DIRKSCHNEIDER / MARKY RAMONES BLITZKRIEG / KILL THE KONG / IMPERIAL STATE ELECTRIC / UGLY KID JOE / THE DAHMERS / ARTMADE / MIDDLEMANTRA / DADDY'S DRINKIN' / DECEPTIC / HAJATT
Date: 04th August, 2017
Venue: Knislinge Folkets Park
Promoter: Helgeå Festivalen
Photos: Erika Wallberg
Friday came and the sky shifted from blue to black back to blue again... Another one of those days eh? I mean, I love music and I love festivals but it sure is more fun to hang out when the weather is good, or at least not raining and is freezing.
MIDDLEMANTRA was mentioned by the festival as a no-miss and this was the first band I saw on the second day. I’m glad I did. Again, not really what I listen to every day but they certainly had the groove and beat. Especially the sound of the drums stood out as very dynamic and powerful and when that’s the case it must have been spectacular since I rare take any note of the drums at all. It’s very cool to see a young band like MIDDLEMANTRA really nail the essence of the '70s Rock and Glam fuzz and nerve. It’s nothing new to it but this performance impressed me. They lacked a bit of that in your-face-attitude though and didn’t really catch the crowd the way MANNY RIBERA did the day before. But since they’re local boys they got a good following anyway. But again a band I knew nothing about impressed and it’s good to see that there’s a scene growing in the area even if it is slightly outside of what I listen to every day.
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I really felt sorry for ARTMADE when it was their time to hit the stage as the field in front was completely empty. It had started raining again so the people present were lurking in the beer-tent. But even there it was rather sparsely crowded. I’ve never heard of ARTMADE before this either and seeing them entering the stage I had a suspicion this wasn’t really for me. Neat hair-cuts and hipster looks really isn’t my thing, neither is Rock with a permanent position for an acoustic guitar. I’m not the one to judge whether this was a good performance or not since I know nothing about the genre at all and haven’t anything to compare it too. Musically, it was very well-played and after a few songs people started to defy the rain and joined in with ARTMADE and sung a long to their songs. Apparently they’re doing something right as people seemed into it all. But this wasn’t for me.
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Back to the small stage again for THE DAHMERS; one more of the never-heard-before but one face was familiar at least. Not from very long though as the guitarist here was the vocalist / guitarist in MIDDLEMANTRA (bands are being secretive these days and don’t list any names on their sites…). Musically it was a bit more attitude in this as compared to MIDDLEMANTRA but not very far off when it came to style. Perhaps THE DAHMERS was a bit dirtier and studied to suite the style more but else we’re still talking about '60s / '70s Rock / Glam. I really liked the skeleton outfits though. At first it felt a little stupid but they worked them and made it a part of the show. It looked a bit funny but it sure was eye-catching and something everyone present remembered afterwards. I really liked “Blood On My Hands”. The stomp stood out and it became very catchy. After this it felt like the small stage would dominate this day, THE DAHMERS did a very good show and I really enjoyed what I heard here.
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UGLY KID JOE shook the main stage good though and served a fun set filled with attitude. I wasn’t much of a fan of the MTV generation bands but UGLY KID JOE have impressed the times I’ve seen them live so I was looking forward to see them here. Also, that the sun had checked out from behind the clouds made it even more fun.
Last time, when UGLY KID JOE opened up for SKID ROW I thought they had a bit raw attitude, more Punk and Hardcore than Party Rock. And yes, they're not one of the Hair Metal bands and it worked perfectly here. The main stage required the band to own it and UGLY KID JOE did, from the first notes of set-opener “Neighbor” to last one out, “Everything About You”.
I can't say I've listened extremely much to UGLY KID JOE either; it's the classic first two records so the few newer ones featured in the set became a first. I really liked both “No One Survives” and “Devil's Paradise” from the re-union 2012 EP “Stairway To Hell”. It definitely goes on the list to check that one out. I guess much of the crowd was in the same situation as me, familiar with the hits. Still the support UGLY KID JOE got was really good.
I was hoping for a reprise from last night for “Cat's In The Cradle”, that the crowd knew this one as good as the D.A.D. hit. Almost I have to say. “I'm Alright” from the 2012 EP showed later in the set and bassist Cordell Crockett handed over his bass to the roadie Tashi (sorry if it's misspelled) and everyone was asked to jump. It didn't work as good as the singing though but even if people quit rather quickly it woke up the crowd a bit.
Towards the end there was a cover of MOTÖRHEAD's “Ace of Spades” which was dedicated to Lemmy. I'm normally not a fan of covers but it worked and it was cool to hear the band adapt their sound to suite this song. What you can expect on festivals is that there will be some sort of spectacle, funny hats and masquerade costumes. There was a guy dressed up as a Christmas tree which caught Whitfield Crane's attention and for “Everything About You” the guy was dragged up on the monitors (not the stage) in front of the stage and he was supposed to dance for everyone. As cool as the idea might have appeared to start with for the dude, as awkward did he look when he was standing there. And when he tried to go either way, on stage or back into the crowd, Whit was there nagging him to stay and continue to dance; hysteric for sure but not as funny as it sounds.
UGLY KID JOE setlist:
03. “Jesus Rode A Harley”
04. “Panhandlin' Prince”
05. “No One Survives”
06. “Devil's Paradise”
07. “So Damn Cool”
08. “Cat's In The Cradle” (Harry Chapin cover)
09. “I'm Alright”
10. “Milkman's Son”
11. “Goddamn Devil”
12. “Ace Of Spades” (MOTÖRHEAD cover)
13. “Funky Fresh Country Club”
14. “Everything About You”
UGLY KID JOE
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IMPERIAL STATE ELECTRIC with Nicke Andersson is one of Sweden's most renowned bands and praised to the skies. I've never been much for that 70's Dirt Rock genre, sure THE HELLACOPTERS did a few nice gigs that I saw but their music never appealed to me on record. So, I never came around to listen to IMPERIAL STATE ELECTRIC when Nicke formed that band.
And for sure, it sounds goods. There's no doubt about that but where have the energy and the joy to play gone? It was there in the music, it was snappy and had a good drive but the stage performance was rather boring. The band looked like another day at the job basically. No sweat and filth in the performance at all. Then, the youngsters in MIDDLEMANTRA and THE DAHMERS starting the day stole the show.
IMPERIAL STATE ELECTRIC
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That Mr. Udo Dirkschneider should deliver I had no doubt about. It's fascinating that he still can pull these shows off. Perhaps the schedule isn't as hard during festival season but he is well over 60 and this is a 2 hour set, a demanding one. But he is as solid as ever. The best thing here was to watch people seeing and hearing this for the first time. I heard a lot of conversations around me with stories seeing ACCEPT in the '80s and now they get to experience that again. People were really super-thrilled about this. I was too, but I've seen it and knew what to expect and I kind of miss the UDO shows and his solo-material. Still this sounded fantastic and when the ambience is as charged as it was here nothing really beats a bunch of classics. People were getting plastered by this time too so the cheers and screaming really increased the longer the show went.
New for this time was Bill Hudson on guitar. It's always strange to have new members in a band you've seen a couple of times. Even if I knew Bill would pull this off with grace, I know his work from CIRCLE II CIRCLE and STARDUST REVERIE so there was no doubt he would pull it off. He sure did, in an awesome way. Notable was that Andrey Smirnov now was the veteran in the band while Bill being the new guy which made Andrey take more place. This was something that was equal between him and Kasperi on the previous tour.
The fun thing here though was that it wasn't “Princess Of The Dawn” or “Restless And Wild” that got the biggest cheers and sing-a-long choirs. Instead “London Leatherboys” and in particular “Son Of A Bitch” were the ones getting a massive response. Also “Metal Heart” which kicked off the encores got a massive response from the crowd and for a few guys right next to me it was emotional overload; they enjoyed this so much and had such a great time hanging out here it spread around them.
As this is a very familiar festival it was a lot of kids present which was noted by most bands. It had gotten dark here but there were still a few present to get a dose of Heavy Metal classics. I'm not sure I think it's the best environment for kids as people really drink a lot but as long as it's not their parents or baby-sitter that's drunk it should be fine.
So yes, another fantastic performance by the DIRKSCHNEIDER band. There's absolutely nothing to complain about there. But, compared to UDO it doesn't feel it's necessary to see this multiple times. Not with the same set. But a good ending of a fantastic second day it was.
01. Taped Intro
03. “Living For Tonite”
04. “Flash Rockin' Man”
05. “London Leatherboys”
06. “Midnight Mover”
08. “Princess Of The Dawn”
09. “Restless And Wild”
10. “Son Of A Bitch”
11. “Up To The Limit”
12. “Screaming For A Love-Bite”
13. “Losers And Winners”
14. “Metal Heart”
15. “Fast As A Shark”
16. “Balls To The Wall”
17. Taped - “My Way”
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