This is a site where I will post reviews of CDs, DVDs, LPs, and concerts. I have been writing music reviews on and off since 1984. I ran a heavy metal fanzine from 1984-1988 called Metal Madness and have been a staff writer for Aural Innovations for many years. I have also contributed to Chrohinga Well (RIP), Bad Acid (RIP), Lowcut (RIP), Roadburn and a number of other zines as well.
I flew up from Copenhagen a week ago to play with Black Moon Circle at Pstereo.
This is the biggest festival in Trondheim with 7000 tickets. It is timed to
start the first weekend that the students return. This is a big student town
with 36,000 students. Anyway, this was going to be our biggest and most
important gig since Roadburn Festival but for a lot more people. I had been in
town for nearly a week. We had a pre-production studio that we could rehearse
in for 3 days. We played through the set once each day and also did some
jamming and played some older songs just to keep them a live and fresh. The
mood was great all week. We had a really special light show prepared so last
night when the stage was finished we could do a test run with the oil
projections and this high resolution camera and projector. It looked amazing…
Anyway, today we arrived at the festival around 16, loaded the gear
with some help to our backstage tent. At 19, we could move it over to the
stage. We had booked dinner for 17:30 (smoked trout, duck comfit and dessert
with red wine… amazing food)… I caught a few songs of Dunbarrow, a Trondheim band playing music in the vein of Uncle
Acid, Pentragram, Witchcraft..Pretty
good… I spoke a lot with the guys later
in the night. Very cool and I got their record for a future review.
All them Witches were on the main
stage at 18:55 and I heard most of their concert. I only have the bands first
record but this was much more like the Grateful Dead somewhow. A lot of really
cool songs. I spoke to them a bit backstage. Nice guys.We did not catch too many of the other bands
but we were on at 21:40 to 22:24.
All them Witches
I have to say, Black Moon Circle,
we played a great gig and the audience was just mesmerized by the lights and
the sound. It was a solid set and we still had a lot of time to jam and
improvise. We opened with Plains, some space sounds and only Vemund’s guitar to
start. Usually, he does this alone but I was just too excited to hold back.
Next was a long 15min Magnificent Dude from our latest album, Sea of Clouds.
This we could really extend out. Lunar Rocket, which grows out of this one,
came natural and I just love the guitar riff on this one. We talked to the
audience for 1min and then off with Warp Speed for e last blast out into space…
The audience loved it and it must have been 1000 people, at least.. Amazing
Foto by Elin... Thanks...
I saw a bit of Sigur Rós
from Iceland, and this was very impressive from the view point of the lights,
projections, etc…. Pretty amazing at times. We were told this was the largest
most elaborate performance ever for the band. They had a crew of 22 people to
pull this off. Musically, it was a sort of dreamy post rock, spacey pop music.
The crowd was not that engaged and slowly left over their 100min show. The visuals
were sometimes stunning and they could reach some heavy parts with this bowed
guitar at times.
We hung out until the bar closed at 12:30.. It was free good and drinks
for the bands. We also did a podcast with the NRK1 and two local comedians.
Cool guys and quite fun.
Some of the other acts that played on this Thursday were mostly
Norwegian artists like Sondre Justad, Lars Vaular, Ary, Todd Terje, RGB Unit,
Husky (Australia), Postaal, and some DJs.
We had a band promo foto shoot at 16 today and then afterwards we went
to the festival. We caught a local punk duo called Barren Womb. Intense drumming and guitar playing. Shouting vocals,
sometimes quite funny. Guitar player liked Primus for sure and even wore a
short and he played around with some guitar effects and did a bit of double
tracking on a few tracks but mostly it was just heavy riffing. Reminded me of
the Dutch band Dyse sometimes. Cool..
The Thurston Moore Band was next. I had
not seen him since I saw Sonic youth back in the 90s! He had a 4 piece band
with Debbie Gibson on bass, a 2nd guitar player, great drummer and
Thurston on guitar and occasional vocals. They had some long parts in several
of the songs, including the very good last track called Aphrodite, where the
bass player, she did some really cool stuff with the drummer while detuning her
bass and using some effects. It was way cooler than the noisy guitar noodling,
which never really caught me.I had a
chance to speak with Hans from Motorpsycho, which was really nice. He said he
had heard the ØSC cds I gave him and that he had really enjoyed them a lot.
Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats had a decent
crowd of 500 or so and said they were here to ruin our day. Their set is very
much the same for 50mins. Not a lot of dynamics. High pitched bee gee vocals
with a sort of Black Sabbath like vibe but no progressive rock elements at all.
Some great songs but it is all too much the same in the end If you have seen
them once, then you know exactly what you wil get. Plays mostly all the same
songs every show as well. I had hoped to hear something new. Nope… Set List: Waiting for Blood, Mind Crawler, Over and Over, Death's Door, Poison Apple, 13 Candles, Pusher Man, I'll cut you Down, Melody Lane, Withered Hand of
Beach Slang from
Philadelphia were really good fun. Great lyrics, funny front man and a lot of
passion. A heavy hitting drummer that really drove the band hard. Musically it
was melodic rock-indie vibe but we enjoyed it quite a lot.
A Norwegian band called Highasakite
was the main headliner and this was not my kind of music at all. Apparently
they play nearly every year for the past few years.It was a cool festival but more mainstream
music. One of the most beautiful festival sites I have ever seen. Just amazing.
Trondheim is a super beautiful city and I got to see a lot in the week I was
there. Thanks to the amazing Black Moon Circle guys and Kim the organizer for
taking such amazing care of me… Love you guys….
This is probably my 7th or 8th
Kildemose Festival and still Denmark’s best outdoor festival. Very relaxed on
the grounds of the Refvindinge Brewery. Cool festival site, great laid
back vibe, excellent beer and great music. Perfect combination. This year was
the smallest crowd I can remember for the festival but it was the right people.
I am surprised how many of the bands from Denmark, they all love Kildemose and
say amazing things about it but if they are not invited they don’t show up to
support the festival!!! Can’t be bothered????This is the best festival in Denmark and always a great weekend. It was
so nice to see my friends Anders, Morten, Freddy, Lone, Sabine, Ann-Carin and
Anders (from Sweden), Dan, Jan, the Måneskjold guys, and many more.
Sadly, I missed the first day, as I had to
pick up the guys from Black Moon Circle
who were flying in from Norway on Thursday night. The Thursday had Giobia from Italy as the headline band
and people said they were really excellent. I met them the next day and they
were really cool people. The Sensational
Psycho Poppers, a Diff side project also played. I had seen them at least
once or twice at the festival before. Sonic
Dawn, Dead Pan Interference, Orcas and Love Coffin all played as well. People said it was a cool evening
but many really drunk people late at night.
We had a lot of complications with the
rental car, crazy stuff on the highways etc.. but we managed to arrive around
14 after leaving CPH about 11:15… I had hoped to see Gaia but we were too late. While I was setting up my tent, I could
hear Late Night Venture play. This
was pretty heavy at times.Skifting was a real surprise. They were
supposed to play last year but had to cancel due to the health of one of the
guitar players (who actually died this year). I thought the band was no more
but Kasper from Måneskjold/CPH Psych fest organizer, was filling in now. They
were much more heavy and aggressive punky psych rock with Danish lyrics than I
had remembered from seeing them back in 1999! There were not a lot of people
Elevatorfører (Elevator Driver) have played the festival many times in the last
years and usually have a late nightspot and put on fun shows. This show as a
bit different in the late afternoon but I really enjoyed it a lot. The new
songs seem to be longer with more solo parts while the band grooves. Some
really cool stuff and a great vibe. Someone said they were a bit like the Black
Angels, a band I don’t know. People were having fun, the 60 or so that were
watching. They had a new album and 12” out but I have not heard them.
Forbandede (The Cursed) is a totally new Danish
band for me. Around this time the Yuri Gagarin guys had arrived and they asked
me if I would play with them again. I was not really expected to play with them
and their synth guy Robin was there but they convinced me. Anyway, the Cursed, are a 4 piece band with
organ, guitar (he also sings), bass and drums. A young band playing melodic
hard rock with a edge at times and some cool ripping guitar solos and organ
solos. All the songs are sung in Danish. They rocked for sure but did not do
much to take me to the next level.
It was now time for some food and this year
they had a great Indian place called Paprika, a Peruvian food van and the
people making pancakes were back as well.
Sun (used to be Ancient Monument) played the 1st
CPH Psych fest and I had not seen them since. They have grown and it was a
really mixed set for me. Sometimes it was just too mainstream rock music a bit
to slick and commercial orienting vocals but then they do weird and strange
stuff and have intense solos and lots of great ideas. I really loved some of it
and really didn’t like some of it. Hum???
Spez/Revoltage was Danish hip hop thing with computers, a guy how played trombone,
tuba, guitar and 3 or 4 rappers. I think it was totally out of place at the festival
but the young people were into it and they had a big crowd. I hung out with the
Yuri Gagarin guys a lot. Super cool people.
Gagarin, some how got people to come out of the
forest as it was by far the most people I had seen at the festival so far
(still probably only 120..). I was set up on one side and Robin the other synth
on the other side. Sound was great on the stage for me but no one except myself
and maybe the audience heard anything that I played. Funny….IT was a super powerful set and at least one
or two different songs from what I played with the band in Feb.People were really into it and we had a lot
of fun. Cool guys to play with.
Set List: Cluster, New Order, Zakosmosom,
At the Center, Sea of Dust, Psych Disco, Oblivion, Sonic Invasion 2910
Hodja, was a band that I was recommending to the guys in Black Moon
Circle. I think I have seen the twice and they were so great both times. They
have a black and very good and charismatic singer, drummer and guitar player.
They play a mix of intense soul, rock and blues with killer singing and cool
powerful music as well. You really can get sucked into it. Just fucking
awesome. The BMC guys and myself ended up right in the front by the guitar
player. Really captivating…I wonder
what their records are like??? Great live band!
Fribytterdrømme (Pirate Dreams) I had not seen since last year at the festival but
they have been having great success with their album, which was one of my faves
last year and they played a lot of shows all over Denmark and recently were
opening the big stage in Den Grå Hall at the CPH Psych festival. I had been
hearing rumors that they had given up drinking before the shows and they were
too boring now and not really very exciting. Well, Lau, the leader of the band
who sings and plays guitar, was on amazing form and the band were awesome. The
sound was not very good for the first 30mins, with way too much bass and drums
and a high compressed sound but by the end it was really amazing and all the details
of their psychedelic sound were clear. They played two new songs, both of which
I thought were pretty good. It was great to hear the long Fribytterdrømen song
but it seems shorter tonight.Fun
concert and one of the best of the day. Great band…
Set List: Ørken, 18.09.1986, Himmellegemer, Seer, De Konstruerede, Kosmonauten, Fribytterdrømmen, Fem er det Magiske nummer
I slept until 9 but felt pretty good after
a short shower. It began to rain soon after I showered so I just lay in the
tent and relax. The BMC guys were staying at a B&B 9km away but I wanted to
stay on site.The music started really
early with some band that was not listed as playing already at 10:45. They were
great. Three guitars, most instrumental songs but a few with Danish lyrics.
Great playing. I wish I had got a picture of them. Tidebound, a duo lead by Dave Müller, he used to go to Roadburn
with the Danish crew, and a woman who plays keyboards and flute, etc.. Dave
sings and plays guitar. Not sure how many people were watching as there is no
shelter near the small stage but I could hear from my tent some people
clapping. It was very nice music to start the day off.
Lolou is a new Danish 4 piece band with a female singer, who has one of
the voices that sounds like she is 8 years old. She sings well but sounds like
a small child. They have two guitars and drums. All the bass and a lot of the
music was pre-recorded and they play over it. The singer also occasionally
played the keyboard as well. The opening instrumental track was really cool and
the best piece they played. They had a few really good build ups but got
intense at times but a bit too slick and dreamy post rock like stuff. Sound
could have been better, the lead guitar player you could hardly hear him most
of the show unless you were right in front of the stage in the middle. Nothing
in the PA hardly. They even had their own sound person!
Do not Settle
Not Settle is a band that Jan, the festival
organizer’s son plays guitar in. It was pretty standard melodic pop rock stuff.
I did not like them but they had their own small following that dug it and were
was next up on the main stage. Really cool guys.
Their drummer was insanely drunk the night before but seemed ok today. I was
setting up to play with Black Moon Circle so I could only hear but not see
them. They are moving a bit away from their stoner rock roots to a more 70s
sound, which is cool. Super nice guys..
Moon Circle, were lucky that LA Sued were delayed
so we were able to play a longer set, I think about 75mins. It was a decent
crowd, 50 people I guess and no rain. We started with American Eagle and into
Plains. We were all so eager to play and we had a great sound on stage and good
interaction with each other and some amazing jams. These two songs were from
the first EP we made back in 2013. Next up were 3 tracks from the latest
record, Sea of Clouds. The Magnificent Dude, we must have jammed this out to
20mins. I had a long synth section, which was fun. Vemund played some killer
guitar. Lunar Rocket is played pretty much like the record and then Warp Speed
gets jammed out to nearly 20mins. Phew.. The show flew by but we had a really
great response and people come up who wanted to book the band and say how great
it was.. tak.. Thanks
Agusa, sort of a Swedish house band were next and I heard most of their
set but did not see much of it. Sounded like they played excellent. A lot of
their songs begin to sound quite a lot. I really hope that their next album
they have some totally new ideas to take what they do to another level as they
are great players and have a great chemistry. They just released a new live
album recorded in Greece earlier this year. I will review the record
shortly.No idea what the set list was
but they generally play nearly the same set most of the time.
Måneskjold (Moon Shield) had to switch places with LA Sued as they were delayed
by traffic coming from Hannover (took them 9 hrs in what should have been
4hrs). Anyway, Måneskjold played a really intense show. Going wild in the sand
and just having a hell of a good time. They played nearly all of the songs from
their Debut album, which they keep promising to give me a copy but never do. I
don’t expect to get one and will probably have to buy it. I would give them
some press if they did. Anyway, they kicked ass and played two new songs, both
uptempo punky psych stuff.. A bit of a one dynamic kick your ass approach to
psych space rock but it works for them. In the future they will need some more
diverse songs to mix things up.
Polyfeen, a Danish band who I recently saw and reviews from the CPH Psych
Festival, played next on the main stage. This band just gets better each time I
see them. They were around from 1972-1975 and then about 10 years ago Orpheus
Records released their unreleased record on vinyl.Anyway, they are up and playing again and
having a good time. They played good 70s hard rock like Uriah Heep or something
with a lot of organ. Singer still sounds excellent. They have a young drummer
and also play some new tracks. Great show again. People really liked it as
Set List: Leve Livet, Pigen i Skoven, Campingturen, Nattens Nar, Drømmen, Vesterhavet, Kaj, Håvet, Silhouetter
Sued was an improvised quartet based in Germany.
Chris and Steve were here playing last year as a duo but those were Chris’s
songs. This was a lot of cool synths, lap steel, guitar, bass and drums… Really
cool stuff and a lot of variety in what they tried to do. They were having a
great time and really love this festival. I really enjoyed it.
Grusom, a local Fyn band were next on the main stage and the young people
were stoned and drunk by now and ready for some organ driven 70s hard rock with
Grusom. The singer is really charismatic and great, despite not having an
amazing range but he works with what he has and does a great job. Reminds me of
Danzig at times. It was a bit longer set than when I saw them earlier this year
but BMC guys and me were up front for the full show and really enjoyed it. I
hope they learn to relax a bit more and jam out some of their stuff in the
of Murderand Dust was the last band on the small
stage. I had only seen a few songs at the CPH Psych Fest last month and did not
get the full show like today, where the band really played intense, especially
the end. Not sure how to describe this but maybe like a more dark, intense post
rock goth rock??? Hum….They had a core
audience right up in their face that was totally into it. The Grusom singer was
lying down in the sand in front of the stage at the end!! Blow away…
Papir, closed the festival with a killer 75min set. They were great at the
CPH psych fest, where I only saw some of their set but again, the Black Moon
Circle guys and I stood in the middle front and just got mesmerized by they great
drum, bass and guitar playing of this underrated Danish instrumental rock
group. I really love this new song called Acid Rock, which I think was the last one of the set! This was just awesome and a great way to end the festival.
I was back in my tent and some guys played
like 3 songs on the main stage, sort of funky rock…. No idea who that was…. I had
an amazing time today.
Spoke to Jan, the main organizer as I was
leaving today and it seems they will do one more festival next year and then he
will leave the helm and maybe some other people will keep it going or maybe it
will die. We will see. Would be a pity as it is one of the nicest small
festivals in the world with a cool focus on the Danish bands but also a few
is the one man project of Portugese Luis Simones. He records all the
instruments himself and this is a lot of different instruments- drums, bass,
guitars, organ, gong, sitar, etc…. and he sings as well. This is his first new
album in 6 years and it was all recorded in the last 4 years. The lead off
track is…. The Real High (see video
below) is a cool Indian psych raga. A Burnt Offering reminds me a lot of MORE
era Pink Floyd. Mandrake Scream is a more uptempo affair with a really great
multilayered sound and nice organ playing between the sung parts. A bit of
sitar and stuff thrown in as well and around 4mins a guitar solo appears over
the really stoney groove. Amazing track.
Heavenly Bodies is another slow beautiful gliding psychedelic work. Most
Beautiful has some new agey feel with floating organ, wind sweeps and sublime
vocals. Tentacles is another floating psychedelic adventure with a nice laid
back space jazz feel to it with the Rhodes piano and guitar lines but lots of
spacey sounds. Shells is the last track and beautiful mellow piece, again
reminding me of the David Gilmour sung tracks from early Pink Floyd. Another
great record…. Obrigado!
Haze is back with a new live album, a double CD or triple LP documenting the
best of their shows from 2015. This is the first in a series of live albums by
the band. I did not get to see them on
this tour but it was good to hear songs from the last couple of records. Transformation (hear a version from London 2015 below), She Said and To the Highest Gods we know (My fave song from the last album) were great versions. The
rest of the set is exactly the same set of old and tired tracks that bands has
not been able to let go of since 2008 or even earlier… Except for Periscope,
all of the tracks not off the last two records are the same as on the Burg
Herzberg 2008 and played more or less the same. Great sound,
great songs and great vibe.. What can I say…. Colour Haze are a great German
band…. Their fans will dig this but I hope the next live Vol 2 is not the same
songs again…. Perhaps a much older show when they were much more adventurous with
the set lists..