Wednesday, May 9, 2012

HEAVY DAYS IN DOOMTOWN- DIY Festival, Copenhagen May 3-6th, 2012

Entrance to the Ungdomshuset (me and Silvana)

The creative people at Ugndomshuset have been putting on some really cool festival events over the past few years focusing on Death metal and punk rock but this was musically something a bit new, even though these style of bands have been booked and played at Ungdomshust for years. It was a 4 day event spread over 4 different venues in town (Stengade 30, Ungdomshuset, Månefisker, and Loppen). It also included cool art displays by the 13th Sign Collective (Berlin), Glyn Scrawled (Northern Ireland), Jane Lives (Ireland), Cuero de Cuerno (US/Spain) and David D’Andrea (USA). The t-shirts and posters have a really cool design and all artists got free shirts and posters, which is really cool. I think the booklet was also really informative and I wish Roadburn would go back to a booklet more like this with a short description of the bands and useful information. The festival sold out and this was great for the event. There are quite a few non-Danes, mainly from Sweden and Germany. First off, I have to give a huge congrats to the daring organizers of this event, who really pulled off a killer weekend, with people traveling from Sweden, Finland, Norway, Holland, Germany and probably a few other countries as well. It was all very professional, inexpensive by Danish standards, all ran on time, sound people did a great job providing loud but excellent sound, and the artwork was so cool. Great work people. 

Day 1 (Stengade 30)
Cauchenor bass player

21:00 Silvana and I left on the metro train. We will arrive to late to see the Swedish band Suma, but I have seen them before. Heavy stuff… 

21:45 We met my friends Magnus, Lasse, Tom and others out front. Had a chat with the guys in the Wounded Kings, who recognized me from Roadburn. Far out…. It was pretty crowded but not too bad. 

23:00 Just saw the French Canadian band, Cauchenor, a four piece NWOBHM inspired band with a female vocalist. They had a really good energy and the bass player and singer were really into it. I did not think she was a particularly interesting singer in anyway but a super cool person as I spoke to her a few times during the evening. The guitar player was very average and did not even play any guitar solos except in one song and the cover song. People enjoyed them and the energy they had. 

Set List: Les Aíles de La Mort, Magie Rouge, D’encre et de sang, Tête de Mort, Le gardien de la Terre, Rites Lunaires, Valse Funébre, Sous le Chêne, L’appel, Le voice D’Isis

Burning Saviours
01:30 The Swedish Pentagram inspired, Burning Saviours were next and played a solid show but I missed some of the diversity on the one LP (Nymphs and Weavers) and 7” that I had heard. In fact, they did not play any of these songs at all. I have never heard the ones they were selling at the show. Anyway, I got into them and quite enjoyed it but a bit too many of the songs were quite a like at times. It was fun to see this band who rarely plays live and this was the first time in Denmark, I think. The song they sung in Swedish was one of the best of the set. 

Set List: The Offering, Out of Sight, Spirit of the Woods, Doomus Maximus, Mitttro, Dark Lady, The Nightmare, Into the Abyss, Midnight, Förbannelsen, Lilly Marion

Moonless singer
02:15 Moonless crushed the place. They cranked the volume up and really let it loose. Singer, was amazing and they really played well and the crowd really dug it. The singer in Cauchemar was blown away by them. Silvana also liked them very much. Due to things running a bit late they played only about 40mins. Great stuff but again, a few of their songs sound nearly exactly the same, the guitar riffs… I wish they would just jam things out a bit as they are such a great band but they play it exactly like the record.. One of Denmark’s coolest bands playing this genre of music. Great way to end day 1…

Day 2

Sinister Creation
17:40 Silvana and I leave for the show on the metro and bus. Looks like it will rain..
19:30 Sinister Creation really played a good set with several new songs I had not heard. The first one was a bit like electric Wizard (180 Skulls) and I really liked it. This is a band that just gets better every time. I really liked the opening set. Martin is a really great front man and band is really coming together in a great way. They had a really good reception and for sure played for some new faces. 

Set List: 180 Skulls, Hyborea, Coven of 42nd Street, Red Night, Bibo Lucifero, Head of a Snake, Traitor of your ?, Robeburns

20.30 Pilgrim from the USA are on the big stage. They mostly play slow, heavy stuff with no guitar solos, inspired by St. Vitus a lot. They did a few more uptempo tracks at the end of the set. A decent crowd. A lot of band members everywhere, which is cool. Spent some time talking with Christian from Lord Vicar. Super nice and down to earth guy. 

21:00 Devil, from Norway, are very formulated, NWOBHW style hard rock. All the songs are 3-4 mins, minimal guitar solo, melodic. The crowd seem to give them a decent response but I was bored after 20mins. 

22:45 BRUTUS, also from Norway, delivered a killer 60min set of boogie, heavy 70s rock and roll and were really great. They played 4 new songs and they even dedicated one to me! The front singer is just so funny and he must have drank 6 beers during their set. He really spices things up for sure. The best band of the day so far. 

Jex Thoth was already playing when Brutus finished and the main hall was totally packed and she captivated the audience with her magical performance. She is really into it with 100% of her heart and soul and sings really fantastic. The audience really loved it as well. The band plays a dual guitar lead melodic but often quite heavy rock music. 
Jex Thoth

Profetus, from Finland, were in the small hall playing funeral doom stuff with two guitars, keyboard and drums. I watched 3 long songs and it was not like anything I would normally listen to at all. Very slow, patient stuff with a growl like vocal but not too much. It was a small dedicated crowd.

The Wounded Kings from England also filled up the big hall at the start and played a much better concert than I expected. Their records are ok but they sound too much the same all the songs. It was a bit different live, as the lead guitar player played some solos, never very long, but some solos that spiced things up, as these are also quite rare on the records. They ran all their songs together into one set, never really stopping until the end of their 45-50min set. I really liked the dynamics that their great drummer brought into the music as he really help to build up the endings of the songs. Pretty powerful stuff. Really nice people as well. 
The Wounded Kings

We decided to leave and not see Jes and the Ancient ones at 01:30…. Pretty cool day and the people were all in a great mood, the place was set up really cool. A great festival so far. Saw lots of friends and spoke a lot with the Wounded Kings folk, Brutus, Christian of Lord Vicar, etc.. all were really enjoying the vibe of the place and the festival.

Day 3

We arrived a bit before 17 so we could see Black Oath but they had moved the schedule around since Purson cancelled, so Skogen Brinner (The Burning Forest), a young Swedish band started. They were pretty cool, a bit like November or Svarte Pan, singing all in Swedish and short focused songs. They only played 6 songs, about 28mins and stopped. They said they had no more songs. I bought their 7” record. Apparently, they have also released a cassette tape but they were not selling it. 
Skogen Brinner

Black Oath
17:50 Black Oath, from Italy were still setting up their incense, etc.. in the big hall and the main people had painted faces and a lot of tattoos. The hall was never more than half full as people were much slower to show up this day, after a late party the night before. Black Oath were pretty heavy, they reminded me a lot of Candlemass. The lead guitar player (did very few solos), did most of the lead vocals, but they had another guy who came out and sang one songs and then took over his guitar later, so that the guitar player could just sing. The bass player did the main vocal on one song as well. I heard that on their records they had a lot of keyboards but they had none today here. 

Pyramido from Sweden had the small hall packed but I don’t really like them so I was hanging out with the guys in Brutus and having a good time. I gave them a copy of the show from the last night that I recorded. 

Griftsgård, from Sweden was next in the big hall and people were really into this. The singer stood in front of like a preacher’s pulpit with a cross on it. He was a large singer who also a huge, powerful voice as well. This is really slow, melodic doom stuff and you have to allow yourself to get sucked in. If you don’t you will get bored. They played a very good set but I left after 30mins as I wanted to see Ocean Chief who were overlapping with them. Glad I did.

Ocean Chief, played only 3 long songs and they had a new member who played keyboards, but not very much, which added a very cool element to their more slow, spacey intense DOOM. They were really good and the best band of the day so far. The room was pretty filled up with people. They had played in Copenhagen some years back and were really good. I enjoyed the set a lot, especially the last song… 


Lord Vicar

We did not have much of a break before Solstice started in the big hall. The singer said this was the first time they had played in Denmark in 18 years and there was only like 10 people last time that did not care at all. The audience big today and into it, with people singing the words, etc.. Band seemed in a good mood, even though the rumor has it that the rhythm guitar player had been complaining about everything about the festival. Oh well, they rocked and people liked it a lot. IT was more rocking than anything else today so a good contrast to the slow doom of Ocean Chief. Sound was great as well. A solid set of almost an hour. 

Bottom Feeder was making a lot of noise in the small hall so I hung out side with the Brutus guys waiting for Lord Vicar. This was the most packed the hall had been since Jex Thoth. They were the loudest band I heard at the festival. Wow.. it was loud… The band was totally into it and so was the audience. They played a really good but too short set and I was totally absorbed into their Pentagram vibe that they have. They a really good at writing these type of songs but no one would say they have an original sound, as what they play and how they sound has already been done. I really liked it a lot. One of the best bands of the festival. 

Day 4

14 Showed up out at Christiania with my bike filled with my synths and Lynched, a group of 3 Irish guys, heavily tattooed and one Danish female (fiddle) were soundchecking for their set of tunes. A good and diverse crowd was arranged at the tables. The weather was really nice with mostly sun but the clouds would drift in front of the sun occasionally and then it was quite cold. 

15:45 Lynched played a long set of original and traditional Irish folk songs with pipes, two violin and an acoustic guitar. They also sang some tunes with our instruments. Now the Øresund Doom Collective will set up.

18:00 The Øresund (Doom) Space Collecrtive (my band), we played about 100mins to a really cool crowd. It was heavier than normal set for us and Rune did very well after a nervous first start. A lot of people and I had a lot of fun. Good response and a great way for me to end this great festival. I did not go to Loppen on this night to see the last 4 bands…

May 2-5th, 2013 is the date set for the next Festival… 

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