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Andre Rieu

Andre Rieu | The Devil, you know

by Christoph Lenz / 30.03.2011

At the record shop, searching for Rammstein I was quite overwhelmed by gazillions of Andre Rieu DVDs… they were everywhere… what the hell’s wrong with this place when you can’t find some good middle aged German aggro porn rock with pyrotechnics, but you’re beset on all sides by Andre Rieu and Helmut fucking Lotti. Right then and there I decided to take down Andre Rieu and his horrible suburban classical pop. And, just my luck, he was playing a string of South African dates last week.

While organising my accreditation I began to realise how much of a phenonemenon Mr Rieu is. Everybody seemed to have a mother/ auntie/ cousin or ex-boyfriend attending his shows. Not only do they like him. They go totally batshit Beatles mania crazy for him. Now, I know for a fact my mum thinks he’s a sleaze ball. But like an itch you can’t scratch, I wanted to meet this person, to look into his face, shake his hand.

He doesn’t normally allow photographers into his shows. All we were allowed to shoot was the “encore” when he pulled his trump card, the poor ex-street sweeping tenor from Mitchells Plain… The rest of the show had sustained this sheer comedy. I’m almost sure that the brass section were secretly passing a bottle of Jaegermeister around between “hits” and behind Andre’s back… Mr Rieu hardly noticed, between numbers, he was busy “regaling” the crowd with his toxic brand of smarmy, self-satisfied and horribly lame jokes. Tannies swoon, while their Oompies clap and stomp their feet.

Andre Rieu

Invariably, the scariest thing was the audience. Most of whom you’d mistake for nice and decent people. But, never forget, they are Andre Rieu fans. They clapped wildly after the songs and laughed at all his jokes. It won’t be long before their collective “red rum” moment. I was half-expecting the four horsemen of the Apocalypse to rip the roof off during the encore.

The show was planned down to the tee, a very good production. Rieu, like the devil, conducts with his eyes popping out, giving the audience his back but playing his Stradivari violin perfectly into a camera broadcasting his giant, puffy face on two huge screens to the left and right of the Johann Strauss Orchestra.

When he made his two kettledrum players (dressed like blacksmiths) pretend-fight, stripping down to tight-fitting superhero shirts, we left.

A few days later I went back to the record store to take a picture of the vast Andre Rieu collection… but they were all sold out.

Andre Rieu DVDs

Andre Rieu fans

Andre Rieu Fans

Andre Rieu Fans

Andre Rieu Fans

*All images © Cristoph Lenz.

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RESPONSES (10)
  1. mick magger says:

    Not a nagger to be seen in any of these photographs.

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  2. Andy says:

    what’s a nagger. Is that a “non-offensive” way for a whitey to say nigga, but while being all down and hip hop n shit? Because if you’re asking whether any black people attended the Andre Rieu gig, the answer is affirmative (like action). Bad taste, it would seem, is ubiquitous. Just uploaded an extra pic or two for your liberal bone

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  3. YellowElevator says:

    Rather Andre Rieu than Rammstein, I always say.

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  4. mick magger says:

    Be interested to find out how many naggers read this magazine. You only have about two naggers writing for this magazine (ir)regularly, and almost zero women.

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  5. lenz says:

    … the only fact that scared me really was the fact that everybody else seemed to enjoy the show and even laughed sincerely at exactly the right moments. They are not too odd looking people and I could not easily tell by colour or dress whether they warship the Andrö or not.

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  6. Andy says:

    wow don’t malign Mick or he pulls out the big stick… you obviously not paying attention son, hate to do the headcount but you asked for it. On our homepage alone we have one Congolese South African photographer, one female jewish South African photographer, one Sotho South African writer, one Xhosa South African writer, one indian South African writer, one South African jewish writer, another South African English writer and one expat German writer… not to mention our gay, female managing editor… how does that fit with your little theory?

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  7. mick magger says:

    Tokens. I’d love to take them to the arcade and play a game of Pac-man. Jokes! Just pulling your leg dude.

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  8. JM Koet$ee says:

    There was this guy, Mick Magger
    who posted his jibes with a swagger.
    Andy laid down the tacks,
    Magger withdrew his attack
    with some lame excuse that it was only jabber.

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  9. the says:

    Oh Christoph Lenz, Mighty Overseer of all that is culturally pure, Please…
    grow the fuck up
    Peoples tastes differ – stop being such a hipster, culture Nazi and let the people have their fun Whether you like the bra’s music or not, he makes people happy

    I swear to god, this entire magazine is the most judgmental piece of self-indulgent literature I have ever read

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  10. 123 says:

    AR is a pathetic joke to classical music. Commenting with words such as “Peoples tastes differ…he makes people happy” it’s the same thing as saying justin bieber or lady gaga makes some good milions of retarded, lower than 50 IQ apes “fans” happy. your argument is 110% invalid, andre RIO is a pile of manure, PERIOD.

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