Friday, October 17, 2014

Black Moon Circle- Andromeda (Crispin Glover Records)

This first full length record by the Norwegian band, Black Moon Circle (BMC), and it is a psychedelic rock monster! Full of cool songs and moods, massive riffs, spaced out sounds and a killer drummer and bass player that just groove, while guitarist Vemund, plays whatever the hell he feels like and rocks like a MF…  Machine on the Hill is a 9½ monster track that starts slowly with just some loud drums (sounds really awesome like he is playing in the living room if you have it cranked loud!) and spacey guitar parts as it slowly builds up. The bridge has a super catchy chorus. The band hits overdrive and this track has a great jammed out ending.  Jack’s Cold Sweat has a heavier riff and more intense singing from Øyvin as the band reaches just the peak, where Vemund can take the guitar to the skies.. The band is complimented by Dr. Space adding some far out space sounds in the background to take you out into orbit! “Step into the afterworld, follow the others into the void, take the step on the golden tongue, follow the dream forevermore….”  Supernova slows things down and starts off with some heavy bass drones with a bit of delay on it as Per slowly brings the drums in. Vemund takes his time to settle into the riff of choice for taking you on the journey. Øyvin sings with a melodic, slowly sung vocal with a dreamy character through most of the drifiting track that lasts about 6 mins and finishes side A.  Dragon starts off with some acoustic guitar and a bit of other guitar before the drums come in around 2½ mins and but you have to be patient for the arrival of the Dragon…..  then you will feel the dragon rising and the track just becomes a monster and again Dr. Space makes another appearance around 5½ mins. Vemund plays some really intense guitar parts as the whole sound becomes a huge psychedelic trip lasting 3 more minutes. Phew…. Andromeda is a 15min track that closes the album and has many moods and starts off a bit like a Gov’t Mule song, with its slow melodic guitar build up before the heavy riff kicks in after the 1st long vocal section. Around 5½mins, the band is ready to jam now and Øyvin steps up the bass intensity and Per as well and then it is Vemund’s turn to deliver space guitar. Around 10mins Vemund has really let loose with some great solos as the whole band just lifts the track to another level around 11½ mins when Vemund kicks in with another space guitar effect and Øyvin starts killing it on the bass.. Wow.. what a fucking jam…  Look out early next year for the Studio Jams Vol 1!

Postcards from the Deep Compliation (Fruits de Mer CRUSTACEAN 58)

This is a pretty unique and ambitious release. 10 one sided flexi-discs, 10 postcards, poster, and CD in a unique clamshell box…… Flexi discs never really had such great fidelity and are not known for being able to be played many times (maybe that’s why you really need the CD this time!). Anyway, it is a cool idea and it will cost you 27£ plus shipping if you want to own one of the 700 that will be produced. It features 10 somewhat obscure and some of the most popular bands from the Fruits de Mer catalog including Astralasia, The luck of Eden, The Thanes, Schizo Fun Addit, Crystal Jacqueline, The Crawlin Hex (a new band from Fred from Earthling Society), The Loons, The Past Tense, The Blue giant Zeta Puppies and Icarus Peel. All the bands perform cover songs of mostly pretty obscure bands from the 60s like the Hippies, Dragonfly, The Sorrows, Laurie Johnson, Count Five, Calico Wall, the Pretty things, Brainticket,  Satori and Donavan. Alot of very cool versions. I was impressed. 

Zoltan- Tombs of the Blind Dead LP (Rise Above Records RISE12/186)

I am not really that into soundtrack albums but this one sounded pretty damn cool and it is! The band is only a three piece with bass, drums, keyboards and samples but they make the most of it. The music is dark, moody, and with great atmospheres. Side A starts with the title track and then Return of the Blind Dead. A very nice rich sound and a great use of bells, strange sounds as the drums and bass keep it doomy. The Ghost Galleon starts side B off and features a lot of Mellotron. When the drums and bass kick in, the keyboards and samples get really spaced out. Quite cool stuff. Night of the Seagulls is the last track and again features mellotron to help create the creepy atmosphere. I guess this album is about 30mins of music max but I enjoyed it a lot. I for sure want to see the movie now!

Haiku No Ku- Ultra High Dimensionality (Box Records 006)

This is a fairly new project featuring Mike from BONG on guitars, Sam Booth- Drums, and Jerome Smith on bass. They started putting stuff up on bandcamp back in 2013 and released their debut on Burning World Records called Sick on my Journey last August. I did not manage to hear that record but the sample I heard of this one made me want to buy it.  The album features 5 tracks over the two sides of brain damaging music. Side A opens with Dead in the Temple and gives you the first sonic glimpse. The sound of the record is such that you feel like these three guys just smoked a big joint or bong, grabbed the instruments and cranked up the volume in a large room with a lot of reverb and just set forth to another universe with the drums and bass keeping a simple stoned groove while Mike just plays totally psychedelic, fuzzy, distorted guitar and multi-layered at one point…. Pretty mindblowing opening track. Strung out beyond the Rim, starts a bit slower but it has a cool guitar riff that is repeated over and over until you are thoroughly hypnotized. Blue at Noon starts the side B and the aural assault of the mind kicks in straight away, with hardly a warning, with air raid siren like guitar, dropping bombs in the mind. It eventually becomes a bit less intense and then Mike does some more double layering of the spaced out heavy fuzz guitar. Void in Aimless Flight and Unbroken Reign of the Violent Yagyu end side B in a stoned haze of fuzz… I do not recommend cranking this one up in the headphones as you will be left with a totally blasted and shattered mind… Phew….. advice from the Doctor.

Coltrane 7” (Fruits de Mer Records CRUSTACEAN 59)

This is a really fantastic split 7” with the band Superfjord and Earthling Society. Superfjord from Finland start things off with a super cool version of A Love Supreme (John Coltrane)!  After a super spacey and far out intro, the band tries to enter into the main theme of the song but the pull of the drugs just keeps the music way to psychedelic until the vocals kick in. Super cool version and unlike any I have ever heard. Earthling Society take on Journey in Satchidananda (Alice Coltrane) is also out there on the other side of the universe trying to find its way back to earth, where the track was originally born….. What would John and Alice of thought?? Amazing! 

Full but different version from the 7"

Brant Bjork and South- Loppen, Christiania 10/15/14

It has been some years since I have seen Brant play. Last time he played at Roadburn, we could not get into the Midi Hall and missed his show… There was a really good crowd for a Weds night. I hung out with the guys from Wonderland and Lone and an old friend, Morten Jensen and his wife also. Some of the Roadburn gang (Nils, Tom, Magnus, Sven) were coming later.

          A new young Danish band called South, opened the show. They are a 5 piece band from Nørrebro in Copenhagen and play a pretty aggressive high energy stoner rock, heavy rock (metal) music. The drummer and bass player had a really great groove and the two guitar players whipped up a furry with some really cool riffs. The female lead singer had a pretty cool voice for their style and good stage presence. The 2nd songs was a slow and doomy one (Nils would have liked it!). The 3rd song also started with a heavy bass line and quite slow and heavy but it really built up in a cool way. Both guitar players play solos but they have quite different styles: one a more traditional heavy metal style lead work , the guy with the SG, a more searching experimenting style, perhaps he is not as confident or competent as a lead guitarist yet. The 2nd to last song was a really fast number and also short. The final number was also a fast rock and roll number and hard to distinguish from the previous. This was only their 2nd show ever, so I thought they did pretty well but some of their songs are too much a like but you can say that about Brant as well! They played 6 songs in about 35mins.

Set List: Black Saw Wing, Knife Twister, Blind Faith, Night, Satan’s Sister, Sleepless
Race with myself

          Brant did not hit the stage until 23, which is too fucking late on a week night. I really wanted to see him though. He started off with too long stoned out jammy versions of some of his older tracks starting off with Low Desert Punk.  He is more or less playing the same set every night on this tour from what I can see on the internet (below is a guess). I was really surprised how hard rocking and cool the new songs were. I think the new record will be really promising. I was really sad that he did not play anything from Gods and Goddesses as this is my favourite BB record….  Anyway, most of the songs were played pretty straight up but a few were stretched out. The new lead guitar player was pretty cool and damn, the drummer, he pounded the drums and was awesome. He had a killer band for sure.. It was a fun show. I think he played about 90mins.
Set List: Low Desert Punk, Lazy Bones/Automatic, Fantastic, Too Many Chiefs...Not Enough Indians, Turn Yourself On, Controllers Destroyed, Let the truth be Known,, Stokely Up Now, I Miss MyChick, We Don't Serve Their Kind, Freaks of Nature, Buddha Time (Everything Fine), Boogie Woogie On Your Brain

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Annot Rhul- Leviathan (Black Widow Records)

IT has been many years since the Norwegian project lead by Sigurd, have made a new record. The last works were released on the Sulatron label back in 2007. Sigurd plays most of the instruments himself but here is the list of the other folks that helped him realize this very cool album: Halvor William Sanden on drums, friends from Seid (Burt Rocket, Jürgen Kosmos and now ex-Seid member Organ Morgan), Lars Fredrik Frøislie (Wobbler), Sven Arne Skarvik and Ingrid Velle (Love Revolt), Allessandro Elide (Manifest/Hoist) and Erlend Naalsund (Asiago). The CD starts off with the long multipart Leviathan Suite and a long spacey intro before the main musical theme kicks in. This is a beautiful floating track with a lot of moods, mellotron and female vocals. The main long mid-section is a great synthesizer solo and then they return to the main vocal theme and melody again. At about 12½ mins it really picks up with a more intense guitar line and a organ solo. Great track. The Colour Out of Space is next and is a more uptempo track but also strong on the melodic progressive spacey vibe as well. This like most of the record is instrumental and primarily features a lot of synthesizer solos and much fewer guitar solos. There is some great synthesizer work on this track. Surya, starts off with a harpsichord and then moves into the direction of soundtrack music for Dario Argento but perhaps a bit more happy but also a bit haunting. Lovely short track. Distant Star is a very spacey track with some nice slide guitar work and some melodies that remind me a lot of SEID. The Mountains of Madness sounds a lot like songs that preceded it and is the first track to features male lead vocals (Burt?). Some of the guitar work is very David Gilmour inspired. The CD/LP ends with another long track called R’Lyeh, which is split into multiple parts. This has some of the most dramatic music on the LP hidden in this piece. If you like really melodic, floating space progressive rock with a lot of synthesizers, you should enjoy this a lot. If you have not figured out this record is very much inspired by the works of HP Lovecraft!

Full Track Listing: LEVIATHAN SUITE- The Traveller, part I, The Sailors, part I, In Limbo at 5000 Fathoms, Maybe they Sailed out too far?, Between Scylla and Charybdis, The Sailors, part II, Interstellar Foe, THE COLOUR OUT OF SPACE, SURYA, DISTANT STAR, THE MOUNTAINS OF MADNESS, R’LYEH- The Elder Ones, 47°9 S 126°43 W, Every Man For Himself, In the Wake of Cthulhu, The Traveller, part II

Leviathan Promo Video Teaser

Friday, October 10, 2014

Space Invaders & Nik Turner playing the Sonic Noise Opera (Nasoni Records 150LP)

Space Invaders is a really cool German Space rock band who do a lot of improvising and jamming live. This is their 2nd release and was recorded at the Psychedelic network Festival in Würzburg in Nov 2013, where Nik Turner played with nearly every band at the festival. Side A of the vinyl starts off with a pretty cool version of Sonic Attack!  Nik also then sings lead on the old ICU track called Space Invaders. Spicy Spider features some nice sax rom Nik as a good bass groove drives the track forward and some of the guitar line remains pretty melodic and the synths pretty spacey. I like the sort of Spanish inspired guitar solo as well as Nik switches to flute. See the video below. Drums ‘n’ Space is a improve where the band search out in space for a cool place to go while Nik plays in his own little universe.. Flip the record over for the 10min track, Stardust. This is simply a very cool piece of space rock with some nice flute by Nik. Mike plays some intense guitar when the track really gets speeding along and some far out space sounds are thrown in as well. Can You? Is a 12min uptempo rocker where Nik grabs his sax for another passionate blow! Again, the band has a great funky space groove going on that just really hooked me. Fucking cool stuff guys… Nik played with a lot of folks at the festival and sometimes it worked and sometime it didn’t but for sure it worked here!


The Welsh psychedelic space rock band, Sendelica has released their first live album and it is fantastic. It was recorded at last year’s successful Crabstock Festival in Wales and released now on the Fruits de Mer offshoot label called Friends of Fish! The set features a range of tracks including some cool borrowed themes from bands like Pink Floyd and Funkadelic with such track as Set the controls for the heart of the Buddha and Return of the Maggot Brain. I have never seen this band and hate to admit, they are one band that has sort of just passed me by as I don’t own a single one of their records but I have heard them streaming while at work. This one I have been spinning a lot on the CD player and it is such a cool record and I hope to catch the band live. Enjoy this track from youtube below from the record..

My Brother the Wind- Live at Roadburn Festival 2013 (Roadburn Records RBR035)

I only caught about half of this really cool concert due to other bands I had not seen before were playing that I really wanted to see. It is great that most of the concert is represented here in 5 pieces of music spread over 3 sides of vinyl.  Sulpur valley Dawn (maybe this inspired the album over??) starts things off and you really feel like you are there in the audience waiting for it to all start as the band slowly get things going and you can hear the audience chatting before Mattias brings in the first guitar lines and the psychedelic trip begins! About 4mins the drums and bass really kick in and off we go with some great psychedelic guitar phrasing and wah guitar that flows so effortlessly over the cool bass lines of Ronny. At 11mins Nicklas puts down his guitar and switches over to the digital mellotron for a nice space change. The end is very intense with Ronny and drummer Daniel, really killing it.. Side 2 starts with Ancient Caravan, an mystical Eastern inspired piece that slowly grows into something else. There is an amazing guitar solo by Mattias at the end of this track when Nicklas reverts back to the mellotron for some haunting voice like sounds. Very cool.. The Mountain Trail features some really nice slide guitar continues a bit the mood of the haunting Eastern feel but a bit more spacey. It brings back great memories. The opening track on Side 3, further up the Mountain Trail features some truly amazing melodic guitar playing from Mathias. What a wonderful track. Into the Cosmic Halo closes out the record in a hard rocking manner. Excellent album. The bands new studio album is coming out on Oct 14th as well. I will try to review that as well.

HYPNOS- HYPNOS CD (Crusher Records CRCD026)

Hypnos is a young new five piece Swedish band playing NWOBHM style music mixed with that 70s influence that bands like Witchcraft and Graveyard took to heart. The bio says it is boogie rock but it is a bit more heavy metal that 70s hard rock that so many Swedish band excel at. Lots of songs about good and evil and a great rocking album. The CD has 8 tracks and starts off with the fast paced Hands of Evil. This melodic rocker also reminds me of Horizont as well, both with the style of singing and harmony guitars. Some great parts that also will remind you of Thin Lizzy, perhaps and cool changes in this track. A good opener Hypnos is a more laid back track in the bluesy way the guitar lines start things off and then it kicks in with full force and some powerful vocals and a great guitar solo section. Nightmares slows things down a lot to start with a Graveyard like vocal style but then the track really picks up. This band has a lot more lead guitar than Graveyard or Witchcraft, which is really nice. Fantastic song. Moving too Fast does indeed speed things up to a quick boogie rock track and also highlighting the excellent singing of Philip. The Mountain is a another fast one with a lot of harmony guitar parts over the nearly 6min track. Invaders really took me back to the early 80s NWOBHM bands that were more 70s hard rock inspired… Some great guitar solos in this track and a great sense of vocals phrasing and delivery. Abracassus again has this dual guitar phrasing in a track that really bounces along with a nice groove and some intense singing ala Ian Gillan! How to handle Madness closes this record and is a very fast song and one I can see the audience really digging live. A great debut… Good work guys..

Electric Moon- Lunatics & Lunatics Revenge (Sulatron st1406-02)

Electric Moon’s first two records that were originally released on the Nasoni Records label are now being re-released. These have long been sought after and out of print. This is a new edition in 500 copies in a double gatefold. It is also released as a 2CD set as well with both complete albums. It features new artwork, with the original artwork is featured on the inside of the gatefold.  I have both the original records but this is nice for the fans who want to hear where this band started off at. While the band have not deviated so far from their roots over like 20 records now, this stuff was a more composed and Dave was playing organ and both he and Lulu were also experimenting with some voices, where as the current line up goes for all improvised and heavy psych sounds to blow your brains apart……. One of Germany’s coolest heavy psych acts.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Uli Jon Roth and Crystal Breed- Amager Bio, Copenhagen Oct 2nd, 2014

Uli Jon Roth is one of my all-time favourite guitar players. He started out in the Scorpions in the early 70s and then left and had a cool band called Electric Sun in the 80s and then for the last many years has toured under his own name playing mostly his own music mixed with Jimi Hendrix songs.  This was the 40th anniversary of his debut with the Scorpions so he was doing primarily a set of old Scorpions songs and mixing the sets up every night and not just doing the same Scorpions songs every night (at least that is what I read in an interview).

          Sue and I walked down to the club about 19:30 and were lucky enough to run into a guy selling two tickets for half price so that was a great start. We later met up with Nils, Sven, Magnus and Finn, which was really nice. It was a mostly older crowd. At 20:15, the opening band, which made up most of Uli’s backing band as well played first. They played about a 45min set of very complicated progressive rock with a pretty hard edge at times but also the sort of high pitched vocal styling’s of the neo-prong bands from the UK in the 80s. Amazing musicians. I was really blown away by the keyboard player and the guitarist who sang most of the lead vocals, was also great but did not show is true form until much later in their set. I filmed one track which was something totally new that they had not recorded yet.  They were not bad..

We went outside for some air on this very warm evening for October while they changed some things on the stage. The band hit the stage at 21:30 and would play for about 2hrs. It was a totally different band compared to when he last played here. They opened with All Night Long, the opening track from Tokyo Tapes. The concert was mix of the more popular Scorpions songs like Pictured Life, We burn the Sky, Dark Lady (last song before the encore), In Trance and more obscure songs like I’ve got to be Free (which was quite jammed out and all members has short solos), The Sails of Charon, where Uli did an amazing solo. Others they played were Catch your train, Longing for Fire, Fly to the Rainbow and Drifting Sun. The encore started off with Polar Nights and then he invited a 12 year old Swedish girl out who he said, her band had covered one of his songs and they played Hellcat with her on drums. She rocked and was great! See the video by Mathias.  Wow.. Next we got some Hendrix tracks and the show ended with a cool version of All along the Watchtower.

The Sails of Charon live in Copenhagen...

          He had a great band but I am puzzled by why they play the songs so fast. It is like a speed metal version of the Scorpions and there are three amazing guitar players who each on their own were really keeping up with Uli and totally ripping it up at times with triple harmony guitars. The keyboard guy was totally pointless to have except that he did a lot of the singing with the guitar player from Crystal Breed who, did the lead vocals. You could not hear the keyboards at all where we stood in front on Uli half way back and the Scorpions never had keyboards!   Anyway, I wish they would slow the songs down to the old speed but I think it has to do with Uli can play his old solos twice as fast today as he did back in the old days and it fits better if the songs are also faster but they just don’t sound right to me, who has heard the old Scorpions records 100s of times…  Anyway, always a pleasure to see Uli play that guitar and hear these classic songs.. Great night…

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Spids Nøgenhat- Den Grå Hall, Christiania Sept 20th, 2014

This was a very cool event at the large “gray” hall in Christiania. Magnus came over to my place for some food and a couple of beers before we rode our bikes out to Christiania. I learned a new way to go, which is much easier than the way I normally go. We arrived about 19:15 and a circle of our friends (Nils, Karen, Tom, Cven, Rhona, Anders and some others) were having some beers, joints, mushrooms and just smiling and in a good mood. I joined them for a bit but then wanted to go in and see what it was all about inside and see the documentary movie about the making of the first Spids Nøgenhat album back in 2000.

Flowershowers- The light wizard….
Flowershowers had done amazing job and there was projections of mushrooms and whatever images he wanted to project on all the walls in the hall. It looked totally amazing. I think I counted 12 projectors that he controlled via one huge station at the front.

Anyway, the movie started at 20 and I stood and watched it with Nick Hasselby, who is featured prominently in the movie, since it was his studio where On Trial and Spids Nøgenhat used to rehearse and record some, that the movie takes place. It was also the Orpheus records headquarters for some years. I had been to the Mad Scientists Studio a few times. I also have known all the guys in this band for many years and travelled with them to Hannover for the only Spids Nøgenhat outside of Denmark in Hannover.  Anyway, the movie is nearly all in Danish except a small part where they travel to GZ digital media in the Czech Republic and tour the record pressing plant and actually film the master being cut. The movie is really cool and lasts about 40mins. There is not a lot of the band playing but a few cuts from the studio, a fun interview where Guf, Morten, Hobbitten and Nick are all stoned and talking about the record and stuff. Perfect intro to this event.
          The band hit the stage about 21:15 and the place was pretty packed now. It was sold out with about 1000 tickets sold. The band opened with Mere Lys from the new record. The sound was actually really good considering this less than ideal barn with a concrete floor, which always presents a challenge for sound people. The visuals, were just mindblowing! Powerful, dynamic, psychedelic and trippy… Some of the coolest I have ever seen and stitched together in such a cool way and the same images was on the front of the screen, on the sides of the hall and also the back of the hall. Incredible.. The band quickly zipped through a lot of songs playing them all pretty straight with little improvisaton or jamming, which used to be a much bigger part of the concerts, when they had fewer songs to play. They mixed in the old tracks like Gi Slip, Psykedelisc tapet, with all the new ones as well as covers from Furekåben, and the political Røde Mor (Lille Johnny). When the band played En I Græsset, I was reminded of my friend Ralph Rjeily a lot, who used to manage the band and do sound. He was a good friend and we all miss him a lot. He would have been really proud and also amazed to see the Den Grå hall sold out and hundreds of people singing along to Vand, Brød og Te, and other tracks. Ralph would have smiled as I did…

The band left the stage for about 5 mins after a long spaced out version of Hvad har Du?, where Lorenzo had the whole place singing, Spids Nøgenhat! Part of the jam was totally out into 1971 Hawkwind area when the jam was really intense. Hobitten was on the floor making space sounds, the wall of blanga was powerful and very psychedelic. Guf was freaking out on the organ as well.. This was at least 15-20 minutes long. The band wanted to keep the jam going but Lorenzo was soaking wet from head to toe and dripping and needed a break. Wow.. very cool stuff.

The encore tracks, of which there were 5, I think were more straight up and not jammed out and started with a cool version of Kommer med Fred, with Anders the drummer standing up waving the peace signs and some of the audience followed…. He eventually played the drums though and they extended this out some compared to the LP version.  Lorenzo would switch from 12 string acoustic guitar to the farfisa organ on nearly every other song and he was clearly having a great time as everyone in the band seem to be. The concert ended the mellow Ud på Landet. The ending, which was really intense at Roskilde Festival a few years ago where the entire audience at 4 in the morning jst kept singing the ending chorus over and over for like 5 mins after the band stopped playing, did not happen here tonight.. The band gave it their all and played the entire new record and most of the old songs and a few covers. I think the show was about 2hrs and 10mins. I did not shoot any video as I was not in a very good place with too many tall people but I am sure there will be some on you tube. 

We are really lucky in Denmark to have such an amazing and creative psychedelic band that sings in the native language. It is quite special lyrics and very meaningful a powerful songs if you understand it. Amazing band….
Set List: Mere Lys, Hobittens Flyvetur, Gi’ Slip, Lever Vi Nu, Det Psykedelikse Tapet, Den Gennemsigte Mand, Lillie Johnny, Spids Nøgenhat i Græset, Jørden Kælder, Lolland-Falster, Vand, Brød og Te, Hva har du taget?,  Kommer med Fred, Langebro, Når Spindelvævene Blomsterv, Udkoks, Ud på Landet 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Reverence Festival, Valada, Portugal Sept 11-13th, 2014

This was the first time this festival was held and the organizers went for an amazing world class line up of psych bands, flying them in from UK, USA, Germany, Sweden, etc.. to play. It was a good showcase of young Portuguese bands as well. The audience was mostly PT music fans but I met people who flew in from the UK, Ireland, Scotland, Holland, Germany, Finland and a few other places as well. The weather was the best I have ever experienced at a music festival. A mix of sun and clouds all day and clear and warm at night. You could go in shorts, sandals, and a t-shirt 24hrs! Unbelievable.

          Valada is a very small town about 45mins away from Lisbon on a beautiful river setting. The festival site was amazing with three stages and the camping out in a small area full of trees. It was very easy to get around to all the stages, food and beer places nicely placed, decent bathroom facilities, etc.. This was all great and no complaints. Very cool decoration as well with the snake theme and these orange stretched fly overs between the trees. The mood was fantastic and I guess there was about 1000-1500 people. There was actually 3500 on friday and 4500 on saturday but it did not at all feel like that many people.  Small beers were 1€, large 2€. Food and drinks were very cheap. The festival t-shirt was 10€. The band merch was normal Europe prices of 15-20€ for shirts, cds, lps, etc.. so I guess they did not sell much except to the foreigners.   The security people were really cool and laid back and when they checked my bag one time and I was telling them I only had my diary, glasses, camera, phone, etc.. He said and a big bag of marijuana! They did not care. People were freely smoking everywhere, which was nice to see, such a relaxed environment and attitude. In fact, I never saw a single person totally out of it the festival. Ok, so about the bands…

We arrived on the Thursday around 16, after a very nice grilled salmon lunch at the hotel. It was pretty easy to find the festival site and find a place to park.  This was a  sort of pre-festival and they had a stage set right on the water in a location near the church in town. It was basically free for everyone since it was on a normal street but you could get your wristband near the festival site so you could just to straight in the next day. The first band was supposed to start at 17 but they did not start until a bit after 18:45, so they were already nearly 2hrs behind to start. The first band was a PT band called Unrecognized. They were a trio with a powerful female singer, drums and guitar. The drums were very loud in the mix and terrible sounding (but it would get better). They played a sort of bluesy hard rock and would have been much better if they had a bass player. The guitar player played some cool riffs but it was all a bit too much the same in the end and no guitar solo or anything interesting to make their music stand out. They played like 25mins. There was around 100 people watching.

DW VOID was next and they were no psychedelic either, a pretty standard rock band with bass, drums, guitar and organ. The bass player doing the vocals. Sue and I hung out a lot this evening with the old bass player from Toner Low and his wife. Very cool people. They were ok but did not do much for us.

It was still nearly 1½hrs later when Torpe hit the stage. They were a five piece band with two guitars, keys, bass and drums. They had a great bass player and drummer and played instrumental music but neither guitar player played any solos or anything particularly interesting which was a pity as if they had a great guitar player it would be a pretty cool band.

Squq was next and now quite a lot of people, maybe 200 were gathering around on the hill and near the stage. This band had a great energy and a cool 4 piece horn section. The singer was a bit like Eddie Vedder, good presence and some excellent songs. We really got into this band and they also had a very good time. I would like to hear more of these guys. Hung out with a really cool Spanish guy who was a big Øresund Space Collective fan. We would see him a lot and hang out over the next days.

Aqua nebula Oscillator were on and I had missed them or only seen a few minutes at Roadburn when they played so it was cool get to see them play at least a 45mins set. We had talked with the singer/guitar player earlier and he was very nice. He liked their show in Copenhagen a week or so ago even though few people were there. Anyway, they play really cool Occult psyche rock with strange themes, samples and cool spaced out synths and amazing guitar solos. He is a far out player but really cool. They get all painted up and have a cool stage presence this three piece of guitar, drums and synths. Fun stuff. It was nearly 1 in the morning now and I had to drive 20mins back to the hotel so we missed Mars Red Sky, which is a pity as I have all their records but still have not seem them live. I heard they were really good.

Day 2

Feeling of Love
This day started at 12 with Cave Story and ended at 6:00 with the Cosmic Dead! Each band only gets 30mins and like 25 bands will play today. A bit crazy I think but let’s see how it goes. We arrived in time to catch some of The Feeling of Love so we only missed 3 bands (Black Leather, Putas Dedadas, The Jabberwocky Band). Feeling of love played some cool 60s inspired psych with organ and a really good singer. Killimanjaro (PT) was a high engery R&R band with a cool black bass player. They had the crowd going a bit but still not that many people watching the bands yet (maybe 200?). 

Francois Sky and Guests
Francois Sky (DE) and Guests, was an interesting mixture of people from different countries and bands joining Francious, who played guitar and activated the drum machine and sampler for the other two guitar players and bass player to play along to. The first track was really cool and then the next one did not really go anywhere and he aborted it as the band was not really doing what he wanted them to. They played two more songs and one was cool and the other was not so… It was clearly not very well rehearsed or planned.

Asteroid 4
          Originally you should have been able to see on band on the Rio stage and then go down to the Sabatoge stage and see the next but both scenes were off schedule so it was a bit of a mess and you either watched one full concert and then caught a few mins of the next and vice versa so you only caught pieces of these 30min sets.. Real bummer they could not keep the schedule.

Born a Lion
Born a Lion was a kick ass PT band with the drummer singing. They were very stoner rock like but the guitar player was only riffing and played very few if any guitar solos. Seems the art of the real rock guitar solo is dying out. Asteriod 4 was a band I wanted to see but due to the schedule, we only caught like one song (really cool HW inspired stuff) as I was hanging out with my friends in Graveyard and watching the only other Swedish band at the festival, Bombus. They were the only metal band that played at the festival and they were cool two guys doing the lead vocals, dual guitars but only riffs, no solos, and high intensity. The soundman was terrible and I would say this was the only band for the whole festival that did not have quite excellent sound. Way too much bass and you could not hear the guitars clearly.
Wooden Hand

Sleepy Sun
Wooden Hand, is an American singer songwriter guy who just sings cool stuff and plays electric guitar with some reverb on it. It was chilled and people seem to like it quite a bit including us. Sunflare were a very intense PT instrumental trio that liked to freak out! Guitar player was quite mad and cool. A bit like a noisy version of their country mates, Black Bombaim. Sleepy Sun from San Francisco were excellent and we caught most of their set as Sunflare only played like 20mins. The singer in Sleepy Sun was cool and it was a great band with cool songs and some excellent guitar work from the guy on the left. So far, this was the best band of the day and also the most people we had seen. Seems there was maybe 300 people and about 500-1000 on the festival site. Cave were a five piece instrumental PT band that played really hypnotic music. Some was a bit boring but then some of it was really great. They reminded me a bit of 7 that Spells but without the really great guitar playing.

The Wytches
          We were really in need of food now so we headed over to the only restaurant in Valada, called the Eel house, where the main dish was some sort of pork, everyday. We could hear Woods play as it was not far from the Sabatoge stage and they sounded really excellent. I wish we could have seen that concert. We saw one song of Ringo Deathstar on the Rio stage, who were a trio with a female bass player. Rock and Roll! This was the end of the bands on the small stages and now they opened up the big main stage area for the first time and 5 bands will play from 20 to 02 in the morning and then the small stages start up again until 6 in the morning. The Wytches (UK) was a totally new band for Sue and I and we thought they were pretty cool. They reminded me a lot of Nirvana but with a totally different guitar sound, more 60s with lots of reverb and effects but the same attitude and energy. Cool stuff.. 

Sweredriver, were an old UK band from the 80s, I think. Sue and I did not like these guys at all. It was a very dated Indie psych that I was never much of a fan of. Crowd seem to like them ok but they did not get as good a response as The Wytches. We walked around and checked the artists, people selling clothes, the painting wall, merch stand, etc.. bought a t-shirt. 

Red Fang, had played at Roadburn but I did not see them so this was the first time for me. There was about 1000 people now and they crowd was really into it and crowdsurfing, etc.. I quite liked the attitude and high energy. These guys were really into it, powerful and very professional with some tight arrangements. A really Rollins band, like hardcore energy.. Hardcore and metal mixed but almost no guitar solos despite two guitars.

Graveyard were next and again the crowd a big and the sound good. The guys were in a great mood when I spoke with them earlier and this was their last show for half a year as they start to make the demos for recording the next record in 3 weeks. They opened with Blue Soul and it sounded great. They would also play 2-3 more from the first record. The songs from Lights Out really don’t stand up that well live to the early songs and they hardly have any guitar solo parts. Man, the singer is still just sounding totally amazing and the band have such and great vibe and sound. I really hope they go for more longer tracks, with cooler guitar parts on the next record. Still a great band. Love em!

Electric Wizard had the largest crowd of the entire festival for sure. I guess 12-1500 people. I had hoped they would play some new material but it was more of less the same stuff I have seen them play the last few years, with Supercoven, Black Mass, Dopethrone, etc… What a killer and powerful sound. They did not seem as spaced out and jamming as the last gig at Roadburn but Sue and I liked them a lot and so did the crowd. 

I spoke a bit to Dave and Ego from White Hills but Sue and I were pretty blasted after 12 hours of running around that we did not stay to see them play starting at 2:20.. All the best bands for the day were late tonight with White Hills, Naam, Black Bombaim, Cosmic Dead, The Telescopes, Rising Sun experience (I just reviewed their CD and really wanted to see them) and Miss Lava… Damn… Wonder how many people saw all these bands til 6 in the morning? Next time we will rent a camper so we can stay locally and not have to stay sober to drive the 20mins back to the hotel every night.

Day 3

We arrived a bit later today but seems they were running behind schedule on both stages so the first band we caught was Dreamweapon. This was a three guitar line up and included the same bass player as in Francois Sky’s band. They played very hypnotic stuff with some effects on the vocals that made it pretty psychedelic at times. François came out and played on their last number. Next up was a UK band called Air Formation. They were an hour behind schedule now. Air Formation were too boring. I have never been a big fan of this melodic dreamy psych stuff even though they can sometimes have some really cool guitar. We saw only two songs and then left to go see Exit Calm. This was also some sort of indie rock that sounded like Slow Dive (that is what my Finnish friend, Arto said!). We saw a few songs and then back to the Rio stage to catch the band Mugstar, whom I had never seen before. There was not a pretty decent crowd of 2-300 people. This was really hypnotic stuff with a very simple bass line, in fact he played almost the same note the entire 30mins but the keyboard player who also did the vocals, was freaking crazy and made far out sounds, strange vocals, and even played melodica! I would like to see them do a longer set. Fun stuff.

Luckily, we only missed the very beginning of the the PT band, The Quartert of Noah! This was probably the best PT band we saw at the festival. A very intense distorted sound and infact their sound guy screwed up the PA as there was some noise from some bands all the time after this! Anyway, intense guitar, bass, drums and orgain-keyboard player. The guitar and organ player shared the vocals and both just really had a lot of energy. I am not sure how to describe them really. Freak rock! The guitar player said he would send me their CD to review. This was also the biggest crowd we saw at the Sabotage stage the entire festival, so they must be getting popular.

Asimov was a stoner rock duo of just guitar and drums. They really gave it all but it is so limited what you can do with no bass player and the guitar player never did any solos so it was a bit tiring and the riffs were not that cool and unique to really hold my attention. We saw the first 3 songs of the PT band, Murdering Tripping Blues. They had a really cool name but sadly the music did not really hold up for me. It was a trio of guitar, keyboards and drums. The guitar had a nasty distorted sound but it was not really very bluesy or trippy at all. Distortion rock. They could have done so much more. Bardo Pond, wow.. last time I saw these guys was at an apartment party event in Boston called Deep Heaven in 1997 and the police closed it down after the band played 8 mins….  It was really cool to see the band again and they are nearly as stoned as they used to be but the music is a bit more pretty and melodic and not quite as dangerous as it used to be. I spoke to them and they were really cool people. I enjoyed their short set a lot.

We took at break to get some food so we did not see Bruto and the Cannibals and only just saw the last like 1 min of Christian Bland and the Revalators. Spin Drift from Los Angeles were a strange band. We only saw the last 15mins when they played Ghost Riders in the Sky, an old Country western standard but in a quite psychedelic version. The lights were really amazing for these guys. The rest of the set was hard to describe. Very interesting band. I will have to check them out some more.

Now the main stage area was open and it was time for the band, A place to Bury Strangers. This was another young band that I had never heard of before. The crowd was pretty big for this young trio playing loud, angry, psychedelic noise rock with some melodic edges at time. The guitarist did not do proper solos but made a lot of crazy sounds and noise with his guitar. They played about 30mins and then it took at least 30mins to set up Psychic TV, so they were now behind and soon would be way behind after it took like 45mins to set up Hawkwind.
Psychic TV started with a strange version of Astronomy Domine by Pink Floyd but it was pretty cool. They played another short, happy pop song that sounded like something from the late 80s. They have such a great guitar player. The best of the entire festival. The last song of their set was a killer song and also had great guitar solos and an awesome riff. They only played 4 songs for about 45mins or so and had amazing visual projections just like at Roadburn Festival. Cool band these days.

Hawkwind was supposed to start at 22 and did not start until like 22:45. They played an excellent 75mins set with quite a lot of different tracks than when we saw them less than a year ago. The sound and the projections were simply stunning. Dave’s guitar was the lowest instrument in the band, which is always a pity as he still plays fantastic guitar. Tim only had a computer for samples and a thermin, no keytar or synths. The band was in top form but I wish Dave would sing more and when he did, I wish the sound man would not let Dibs drown him out. Anyway, cool to hear a new version of Utopia, Uncle Sams on Mars, Orgonne Accumulator, a killer version of Sonic Attack, Assault and Battery and new working of the Golden Void (not nearly as cool as the old with the wonderful Brock guitar solo), and they ended with Hassan I Sabha, which they had to cut short due to time. This was our favourite band of the festival.

What a super cool festival but also pretty draining and difficult and I wonder can the young stoned people remember all these bands that they only saw play for a few minutes?? It was a lot to take in and I was writing down notes. I have my doubts they can pull this off again and if they do it again they should the same quality of bands but half the number so they can play longer. Congrats to Nick and the organizers. It might not have been a financial success but musically for the fans and the bands, it was amazing.