Sunday, September 9, 2012

Ralph ”Rock n' Roll” Rjeily Tribute Concert- Loppen, Christiania Sept 8th, 2012

This was an amazing day and evening! Thanks to Henrik and Lotte for arranging this magical evening. I arrived at the club at about 15:30 to set ui the hard disc recorder to capture the evening. Most of the guys in On Trial, Baby Woodrose, Aron, Sölvi, etc.. were all there. Sebastian, who did the lights for all of these bands for years, was setting up all the gear and screens and cameras. Lotte, Ralph's wonderful wife, was decorating with the help of some family and friends. There were table clothes, balloons, fresh plants, etc.. The mood was great and everyone was talking freely about all the good times with Ralph and the mood was fantastic.
I got to hear all the soundchecks, so heard the sets that Spids Nøgenhat and On Trial would play later in the evening. The sound guys had a big job on this night as 12-14 different acts/bands would play each only about 20 mins. In the end it was only about an hour later than the very ambitious schedule which was great. The doors opened to the public at 19 (normally it is 21) but only very few people came before 20:30 or so. By 21 quite a few people were coming in at a pretty steady rate. There were a lot of musicians of course as this is primarily what Ralph worked with. In the end it was a really diverse crowd of people that probably filled Loppen with 250-300 people. A great crowd.

Alive with Worms (half)
Sölvi Silver
The first act of the night was Henrik Liebgott playing some Spanish guitar. I am not exactly sure what his connection to Ralph was. He played about 15mins and the last song or two was accompanied by a singer. It was not at all what people expected and people did not pay the attention they should have but that is the way it goes. Next up was the people from the Danish act, Alive with Worms. The bass player, played acoustic guitar and was accompanied by the amazing vocals of Jenine Neble on vocals. Wow.. she sings awesome. The last two songs were old Alive with Worms songs. The place was really filling up now and the crowd was into it. The party had started!

Lorenzo Woodrose (Guf)
Sölvi Silver (Mother Superior) came down from Sweden. He is a long term friend of Ralph's from the 90s and he had been a driver for some of the bands that Ralph worked with as well in the old days. He did a solo tribute song called Calling all rock and Roll Soldiers. This was a tribute song specifically written for Ralph with direct references to Ralph and the bands he worked with. Really passionate and they showed a lot of cool pics of Ralph on the screen while he played. This was short and then Lorenzo Woodrose took the stage for two really passionate cover songs. Bloody Hammer by Roky Erikson and Signed DC by Love. Wow.. these were so fantastic and Lorenzo sang with such passion. Fantastic.

Next up was Gas Giant. Ralph was the booker and producer of the bands two full length records. The band disbanded in 2006 so it had been some years since anyone heard Gas Giant songs played live. The band sounded great and Jesper was amazing with such a powerful voice still. They opened up with Mama Cool (it was on a split 7” with Colour Haze) and written about a woman in Germany who we all hung out with when Ralph, Gas Giant (I was playing in the band at this time) and Colour Haze were on tour in 2002. Powerful stuff. Next was the track, Storm of my Enemies, my favourite song from their debut CD. They tried to not jam it out too long but Stefan played some really great passionate guitar. The set ended with their, semi-hit, Too Stoned and the crowd loved it. Great but too short set.. Hope they will find the passion to play some more again in the future.
 Tommy, the drummer in Gas Giant, he also plays in the next band, which Ralph worked with a lot in the mid-90s. called Mother of Mary. They play a sort of grunge-hard funk sound. The singer he was a funny guy and said some really nice things about Ralph, as did everyone who was playing. They played 4 songs from their old records, which people dug. They were a bit loose but really having fun as well. Some people really knew their songs well.

Next was the only band on the bill (besides Henrk Liebgott), who I did not know what the relation to Ralph was. Supercharger were some really heavily tattooed Danish buys playing melodic power rock, something like the Swedish band Mustasch. Their opening song really kicked some ass but then it was a bit too normal somehow but really powerful high energy rock music and just what people were in the mood for as well. On Trial bass player, Nik's band Black Pussy hit the stage next and this is a down and dirty nasty form of punky rock and roll with a lot of attitude and fun stuff. No idea what songs they played but I really liked it a lot and was up in the front for half the set.

Black Seagull
Black Seagull is the new band from Bo and Bjarni (the singer and guitarist from On Trial, they play some dates in Germany, including Berlin in November). I had never heard them but they only performed two songs and both were great. Bo gave a nice introduction as well we before playing Heart of Gold by Neil Young. Bo used to sing in a Neil Young cover band a long time ago. Next they played, Lazing in a sunny Afternoon by the Kinks. People were singing along and really enjoyed this as well.

Aron Düül Maiden
Aron Düül Maiden was totally amazing and blew me away. Wow… No keyboards in this line up of Aron but great songs and playing. The lights by Sebastian were simply mind blowing and he really got better and better as the evening went along and you really wish that all bands could have such cool visuals to spice up the show. Anyway, På jorden (on the earth) started things off and was very passionate. Morten also played great guitar. The next song was Drop your Bombs, an Anders song but the last song was a real surprise when they played Drug Freedom from the Ghost Rocket 7” (2005). That was cool….

Since most of the band is the same, the band with the biggest draw, Spids Nøgenhat played next. The place was really packed in with people and man did this band sound great. This is for sure the best band in Denmark that is singing all in Danish. These are really passionate songs and the band just has this magical psychedelic flow with the guitars of Morten Aron and Hobbiten. Wow.. IT was far too short but the longest set of the night at like 25mins. Killer…
Spids Nøgenhat
Telstar Sounddrone is a new band for me but I know these are the guys who back up Baby Woodrose now, so I was familiar with their name. They played 3 songs in about 22mins and were really cool. Hobbiten and Christian (Bite the Bullet, Highway Child) play in this band as well. It was really spacey music but with melodic vocals and reminded me a bit of Spiritualized, the best aspects. Really nice people as well.

Highway Child
We were only about 20mins behind schedule and nearing the end now with only Highway Child and On Trial, two bands who both played their last shows last year and no one expected to see again live, so this was really special. Highway Child, Singer Patrik really had a new look with this cool 60's rock hair style and it was great to see them on the stage again and they could put the personal issues aside and just rock and roll. They went for long jamming versions of their really old songs. They started off with Change Yourself and then into a massive 10min or more jammed out version of Just like You. Paw was just ripping it up and pushing the limits on the guitar. Wow… The band really has a magic and intensity. Love for sale was also pretty jammed out and I thought they would stop since they had already played 25mins but no, they had to play Highway Child and this is one that gets the people singing as well. They had a great time and really kicked some ass.

On Trial
Now, it was 2:40 in the morning and we are only 1hr 10mins behind the original schedule but still probably 60% of the people are left. On Trial is the band that Ralph had the most to do with over the years, doing the sound for nearly all their live gigs since the mid-90s, tour managing, working in the studio, record contracts, etc… he was part of their family. The band disbanded last year but it was great for them to come and play a few songs tonight to end this amazing evening. Lorenzo even played the drums (that did not even happen at their last show in June 2011) on Flashinghast. Anders (used to play guitar in On trial and bass in Baby Woodrose and produced some of the On Trial records) played guitar as well. The LOVE song, House is not a Motel was played. The band was pretty tired and well lubricated with beer by now so they were pretty loose but very psychedelic still. A newer On trial song called the Breaking of Lines was played in a very spacey version. I thought they were done for sure but they ended with a Roky song, I have always been here before. It was an amazing day and night. It was 3:40 by the time I road by Christiania bike back home with the hard disc recorder (thanks to Sven for carrying it for me and saving my bad back…)… A once in a lifetime event. Great memories… Peace and love to Ralph's family….

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