Rockfreaks.net St Paty’s fest to paint the town green

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Original article published for The Local, available here:

Rockfreaks.net are a group of driven music fans who’ve taken the time and effort to build turn their passion for rock music into a website containing concert reviews of Danish gigs, interviews with musicians and music opinions that reach out to a global audience.

One of the fixtures on their calendar is an annual St Patrick’s Day celebration, held each March in commemoration of the death of Ireland’s most-recognized patron saint.

On Saturday, the webzine will be hosting a St Patty’s bash at Nørrebro’s legendary Stengade venue, a location that has seen its fair share of flamboyant, rafter-raising gatherings. With the memories of last year’s party still lingering (the bar record was smashed with some aplomb), 2015 is on course to be another success.

In keeping with the Irish spirit, the venue will be lavishly adorned with memorabilia in the form of shamrocks, Irish aesthetics, and yes, you guessed it, perhaps even the odd leprechaun. There will also be plenty of green beer for thirsty souls.

Musically, the highlights of the evening include Rovers Ahead, a raucous mob centred around Dublin-born vocalist Nathan Corcoran and his deafening tales of debauchery and mischief. Another equally exciting prospect, Larica, look set to add musical dimension to the proceedings, with their unique orchestral ska and its mesmeric qualities that have been proven in numerous underground venues from Christiania’s Operaen to Ungdomshuset.

The wildcard entry of the evening is a young melodic punk group from Freiburg who go by the name of The Deadnotes and whose qualities as a live outfit have been widely praised in music circles.

The festivities get underway at 8pm and free beer will be served to the early arrivals.

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Denmark’s ten must – see concerts in March

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Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds will land in Copenhagen on March 17th. Photo: Lawrence Watson

Original article written for The Local Denmark, available here:

Ahh, is there anything more anticipated than the coming of spring? While March is finally here, we’ve still got a long way to go until Denmark’s strong summer music season begins – which this year is looking better than ever.
But fear not, there are plenty of great (and, thankfully, indoor) concerts to enjoy this month. While March is lacking a bit when it comes to big-name international acts, it offers everything from a world-class breakdance battle to a St Patrick’s rock extravanganza.

What’s on Copenhagen May

More Dusseldorf than Detroit

Rust; Fri 2 May, 01:00; 80kr

 

Daniel Plessow, a mix between soul and house (Photo: Stefan Braunbarth)

May 1, 2014
16:58

by Allan Mutuku-Kortbæk

Motor City Drum Ensemble

Rust; Fri 2 May, 01:00; 80kr

Motor City Drum Ensemble is a German DJ (Daniel Plessow) who stormed onto the global house scene back in 2008 with some a refreshingly new wave of productions that were aflame with occulted, retro references to the soulful side of house music.

Plessow’s musical ethos is anchored on a passionate intent to re-introduce soul into house and techno music, which, following its inception in the Detroit and Chicago of the ‘80s, has branched out into multiple directions, many of which are associated with a stereotype of beat monotony and uninterrupted drum kikcs.

 

Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings

Store Vega; Tue 20 May, 21:00; 350kr

 

Band members of the Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings (Photo: Kyle Dean Reinford)

Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings 

Over the years Daptone records have provided the world with an indomitable stream of funk and soul that has often grounded its roots in a revivalist mindset intent on reliving the 1960s and 70s heydays of these genres.

Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings are the flagship of this ethos and are back in the alley with a mammoth, soul-strewn album Give The People What They Want.

Those who are unfamiliar with Sharon Jones and her ageless classic southern soul persuasion are in for a concert that could easily end up being one of the best of the year.

For routine aficionados, Give the People What They Want is a work that reverberates with new energetic influences that cement Sharon Jones and The Dap King’s status as established gentry in the spectrum of soul and R & B.

The very same album also represents the struggle with pancreatic cancer that lead singer Jones has been through, a duel that led to the postponement of the initially planned album release and tour, which should have taken place a year or so ago.

Back in full force and nourished from the affection of fans, family and friends the world over, Jone’s and her troupe will surely bring a new lease of life to a Copenhagen audience looking to banish the traumas of the cold, dark winter to mere memory.

 

 

Manic Street Preachers

Store Vega; Mon 12 May, 20:00, 360kr

 

Manic Street Preachers return to Danish soil (Photo: Band’s facebook page)

Manic Street Preachers

Locally, they’ve appeared at festivals like Roskilde and had limited, albeit memorable outings at venues like Vega and Amagerbio. In the rest of Europe, few are unfamiliar with their status as musicians and confrontational revolutionaries.

Colloquially known as “The Manics,”  Welsh alternative rock stalwarts Manic street preachers have been around since the late 80’s, ‘preaching’ a leftist discourse of  heavily politicized statements through their music.

Vehement critics of socially-relevant themes such as alienation, boredom and despair aided by androgynous glam apparel and appearances, the status of the preachers in sociopolitical music folklore is by and large unrivaled in the modern era.

And whilst their latest material is a lot more acoustic than a lot of their previous work and there are no doubt many who would allege that the Welshmen are past their prime,  the preachers’ legendary status still casts an overwhelmingly powerful shadow over all that they do. 

Their return to Danish soil ought to help somewhat as far as them consolidating their reputation on the local venue circuit is concerned.

Joining the Manics on stage, London duo Public Service Broadcasting ought to provide the ideal warm up with their dystopian- themed samples from propaganda and television material; a futuristic musical narrative rooted in the now unfashionable mechanisms of state control and subversion.

Prepare for doses of alternative rock laced with traces of punk and post-punk. 

De dødelige

Rust; Sat 24 May, 21:00; 75kr

 

The De Dødelidge’s pop assault (Photo: De Dødelige)

De Dødelidge

Pop boys De Dødelige (The deathly) have been melting quite a few teenage hearts over the last year or so, following their ascension up the local mainstream ladder.

A lot of it is down to the vocal talents of lead singer Andreas Knudsen. Sony Records have been quick to capitalise on their potential and it’s safe to say that they will be around for sometime. 
Having warmed up for the cheesiest of all Danish bands, the unfathomably successful Nik & Jay, De Dødelige look poised to continue their pop assault on Denmark’s airwaves.


Sean Carey (Bon Iver) 

Vega; Wed 28 May, 21:00; 160kr


Sean Carey (Photo: Cameron Wittig)

One of the frontmen behind the critically acclaimed indie folk band Bon Iver, Sean Carey’s music is replete with chamber-pop persuasions and cinematic soundscapes that astound and inspire all at once.


Bo Saris

Lille Vega; Sat 31 May, 21:00; 170kr 


Boris Titulaer (Photo: Seginternational)

Motown-inspired pop rich in soulful influences that would do Amy Winehouse and Marvin Gaye proud. And Dutch soul singer Bo Saris (Boris Titulaer) hasn’t even got a debut album on the shelves yet.


The Fried Orka Band

Mojo’s Blues Bar; Fri 23 May, 20:00, 70kr 


The Fired Orka band (Photo: Freidokraband.dk)

The Fried Orka band are local purveyors of the more raw, acoustically-driven blues sound. Featuring multi-instrumental influences and lyrics themed on the city, they are a solid local act.

 

 

 


Calling News DJs #2


Culture Box; Fri 2 May, 21:00; 50kr 

If you’re looking for the sound of the latest undiscovered talent within electronic music, this is one party you’d do well to check out as Culture Box puts on another stellar line-up for the month of May.

 

Operaen Christiana; Fri 9 May, 21:00, 50kr

 

The smiling Larica band (Photo: Facebook)

Larica #100 

A precursor to rocksteady and reggae, ska music originated in the Jamaica of the 50’s and embedded itself in the annals of mod culture of the 60’s in Britain. Something of an unknown quantity locally, the genre is kept alive by the efforts of a few extraordinarily impassioned bands, the Næstved-founded Larica outfit being one such outfit.

Their centenary concert at one of the pearls of underground culture, Christiania’s Operaen could not have arrived at a more opportune time. Buckle up for a blast from the past.


Peter H Olsen + Mute Swimmer

Copenhagen Jazzhouse Thu 15 May, 20:00; 90kr


(Photo: NielsFabæk)

Musically-orientated poetry from local performer Peter Olsen and literary-oriented songwriting from the U.K’s Mute Swimmer is what’s on the bill for this particular evening at the jazz house.


Alain Apoloo

The Juke Joint at Mojo’s Blues Bar; Mon May 19 21:30; free adm


(Photo: alainapaloo.com)

The weekly Juke Joint at Mojo’s is a solid fixture on the local Copenhagen blues scene. On May 19 it is spearheaded by the talented Alain Apoloo and open to anyone willing to play on the night.


Schoolboy Q

Rust; Fri 18 April, 20:00; 165kr


(Photo: Mikel Galicia)

The man responsible for seminal track ‘Man of the year’ will be in Copenhagen as part of his European tour, much to the delight of many a hip hop fan.

Music Listings, Feb 2014

Music Listings Feb 28th- 6th March

Friday

Larica release party

BolsjeFabrikken; (Ragnhildgade 1); Fri 28th; 22:00, 20 kr

Larica are a Ska outfit that started out in the small town of Næstved a while back. They are predominantly based in Copenhagen at the moment and have grown in stature and class as the years drift. For a genre whose roots dictate the precursory period before reggae and rocksteady, ska is a genre that has been snubbed quite somewhat, particularly in a local context. Larica are one of the purveyors flying its flag high and their orchestral, brassy sound is not easy to mirror. Treat yourself a musical experience of a different sort this Friday.

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photo: Hans Jørgensen

Mokoomba

GlobalCPH; Fri 28th; 21:00, 120 kr

When Zimbabwean band Mokoomba last visited Denmark they were remembered as solid, jolly openers of Roskilde festival’s cosmopol scene. Hailing from the picturesque Victoria Falls region, the band blend elements of reggae and traditional instrumentation to give a sound that well and truly bears all the hallmarks of modern world music, Mokoomba made a name for themselves on last year’s festival circuit, playing the likes of Sziget and Womad UK (and of course Roskilde). They’ll be looking to build on the solid local foundation they’ve built here and what better place to do so than at Global CPH ?

 

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http://www.pri.org

Saturday

Hoffmaestro

Lille Vega; Sat 1st; 21:00, 130 kr

Pick of the bunch this time is Swedish band Hoffmaestro, a group of rowdy hell-raisers who managed to get an entire front-row pit of spectators to run from one side of the other at the closing concert at Roskilde festival a few years back. Fusing a blend of ska, rock, electronic and reggae, this is band whose form and status can only be understand through experiencing their show live. The original show was destined for November but had to be re-scheduled, and it marks an appropriate blockbuster start to the month of March. Another opportunity to banish the demons of the cold to mere memories.

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Hoffmaestro.com

Sunday

Kashmir (Extra Concert)

Store Vega; Sun 2nd; 20:00, 250 kr

What can I possibly say about Kashmir not to convince you to go to this concert ? Firmly embedded in the folkloric history of rock music in Denmark, Kasmir were originally called Nirvana back in 1991 when they started performing but had to change their name when Kurt Kobain & co started hitting home runs in their musical career. Having collaborated with David Bowie and departed legend Lou Reed, Kashmir are an educational experience that you need to see. With last year’s seventh studio album release E.A.R in their arsenal, expect a seasoned, mature performance that will leave you impressed.

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http://www.smh.au

Tuesday

John Newman; Tues 4th; 20:00, 230 kr

Does John Newman have the best male voice in mainstream music today ? Maybe, possibly, easily – there is only one way to find out. You may recognize his powerful, standout vocals in seminal tracks like Rudimental’s “Feel the love” and “Not Giving In”, both of which hijacked the UK top 40 and did their bit to reinforce the credibility of drum & bass as a genre (albeit diluted to a more sober dose with light r & b influences). Newman’s 2013 solo album, Tribute catapulted Newman into even bigger and better things, replete with vocals that veer between Charles Bradley and Bruno Mars and beat accompaniments that bewilder.

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uprawmag.com

Thursday

Danny Brown

Pumpehuset; Thurs 6th; 21:00, 250 kr

All the way from the motor city, Detroit, Danny Brown is a misfit-turned superstar whose unkempt, unconventional rapping techniques have earned him a reputation as a hybrid within hip hop circles. In today’s digital age, Danny Brown’s social media status has propelled his popularity quite somewhat but is there more to him than a reputation and status that precedes him with an awing stature ? A seasoned performer, Brown has collaborated with the likes of Asap Rocky and numerous Detroit-based heavyweights and his politically provocative music does tend to raise a few heckles.

 

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preetymuchamazing.com

Clubbing

Saturday

Malecon, Salsa & Bachata night

Cafeen Støberiet; Blågårdsplads; Sat 1st; 21:30, 50 kr

It’s time to condemn the demons of the dark, cold winter to the closet. This evening is part of a series of evenings over the spring dedicated towards promoting dance forms such salsa, bachata, merengue and reggaeton, all of which hail from the colourful continent of South America. Coaching sessions are also included in the evening’s entertainment.

Ostgut ton nacht / Ryan Elliott

Culture Box; Sat 1st; 21:00, 70 kr

Another motor city cat will be in town plying his trade in February. Ryan Elliott started started playing at legendary clubs like Detroit’s shelter before moving on to other renowned nightlife institutions like Barcelona’s sonar and various spots in Frankfurt and Berlin. An electronic chameleon, Elliott’s music wanders the territory of house, Detroit techno and the ocassional experimental surprise.

Music Listings, Copenhagen Late August 2013

Music listings, August 30th- September 5th

CocoRosie: If you’re one of the many nostalgics who long for Roskilde festival-esque experiences, or anything remotely similar from the second you leave the festival grounds every June, CocoRosie’s concert at Vega on the 3rd of September may well be the last such moment of the year. The American sisters sound like a user-friendly version of Icelandic standout Bjørk, albeit with far more indie influences demarcating their identity. CocoRosie are the sort of band that you’d hear shattering the silence of a dark European forest at the peak of summer. You’ll have to make do with experiencing them at Store Vega this time round, though their introspective sound will give your imagination plenty of leeway to run wild.

CocoRosie: Store Vega / 3rd September . 250 DKK

Lulu Rouge / Djuna Barnes : Lulu Rouge is one of the most well-known faces on the Danish deejay circuit, within which, along with the likes of Trentemøller and Mike Sheridan, he’s managed to carve a niche out for himself. A headliner at the annual Stella Polaris chillout festival, Lulu Rouge will most likely venture into a more dance-inducing setlist than his festival forays. He’ll be backed by one of Vesterbro’s most revered personalities, Djuna Barnes, who is no stranger to the world of deejaying and electronic music herself. Los Angeles based Awesome Tapes of Africa will be adding a tribal element to the proceedings with their funky, ritual-like sounds, making for quite a good mix of genres on the evening.

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Cocorosie: Pic http://www.touchandgorecords.com

Lulu Rouge / Djuna Barnes / Awesome Tapes From Africa : Rust. 30th August. 60 DKK

Signe Eeg: Signe Eeg’s music is the sort of thing you’d listen to on a Monday night after work. Her soothing voice is as calming as it is captivating, softly flanked by gentle piano accompaniments and the occasional flutter of contrabass. She’ll be performing at the bastion of all things jazz in this city, Monmatre, in a Matinee concert that’ll sooth you softly into September on the 1st of the month. Signe will also perform the evening before, if a Sunday afternoon of jazz is not to your taste.

Signe Eeg quartet, Jazzhus Monmatre, 31st Augustt (20:00) and 1st September (Matinee / 15.00) 375 DKK

Alain Apoloo / The Juke Joint / Modjo’s Blues Bar : Modjo’s Blues Bar is practically the only place that’s worth going to on a Monday night in this city (that is unless you’re into chanting karaoke and getting sloshed with tourists at Sam’s bar). Alain Apoloo may well one of the best guitarists Copenhagen has ever seen, and many in musical circuits wonder why he’s not signed to a major American music label touring the world. Luckily for Copenhagen, his feisty guitar-plucking and cocky vocal skills can still be heard every Monday at the Juke Joint, where many other underground talents strut their stuff in the open jam session.

Alain Apollo: Modjo’s Blues Bar, 2nd September : 20:00 / FREE

Katolysik / Jazzhouse, 30th August 60 DKK

A bit of a wildcard this one. If you’re into spoken word, Katolysik are a dynamic duo who combine poetry (some freestyle) with a guitar and effects pedal. Their lyrical themes seem to capture the imagination of the Danish zeitgeist quite well, hence their popularity. There are also few other rivals in the spoken word category of music in the city, so expect a unique experience but do brush up on your Danish, as some of it can be a bit hard to understand for the untrained ear.

Tina Dickow / Tivoli, 30th August. 95 DKK

Few Danish singers can compete with Tina Dickow at the moment. In fact, if you’re one of those in search of high quality “local” music, look no further. The Århus-born Dickow has gained popularity both locally and abroad for her adventurous forays into the world of the singer-songwriter, producing her music through an independent label. Tivoli is a great place to see her whilst there’s still a slight chance of sun and good weather.

Tina-Dico-7

Tina Dicow_ http://www.backseatseattle.com

Twista / Pumpehuset, 31st August. 180 DKK

A couple of years ago, Pumpehuset was headed for bankruptcy and catastrophe therein. Fast forward and the hard work of getting the venue back on its feet is paying off, with many quality bookings being made at the moment to restore the venue’s profile. Twista holds the coveted accolade of being the world’s fastest rapper, capable of “spitting” a bewildering 598 characters in 55 seconds according to the Guinness Book of Records. A seasoned veteran in the world of hip hop, Twista, or “Tongue Twista” as he was known in the past will be supported by Dj Hornes, Realz and Denmark’s uncrowned pop Prince, Joe Moe, the latter of whom has a new album out on the streets currently.

Rub a dub – SRF afterparty / Pharfar single release: 1st September / Stengade. 50 DKK

This year’s very first Scandinavian reggae festival is likely to be a grand affair with the likes of Albarosie, Raske Penge and Mr Vegas performing on Refshaleøen. If the deserted island is too far off, catch a snapshot of the action at the official after party which has been bound with one of the most exciting nights on the monthly calendar, Rub a dub Sunday’s. Danish Dancehall don, PharFar will be releasing an eagerly anticipated new album on the evening which will also feature appearances from the Donkeysound record label, one of the powerhouses behind the upsurge in Danish dancehall at the moment.

Downbeat Impact Vs Larica, BolsjeFabrikken (LÆRKEVEJ, Nørrebro): FREE

The legendary Candy Factory on Lærkevej or BolsjeFabrikken as it is known locally will soon be closing. Before it does however, some of the house’s veritable patrons, cult Ska Outfit Larica will probably tear the roof off it with what will surely be a mammoth evening. Larica will be backed by a host of local and international names on the evening. Did we mention that beers cost a meagre 10 DKK ?

Troels Abrahamsen : Bipolar release party, 30th August, Culture Box, 70 DKK

Troels Abrahamsen is better known as the leader of Danish electronic rock outfit Veto. The charismatic frontman combines lazy, high pitch vocals with trippy albeit lightweight beat structures that are more ideal to sway along to than they are to going amok. Abrahamsen will be flanked by popular trouble maker James Braun and names such as Erosion Flow and Walk Live. As usual, there are 2 rooms to choose from, the larger, more spacious Black Box and the basement Red room, with its low ceiling and lo-fi aesthetics.

KRIT_Troels_Abraham_423837a

Troels Abrahamsan: http://www.politiken.dk