Uploaded to Aural Innovations: November 2003
What an amazing night of music! This was the first Space Rock concert that I organized. The Dragens Hule (Dragons Cave) is a very cool private club, so they are not licensed and we have to spread the word about the shows by posters out by the club and word of mouth. Anyway, all the bands arrived ok, but not without some trouble. Hidria Spacefolk’s gig was on the way back from 6 concerts in Holland and the van broke down just before the ferry between Germany and Denmark. They managed to get the van over to Denmark and then had to rent another van and arrange to get that van repaired and then drive back to get the old van on Monday. Bland Bladen got a little lost but I found them and all bands were there and chatting and smoking and the soundcheck went ok and there was food and beer for the bands and lots of people started to show up. Bland Bladen started playing around 10 or so and the guys in Gas Giant showed up. This is a great new band. They played all the songs from their debut CD-R and one new song. Some of the versions were a little fast but they have a great sound and the people really dug them. They played for about 45 minutes.
Set List: I Grevens Tid, Daggäta, I Aftons Trans, Dimland, På grön Kvist
Mantric Muse took some time to set up their two synthesizer racks and more and more people came. The club only holds about 100 but it was also a beautiful night and people were standing outside and they had a bonfire. A friend of the people who run the club (Anja and Daniel) named Joshua came up and performed like 35 minutes of weird poetry like stuff over a recorded backing tape of guitar. Some people liked it and some people really disliked it. I think 15 minutes would have been ok but it was just too long and the space rock fans were not into it at all. This just put a delay on everything.
Anyway, this was the first Mantric Muse gig in a year and the band has been working on a full length CD (finished this year) and you could tell. The band has never played this well or heavy! They opened with "Hologram Hindi" and into "Sinbad Søfareren". A great opening combination. Magnus played some killer opening slide guitar on the Hologram. It sounded great. Next was the electronic sequenced song, "Woobegong Wookie". Fantastic stuff! The place was packed and people really dug it. Around 20 people came over from Sweden for the concert and they were getting their 40kr worth! "DMU", a favourite of mine, was next and sounded great. The band was very tight. A brand new songs written by Mikael Krog, the newest member of the band, was cool but then suddenly all the power was lost for a couple of minutes. They picked it up where they left off and finished admirably. Magnus’s sequencer now had to be rebooted and this took some time, and finally Mikael started a spacey piece on guitar and bass but then Magnus was ready for "Narnia", the oldest song in the set dating back to 1996! The mighty "Deep Sea Cheops" was next and the highlight of the set was a long jam at the end, where all the band members showed off their talent! They ended with their Heavy Metal song, "Azur". Damn this was heavy and great stuff. An excellent 75 minute set. The crowd wanted more but it was already after 1:30 and we still had Hidria Spacefolk to go yet!
Set List: Hologram Hindi, Sinbad Søfareren, Woobegong Wookie, DMU, Anagram, Narnia, Deep Sea Cheops>Jam, Azur
Hidria Spacefolk were ready around 2:15 and no one here had ever seen this great Finnish band live. They had an extra percussionist and singer on this tour. Anyway, off we went into a heavy Finnish style groove space place with "Kai". The band played nearly all of the songs that will be on their new CD, which they are recording now. Damn, this was powerful stuff and much heavier than they are on the CDs. The way that Sami and Mikko, the two guitar players intertwine their playing is amazing and Janne (Synth player) layers on top of these guys, phew... Don’t forget the bass player and drummer. These guys are fucking tight and lay down monster grooves that just take the band out into space. One of the new songs has a Steve Hillage inspired guitar sound and is called "Steve". I felt the band just got better and better each song this night and you could tell they were happy and playing amazingly well and loved the atmosphere of the place and the small dedicated crowd. After about 60 minutes they played "I-Mantra" and people were really going. The next two songs, it was already nearly 3:30, were to be two 15 minute space flights. They ended with the mighty "Kaikados". Incredible night of music. About 100 minutes from Hidria. Everyone was so happy and it was a great success. People stayed and partied until 7 in the morning. I took a few of the Hidria guys to my place to crash and we got home at around 5.
Set List: Kai, Amos Ame, Kanen Bosm, PH7, Steve, Njator, Kifi, Aukikko, I Mantra, Pangaia, Kaikados
Reviewed by Scott Heller