Sunday, June 21, 2015

Thor Bøding and Friends- Drop Inn, København June 17th, 2015

Thor is the leader of the band Syreregn but he also plays a lot of solo gigs and is involved with some other bands as well. This was a sort of reunion of the people he started making and recording music with 10 years ago. The first set was a trio that Thor plays bass and sings backing vocals. I did not catch the name but it was Bjergtop or something like that. It means Mountain Top. The singer and guitar player was very special and I did not really enjoy the 4 or 5 songs they played and in fact about 40% of the people in the place left while he played and all was left was pretty much Thor’s friends and family. 

The next band set up quickly and this included all the guys in from Syreregn; Thor (guitar and vocals, he usually plays bass with Syreregn), Rasmus on drums, Jacob (only Syreregn guitar player, who is now back!) and Kian on bass. This set was really cool. All Thor and Syreregn originals. The slow new take on Tag solen Ned was really cool. I actually have never seen Thor play so much lead guitar and he was really good. Jacob, who strangely enough was wearing gloves, played some great guitar as well. This was a powerful and cool set. 

Set List: 

Stoffet (lyrics by Adam Oenslager, who wrote the lyrics for the national anthem), Sangen om Hans Marius, Min Blomst, Tag Solen Ned, En Sandhed, Hey Babe

The third set was the very first band, Patienterne, Thor started back in 2005, him, Rasmus and a guy named Simon on bass. These tracks they had not played in some years and you could tell these were songs from a young band, trying to play a bit alternative rock with all Danish lyrics. Everything on this night was spoken and sung in Danish. It was the National election this day and sadly, the extreme right won, so that was very depressing.  Anyway, there were a few cool songs here, one of the last before the encore was great but mostly it was ok and not nearly as good as the songs Thor writes today. Must have been fun for him to play it again for a few friends and family. At most there was 35 people.  I had a really nice time talking with the guys and hanging out with my friend Anders, whom I had not seen in a long time. We chatted until 1am…  Late night but nice..

Set List: 
Børn i krig, Dranker-drengen, Vagtmagt, Det tårn høje helvede (Røde Mor cover), Linie 3 (Røde mor cover), Drømmen du drømmer, Solkvinden, Patienterne

Encore: Herfra hvor vi står (skousen/ingemann cover)

By the way, Thor has a solo record he is trying to raise money for, please check it out.. Peace..

Sunday, June 14, 2015

The Pretty Things- The Sweet Pretty Things (Are now in Bed of course) (Repertoire REPUK 1265)

I recently bought the amazing Bouquets from a Cloudy Sky box set from the Pretty Things and have been listening to all their records and watching the DVDs the last couple of months. This put me in the perfect mood and background to give the new record a fair shake. So can a more than 50 year old group (only two originals left but they are in their 70s now) make a relevant record today? The record has 10 new tracks recorded all analog and most live in the studio and it starts with The Same Sun. Phil’s voice had matured nicely and the band play great together. And I do is a more bluesy one with a pretty heavy riff but the way the vocals are mixed is back to what they were doing in 1968 though.  IT has a bit of a jam in it and is one of the longer tracks at nearly 4 mins! Renaissance Fair (the Byrds) starts with a lot of bells but is not really that folky. I don’t know the original Byrds tune. You took me by Surprise is a dirty blues rocker with some nice effects on the vocals and a cool way guitar. Turn my Head is a really happy track with a  good bouncy rhythm. Dark Days is a darker track except the way that the chorus is sung. The mellotron gives is a mysterious feeling when combined with the unique guitar line. Greenwood Tree is a cool studio jam including drum solo. Phil does not play on it unless he adds some percussion but he is not credited at all so maybe he was in the loo!  Hell, Here and Nowhere is next and the longest track on the record at nearly 5mins and an acoustic track but I love the feel on this one. What a cool track. In the South is another interesting track with a cool rhythm and a sort of chanted vocal by Phil and then it abruptly ends. Dirty Song ends this really excellent record. This track has a darker side to it as the title might suggest. The band played an amazing concert at Roadburn Festival some years ago and I was really blown away and have come to really like this band after buying the box set. You will not be disappointed with this new record. Buy it! 

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Uzgin Uzer- 99 (Lollipop Shoppe LSCD013)

This album from Hungary was originally released in 1999 and distributed in Germany and Europe by the Lollipop Shop. Lollipop Shop has now made a new pressing of this CD, which contains 20 tracks in a little over an hour. The four piece band, including Miklós Paizs (Korai Öröm), Gyula, Peter and Marcsi make some really cool and special rhythmic ethnic tranced out music with all kinds of instruments like jews harp, flutes, clarinet, hosepipe trumpet, naval, zurna, gaida, duduk, violin, throat singing and more… There is some female singing as well and other vocals samples (?) sometimes mixed in the background. Some of it is really like travelling across the Moroccon desert music or something. A super cool band. I love all their stuff.. If you like spacey psychedelic world music, check this one out!

Space Probe Taurus- Mondo Satan (Ripple Music RIPCD032

Space Probe Taurus is a band I have known for many years. Mr Sjöberg and I have traded some music and demos since the band basically started. This is a band that has not produced a lot of “real” records but has continued and survived despite the negative evolution of the music world.  This CD features 10 short new fuzzed out rockers. Scorpio Queen starts things off  and a uptempo rocker kicks in with a definite Monster Magnet feel and a low fi sound. Hey Hey hey chorus and all and in 3 mins the track is over. Kill City Death Cult (sounds like a movie soundtrack!) has a sample from the movie. This song sounds nearly identical to the first one and even includes a few hey heys as well and is nearly the same formula as the first and burns the grooves in 3mins. Spahn Ranch Motherfucker keeps the speed high and the film inspired lyrics intact. Make me Bleed is a more melodic track and has a slightly longer guitar solo. Galaxy Travelin’ Blues is the 2nd longest track at 41/2 mins long. This is the 5th track now and the pace has be quite fast for every song and no chance of a slow one here either. So far not a lot to distinguish the tracks from one another. This one they exchange the hey hey with yeah yeah and keep it catchy. Superfuzzed hits the gain as the band speeds up and a bit of revolution, baby! Powerful stuff.. This album needs to be played LOUD! Mondo Satan has some pretty cool lyrics and more background vocals than most of the other songs and a few short guitar solos tossed in as well. The Iguana is one of my favourite tracks on the CD and really catchy and a great riff and groove. The CD ends with nearly 6 min The Righteous One and it is slightly slower and more groovy. This is an album that is cool when you crank it up and let the 30mins or so just blast you away.. Not a lot of variety but cool fuzzed out biker rock…

Drive by Wire- The Whole Shebang (My First Sonny Weissmuller Recordings AHOEA7575)

This is a really cool Dutch band four piece band lead by guitar player and lead singer, Simone. The CD is the bands third release and features 11 songs in about 40mins. The CD starts off with Kerosine Dreams which has a catchy and hypnotic groove at times. The band is a sort of mix between groovy stoner rock, Alice in Chains and sometimes Acid King. Woodlands has a vocal much like Lori of Acid King but the music is not so down tuned but still slow, and stoned and a bit spacey. A lot of good riffs and grooves but no lead guitar on these tracks and singing nearly all the time. The Whole Sheband is next and has a really great guitar riff and changes the vibe in this more uptempo rocker. Rituals slows things a bit and has this dark mysterious vibe but it also has faster parts. In this Moment rocks a bit harder but also has a very soft vocal section. Short song. River Run features an organ by Frank Boeijen to give this slower track a different vibe. I really like her singing style a lot. Sometimes passionate, beautiful but also gusty and powerful. Promised the Night starts with the drums but then has a sort of country western vibe. Rotor Motor brings back the more heavy stoner rock. All Around has a foot stomping rhythm and then the guitar gets a bit psychedelic. Another real short one. Voodoo you Do ends this record with a slower more heavy track again where the vocals and music remind me of Acid King. I quite enjoyed this album. A lot of different styles of songs and a lot of catchy grooves and great vocals. Check them out for sure. 

Blackwolfgoat/Larman Clamor Split 7” (H42 records 020)

I have never heard of either of these bands. The bio says that Blackwolfgoat started off as an ambient Drone project of Daryl Shepard (Black Pyramid). He has released three records and even performed this stuff live. His track is called Straphanger. This is pretty far out stuff with multiple layers of fuzzed out guitar and the vocals pushed quite far to the back with some strange effect on it so that you can nearly not tell what is being said at all. Far out fuzzed out dirty music…..   

Alex von Wieding is Larman Clamor. His music was recorded in Hamburg and the 1st track is called Drone Monger and it is a strange swamp blues track with acoustic guitar and jews harp and a down and dirty vocal. Fo’ what you Did has the same vibe but is a bit more happy and has some electric guitar as well as the acoustic. I enjoyed both tracks, a sort of Germany swamp blues. This 7” is limited to 210 copies on three different colours of vinyl (70 copies for each colour). Cool artwork with lyrics and band info on the inside sleeve. 

Friday, June 12, 2015

Sweden Rock Festival 2015

Unfortunately, I was only able to attend one day of Sweden Rock this year, the friday. There were a lot of really cool bands every day as usual but we had seen many of these and decided we could only afford to go one day. The headliner on the weds was the Danish band DAD. We had seen them a few years back on the Rock stage and they put on a great show but not a band I felt I needed to see again. My friend Tom’s band, the Order of Israfel was also playing on that day and I have still never seen them. We had seen the Quireboys just the year and also Hell, maybe two years ago. The headliner on Thursday was Def Leppard, which we had no interest in seeing at all. I would have liked to see Spike’s Free House with Simon Kirke doing a FREE set and FISH doing one of his last sets ever. Slash, Carl Palmer’s ELP, Exodus, Ghost, Toto, and Airbourne were some of the others playing. Saturday the headliner was Judas Priest. Other cool bands playing that day were: Riot V, Ace Frehley, Mother's Finest, Nuclear Assault, The Angels (Angel City in the US), and Behemoth. 

Dark Tranquility
The Friday was a great day and we arrived early enough to catch one song of MOB, a Swedish metal band and then over to see some of Dark Tranquility, the singer Mikael Stanne I have met each year at Roadburn for the past few years but had never seen his band. They play melodic, progressive death metal. I was quite surprised how well the audience seem to know the band and were really into it. They had some great tracks but it was not my kind of music with those kind of vocals. This was apparently the first show with the new bass player.

Next we went off to see Scott Biram, a one man nasty blues man from Austin, Texas. He has been touring around in Europe for the past few months playing every where including Roadburn. He was very enjoyable and the small crowd was really into it as well. He made a kick drum beat and played both acoustic and electric guitar and sang mostly about drinking! It was great to see they finally moved the Rockklassiker stage after 4 years of complaints. Sound pollution from the other stages was much less now, which was great... 

Scott Biram
Molly Hatchet were back at Sweden Rock but the first time ever on the main Festival stage. The weather was hot and fantastic with a light breeze. They had the stage set up for a 5 piece band but only four showed up. NO Dave Hlubek? I had never heard of Molly Hatchet ever playing as a 4 piece before. There are so many dual guitar parts. Anyway, they blasted through the same set they played last time here and I guess they play every night. Don’t think they played anything later than the Devil’s Canyon record. Crowd liked them and Bobby was totally in fire on the lead guitar but the sound just really missed that 2nd guitar. A wounded version of the band. If Dave is gone for good, this is now a band with no original members and no one in this line up even played on the songs that make up 85% of the set. IF they can stand on their own now, they should play most the songs they have written. At least try that next tour and see what happens? 
Molly Hatchet
Set List: Whiskey Man, Outlaws, Gator Country, Fall of The Peacemakers, Devil's Canyon
Beatin' The Odds, Son of The South, Jukin' City, Dreams I'll Never See, The Journey, Flirtin' With Disaster

Alestorm was next and this is a really fun band. Pirate metal from Scotland! I think Sue and I last saw them at the Pagan Fest in Vienna and that was a blast. The crowd was totally ready with plastic swords, pirate hats and a large pirate flag blowing in the air. A sort of thrash metal with keyboards and lots of songs about drinking, screwing and killing and full sing along choruses… Not a band I would listen to at home I think but great fun live. 

Rock Goddess. Wow.. a band I never thought I would ever see. They reunite with all three original members and this was only their 2nd show in 35 years! I have all the old records and 7”s… I loved them in the day,  A bit more heavier than Girlschool on the first records… Anyway, the girls rocked the house and are better musicians today than back then so sounded great. Her voice was really ballsy as well. They played a really cool set and did not only stick to old tracks but played three brand new numbers as well. I really dug it…

Set list: Satisfied and Crucified, One Hot Night, Two Wrongs, This Time, You’ve got Fire, To be Betrayed, Flying, Take your love Away, Make my Night, Drive you Away, This is the Day, My Angel, Back to You, HM Rock and Roll.

We were able to catch a bit of Manfred Mann’s Earth Band and that really surprised me. He had a few pop hits in his day but the band really were jamming and having a great time. It was more a blues rock set. I dug it. We only heard about 35mins though.
Manfred Mann
Blackberry Smoke, who we had seen the night before were next on the Sweden Stage and their was a pretty big crowd and the weather was amazing, We sat up on the hill with a great view and enjoyed the great southern rock… They did not play anything different from the night before having had to leave out some songs for their 75 mins set. Crowd loved it and they had the best sound of the entire festival. Great sound man… 

Set List: Six Ways to Sunday, Let me help you find the door, Like I am, Crimson Moon, Pretty Little Lie, Fire in the Hole, Rock and Roll again, Good one com in’ on, Sleeping Dogs Lie-Your time is gonna come-Sleeping Dogs, Holy Ghost, Wish in one Hand, I ain’t got the blues anymore, Up in Smoke, One Horse Town, Payback’s a Bitch, Ain’t much left of me

Next up was Opeth on the main festival stage. They had a few backdrops and let the music do the talking, We sat on the grass pretty far away but you could hear it perfect and see them on the screens. It is great to see this band having progressed into a full gown prog band and leaving most of the death metal behind. They had a lot of long complex tracks and only played the occasional older song from what I could see. They got a full 90mins which was great. 

20:45  Backyard Babies or Pat Travers Band???? Sue and I choose Pat Travers and our Swedish friends went for BB… Last time I saw Pat Travers was here at SRF, like 6-7 years ago. He had some totally different players in the band. I saw him for the first time in 1979!  Always good and here he played a mix of blues and his 70s rock stuff. It was a really excellent set. 

Set List: Rock n Roll Suzie, Life in London, Crash and Burn, I’ve got news for You, Black Betty, Diamond Girl, Heat in the Street, Stevie, Statesboro Blues (ABB), Blues guitar Jam, Red House, Snortin’ Whiskey, Boom Boom out go the Lights, Born under a bad Sign. 

Lucifier's Friend
Now, your choice was Motley Crue or Lucifer’s Friend, an old German band that was playing their first show in 28 years!!! Look to be nearly all the original members and included John Lawton on lead vocals. He sang also in Uriah Heep some years back. I would probably never get a chance to see these guys ever again and Motley Crue I saw in 1983, 1984, 1986, and a few other times in the last 10 years and knew what to expect from them.  Anyway, Lucifer’s Friend was excellent! Real cool progressive rock with a dark side to it. They played a range of songs from all their 70s records it seemed.  I think they played about 70mins. Very cool show.

Set List: Intro, Pray, Fire and Rain, In the time of Job when Mammon was a Yippie, Keep Goin’, Dirty Water, Rid it High, Key´board solo, Moonshine Rider, Did you Ever, Burning Ships, Fugitive> Ride the Sky, My Flying Lady 

We did manage to catch the very end of Motley Crue from Mick Mars guitar solo, Live Wire, Too young to Fall in Love, Girls, Girls, Girls, Kickstart my Heart, Home Sweet Home. They had a very cool stage and lots of pyro. Vince was not sounding all that good though and look quite heavy…… still ran around lot and had some girls on the stage to help out with backing vocals and to distract…. I think people liked it but the local newspaper only gave them 1 star….

Always great to be back at Sweden Rock!  The tie dating on the camera is UK time so it is one hour behind the real time in Sweden...  Hope to go to the festival next year.. Let's see what the line up is like..

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Morgan Square- Byhaven, Pumpehuset, CPH June 10th, 2015

Morgan Square is a five piece psychedelic rock band from Århus, Denmark. They have played a few times in Copenhagen and my friend Lone has recommended that I see them and finally I made it. Byhaven is a free outdoor event that occurs during the summertime on a small stage outside the concert venue, Pumpehuset. They have a lot of picnic tables set up, grill burgers and sell ecological pilsner beer and wine. People can bring their own as well. The shows start at 18:30 and end by 21 due to the hotel across the street. 

The band started a bit later than expected and opened with a new song from a brand new 2 song CD-R called Lucy, My Friend. I was immediately caught by the serious retro and spacey sound the band has. They have one guy how plays a saw and there was a lot of trouble with the sound of this (made mostly loud static sounds until the end of the show when it was better and the proper bowed sound). Some of the stuff reminds me of Syd Barrett meets the Doors. Next up was a song called White Walls and this was quite long. A very cool track and on the bands debut CD-R they produce last year. 
Next I filmed the other new song called Where’s your Spirit? This is also on the new CD single. This track features some organ and they go through a couple of different interludes including a freakout guitar part. Achbaham has this Eastern feel to it. This track was from the EP from last year. Føsmennesret was the oldest song from the band set from their 2013 EP. The set ended with Irakka. All the songs are pretty long, at least 5-10mins each, which gives the band plenty of time to experiment a bit. Really cool band. Look forward to see them again at Kildemose Festival. 

Set List: Lucy, My Friend, White Walls, Where’s your Spirit, Achbaham, Føsmennesret, Irakka

Monday, June 8, 2015

BLACKBERRY SMOKE- Amager Bio, Copenhagen, DK June 3rd, 2015

Freddy and the Phantoms
Sue and I took a walk down to the venue and when were arrived the band were sound checking. We hung out and heard about 30mins including a jam on California Man by Cheap Trick! We had a really nice chat with their merchandise man. He was really cool and liked New Mexico. The band had played in Albuquerque two times. A few months back I wrote to the band and management about doing an interview but never got an answer. We talked with the Road manger, named Scott and he said it had to be pre-arranged and he could do nothing. He would put me on the guest list so I could review the show and help publicise the band here in Denmark. 

Seems there is not much advertising for this show and the pre-sales were really low. I have tried to promote it on Facebook at least. We will see. No opening act was listed on the web site but one of the crew for the venue said it was a good blues rock band.

Anyway, a Danish act called Freddy and the Phantoms (sounds like a 50s R&R band!) hit the stage at 20 and played a 35min set of hard rocking blues rock with two guitars and an intense organ player. The songs were short, focused and all five the of the members sang backing vocals and Freddy doing most of the lead guitar and all the main vocals. They had made two records I could see and the crowd quite liked them. I would have liked them more if they had played half as many songs and made them twice as long and did some more longer solos. They did a great job in the 35mins they had.

Set List: Ties of Division, Shadows across the Country, Down Down Down, One of these Days, When the Raven Pecks, Better come  what May, Morning Sun, Borderline Blues, No one to Blame

About 21:05 BBS hit the stage and played their standard set that is nearly exactly the same every night this year but this was the first time ever in Copenhagen so it was totally fresh for everyone here. I guess about 250 people tonight and probably 1/3 of the crowd was Swedish. People were really into it though and the sound and iights were great. Charlie sounded excellent as well. 
The first 30 mins of so went by really fast as the band just cruised. Brit (the drummer) and his brother Richard are a very solid rhythm section but they seem like they were really bored. IT was not really until Sleeping Dogs when the band loosen up a bit and seem to start of have a bit of fun and emotion. Charlie he is always into it, since it is his songs but the others seem to just be cruising and pretty bored often. I think if it was not all so routine they would show more emotion. They have about 60 songs, they could play three nights in a row and not play the same song doing 20 songs a night but it is 22 songs and about 16 of these are the same every night. No wonder they look bored. Anyway, despite this, this a fucking great band, with great songs and you have a blast every time they play. You can sing along, rock and roll a bit, laugh and have a good time out with some of the nicest guys in rock and roll music. This was my 4th time to see the band and I will keep coming back for sure! 
It was really fun to hear California Man but Cheap Trick as on the 2nd encore song! 

Set List: Six Ways to Sunday, Let me help you, Like I am, Pretty Lil Lie, Fire in the Hole, R&R Again, Good one comin’ On, Crimson Moon, Sleeping Dogs, Holding all the Roses, Sanctified Woman, Whippoorwill, Lucky Seven, One Horse Town, Up in Smoke, Ain’t got the Blues, Too High, Restless, Ain’t much left of me, Encore: Payback’s a Bitch, California Man, Magnolia