Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Passion Play

Country: UK
Formed in: 1994
Location: Oxford (relocated to Berlin in 2003)
Label: aufnahme + wiedergabe (
Members: Justin Stephens (vocals, guitar), Ralf Hünefeld (guitar), Chris Engel
(bass), Sebastian Hilgetag (drums).
Previous Members:
Linda Lloyd (guitar, vocals 1994 - 2002), Mark Bosley (bass, vocals 1994 - 1997),
Mike Watkins (bass 1997 - 2002), John Berry (guitar 2002 - 2004), Matthias Dopp
(bass 2002 - 2004), Doug Stephens (drums 2002 - 2004).
Contact: info(at)

Formed in 1994 in Oxford, England, Passion Play created their own distinct sound and wore their hearts on their sleeves from the beginning. Fronted by singer/guitarist and songwriter Justin Stephens, with guitarist/vocalist Linda Lloyd and bassist Mike Watkins alongside, their blend of stirring guitar arrangements and poignant lyrics began to capture attention as soon as they began venturing outside of their home town. 'Saints', from the debut 'Name No Names EP' in 1998 became an immediate favourite in clubs and generated their first invitation to Germany, which their first album, 'Stress Fractures' followed up on in 1999, featuring the stand-out hit 'Down To You'. A UK tour and more european festival appearances followed, including the Wave Gotik Treffen in Leipzig in 2000. With increasing numbers of festival appearances in Europe, Passion Play released their second album, 'Dreaming Spikes', in 2001, and supported it with more UK shows, european festivals, a tour of Germany and, later, two trips to America. 'Frantic', 'Leaving', 'Caught By The Nails' and the hugely popular 'Running On Empty' consolidated their place in the hearts of their wave & goth fans internationally. 2002 saw Lin and Mike leave due to family commitments, so a new live band took the stage from 2002 - 2004. After their second trip to America in 2004, the band took a long hiatus, finally to return in 2012 with bittersweet news: a new album and live shows were coming, but these would be the last. Passion Play were returning to say goodbye properly and bring the band to an end. Their new and final album, 'The Final Act', was released in November 2012 on the 'aufnahme + wiedergabe' label from Berlin - Passion Play’s new home since 2003. Gaining superb reviews and widely considered to be their best  work, 'The Final Act' is Passion Play's swan song. Having played some live shows across Germany towards the end of 2012, their final act on stage was a return to Leipzig for their farewell show at the Wave Gotik Treffen on May 18th, 2013. Despite the bittersweet occasion, it proved to be the glorious finale they’d hoped for, with a vast and vociferous crowd creating an electric atmosphere to the end. Justin Stephens is now writing new material and will form a new band in late 2013/early 2014.

Name No Names EP, 1998 - CD EP (no longer available)
Stress Fractures, 1999 - CD Album (no longer available)
Dreaming Spikes, 2001 - CD Album
The Final Act, 2012 - CD Album
The Final Act and Dreaming Spikes CDs are both available from