was a little smitten by her at the time!

Xmal’s debut 7″ single is on this site if you care to search for it with the search function.

Text below ripped from wikkiedingdong.

Xmal Deutschland (often written as X-Mal Deutschland) was formed in 1980 by Anja Huwe (vocals), Manuela Rickers (guitar), Fiona Sangster (keyboards), Rita Simon (bass guitar) and Caro May (drums) in Hamburg, Germany. Their first single, “Großstadtindianer” was released a year later on Alfred Hilsberg’s ZickZack label. The band also contributed the to the label compilation “Lieber Zuviel Als Zuwenig” (ZZ 45). Around this time Rita Simon was replaced by Wolfgang Ellerbrock.


In 1982 the band released the Goth classic “Incubus Succubus”. Drummer Caro May left the band and formed a new band, and the vacant drummer position was filled by Manuela Zwingmann the same year. While German audiences were less than receptive at first, a United Kingdom tour opening for the Cocteau Twins resulted in a label deal with independent label 4AD Records. Their debut album, Fetisch and the singles “Qual” and “Incubus Succubus II” were released in 1983, all 3 making the UK Independent charts, even though the band used German lyrics.


Manuela Zwingmann left the band after one year, being replaced by Peter Bellendir. This lineup, Huwe / Rickers / Sangster / Ellerbrock / Bellendir proved to be the longest running. 1994 saw the release of the single “Reigen” and the album “Tocsin”, followed by a world tour through 1985.


The “Sequenz” EP was essentially a remake of a John Peel session, which had been originally recorded April 30, 1985, and was broadcast May 13, 1985. The EP contained the tracks “Jahr Um Jahr II”, “Autumn” (the band’s first English lyrics, apart from brief snatches of English that appeared in Qual, Young Man and Tag für Tag) and Polarlicht but omitted “Der Wind”, which was played at the Peel sessions.


1986 saw the release of “Matador”, produced by Hugh Cornwell of The Stranglers. Xmal Deutschland also opened for The Stranglers at a concert at Wembley Arena in London. Their follow-up album, Viva was recorded in Hamburg and was released in 1987, followed by the single “Sickle Moon”. Viva contains a large number of English lyrics, among others a poem by Emily Dickinson. It was during this time that the band were interviewed by Jamie Meakes for the infamous underground Goth Fanzine ‘House Of Dolls’.

  1. Justino
    March 7, 2009 at 7:04 pm

    One of the very first gigs I went to. Thanks!

    By the way, I don’t think you were the only one smitten with the lead singer…

  2. Corvus
    December 21, 2009 at 5:56 pm

    i think we all were 😀

  3. vivienne westwood
    vivienne westwood
    October 20, 2010 at 2:10 am

    thanks for this and for an all around great site the diversity

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