CULTURE

Punky, funky German pop

One of the most popular German dance punk groups, Von Spar, will play at the Bios arts complex on Pireos Street tonight, as part of the band’s tour around Southeastern Europe. The band cleverly combines punk rhythm with heavy funky bass beats and sharp guitar riffs. Von Spar make good use of prominent 1980s bands, such as Gang of Four, the B52s and ESG, while their sound also references contemporary rock bands such as The Rapture, Chicks on Speed and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Von Spar was formed in January 2003 in Cologne by vocalist Thomas Mahmoud as well as Jan Philip Hanzen (guitar, programming) and Christopher Marquez (bass, guitar and programming). In their concerts they are also joined by pianist and synthesizer player Sebastian Blume and guitarist Phillip Tielsch. Thomas Mahmoud, who sings both in English and German, is a particularly passionate vocalist. Von Spar caught the attention of Trevor Jackson,punk funk guru and owner of the Output Recordings label, who selected the Von Spar piece «Dog Machine» for the final part of the Channel series of compilations. Admission to the show, which will start at 10.30 p.m. tonight, is free of charge.