Tagged: Royal Hunt
My year in rock – 2014 retrospect
It’s that time of year again – when it’s time for me to look back on the past 12 months to summarize what I’ve been up to. It’s been a rockin’ year for sure, although it didn’t start out that well.
My year in rock started tucked down in bed at my friend Blackie’s house in Nashville, Tennessee. I had a bad fever and a touch of the flu after visiting another friend in Florida two days before, Kevin from JOP (Jon Oliva’s Pain).
[The first blog of 2014:]
I missed the gig I had planned to go to on New Year’s (Blackie and her bf Ronnie, both from a band called Liquid Courage), but at least I got to see former Savatage-frontman Damond Jinya do his thing with his tribute band Kuzin It in a club before I left.
[Left – Damond with Savatage Right: Blackie, me and the ladies, at the club]
I loved this!! Great cover, well sung, awesome!
It was a fairly slow concert month in January, as always. I did an interview with Gus G for Sweden Rock in January and I think that was pretty much about it, musicwise. Yes, a VERY slow month.
February served the rock’n’roll table at Amager Bio in Copenhagen – first with the PARTY BAND number ONE: STEEL PANTHER (February 14th)!
A week later it continued with ROYAL HUNT taking on the stage. I went cause I love the drummer’s style, Allan Sorensen. He’s absolutely amazing. As it turned out, so was the singer – D.C Cooper. Holy shit…
March was the month when things started to move a bit. Gus G had just released his first solo-album “I Am The Fire” and was kicking off his solo tour with a few shows in Greece with Uli Jon Roth and Jorn Lande – and Mats Levén fronting his own band. I flew down to Thessaloniki which I almost consider as my second home nowadays, met up with my friend Suuded from Germany, and checked out the show.
Had a great time in Greece – as always. Was great to see Gus and the others, we went to this rock bar after the show which is almost a tradition every time he plays in his home town.
The day before the show, we visited Firewind bassman Petros in his bar Emerald – really cool rock pub. He served us the best booze in town, personally. ;)
But the loud music makes it almost impossible to hear what anyone is saying so after maybe 2 hours everybody left to get some well deserved sleep.
A few days later I was on a plane over to Manchester, UK, to check out the Steel Panther show there. That was all I did – for a change. No interviews, no parties, no nothing. Just fly in, see show, fly home.
The week that followed was graced by the super awesome Danish rockers D.A.D! My friend Henny and I made a roadtrip to Gothenburg and had a great time, getting slightly intoxicated at Hard Rock Cafe – and I hit on the Swedish prince, Carl Philip, literally. I wasn’t looking, as usual, and he and his “gorillas” were passing me on the sidewalk where there was a construction area and not much room. I wasn’t looking and thought “why do I always have to be the one who moves??” so I pretty much shoved the prince, when my friend whispered to me who it was. Whoops…
The cool thing was that he went to Hard Rock as well – and ordered a burger that he enjoyed while Zakk Wylde and Black Label Society was playing from the video screens all over the restaurant! The Swedish prince ROCKS! :) And he’s handsome too – for a short haired prince. ;)
THIS is what I call rock and f***in’ ROLL!!
In April, I got a message from Iréne on Facebook – she used to sing with female rockers Modesty Blaise, a band I used to manage back in the day, and that was reallyyy a long time ago. We lost touch but reconnected thanks to social media. :)
She invited me to come over to the studio where they were recording a tribute to our old friend Andy Pierce from the band Nasty Idols who passed away last year.
It was so great to see everyone again. Sometimes it’s like time stood still, we all had a great time and Andy’s positive spirit was with us the whole time.
And that takes me to MAY and the months that followed that were super-busy concert- and travelwise! Let me catch my breath a little bit here before continuing to part TWO of 2014, cause there’s a lot – a LOT more where this came from. :D Keep checking!!
Royal Hunt – I was in for a surprise
I finally dragged my ass off to Copenhagen to see Royal Hunt last night. There were a few question marks there for a while, but I’m glad I went.
I was offered an interview with the band in Helsingborg, Sweden (about an hour from Malmo, where I live) and figured it could be interesting. My motivation was mainly that I liked the Cornerstone-albums, the melodies were right up my alley and I thought the drums in particular left an impression. I’ve always loved great drummers and there was one of those, for sure.
So, it was all settled, I was going to drive up to Helsingborg, do the interview and see the show. However, there was a change of plans – in the last minute. As it was the first show of the tour, there was no time for an interview (thank god I didn’t drive all the way up there to find out when I got there…).
With the interview being cancelled, I decided that I would ditch the gig too, so I made other plans.
But I had a gut-feeling that I might be missing out on something. I always get a kick from hearing top-notch musicians live (which is the ultimate test for any band – if you can impress a crowd LIVE, you are truly worth the admiration!)
Friends kept telling me that I would like Royal Hunt, that I should go see them. And when I was offered a ticket by a friend, I thought, ahhh, fuck it – let’s do this!
“Dr AOR” asked for a ride to Copenhagen as well, so the three of us headed for Amager Bio and the Cloudscape/Royal Hunt show.
To be perfectly honest, the opening act Cloudscape is a highly competent band, but not quite my cup of tea. You can’t like everything, it’s not their fault. :)
Somewhere around nine it was time for the headliners of the evening to hit the stage – Royal Hunt.
I had no expectations at all, the only thing I knew was that there would be excellent drumming and that it was a progressive/symphonic/melodic type of band. That’s about it.
But HOLY mother…! Somebody had casually mentioned that D.C Cooper was a “good singer”. That was the understatement of the year!
WHAT a set of PIPES…! I was absolutely blown away. He made it look so effortless, but it was far from it. I kept listening, wondering where his limit was. Where would his vocal chords give in, where would he lose his breath, when would he lose control of his abdominal support? He didn’t. Except for one or two minor “imperfections” he was absolutely unbelievable. ‘Scuse me while I pick my jaw off the floor…
You don’t get to hear that kind of vocals live nowadays. I remember Rob Rock kicking ass at ProgPower Atlanta back in 2008 (another one of those artists who I knew very little of beforehand, who just left me thinking “what was THAT?!” when he left the stage.
Kelly Sundown Carpenter, Firewind’s touring singer last year, did that at the Australian shows as well, I had to ask him how he did it – he could hold a note with unsupressed power – for what seemed like forever…! Another one of those unreal singers.
I liked the Royal Hunt show so much, in fact, that I’m going to willingly turn myself into a dangerous CRIMINAL just to show you what I mean. ;P
A little bird whispered in my ear that the band’s label/management or other “business relation” just might, perhaps, possibly, MAYBE have a problem with the band being promoted on YouTube.
Don’t even get me started on that topic… It’s 2014 and somebody is under the impression that being on YouTube is a bad thing? I can only speak for myself, but my reaction when a band is NOT on YouTube, is that they’re probably not popular enough, since nobody bothered to go through the trouble to upload videos with them. That’s not good PR that gets people to the shows (or buy the merch).
But hey, I’m not the one who’s stuck in the 80’s perception of how the music industry and today’s social media works. :)
Not that I know for sure if the band’s label actually does have a problem with it, but just thinking out loud.
Nuff said. Here’s the evidence of my shameful, criminal deed…! Just because I want you to enjoy it just as much as I did.
(they’re coming to take me away hee-hee, haa-haa- hoo-hoo, they’re coming to take me awaaay!)
[Just listen to THAT! Crystal clear and mighty powerful!]
And then there was the beast behind the drums, Allan Sorensen, a pure joy to listen to as well. Jesus, that guy sounds like he’s playing with a sledgehammer, not a pair of sticks!
Kinda sounds like this:
Ah what the hell – why not another clip from the Amager-show, just because…!
This was the time I saw these guys but hopefully not the last!
Helsingborg was the beginning of this quite extensive tour, so if you’ve got a chance to see them, go check them out:
Finally 2014 starts looking good!
When the clock striked midnight on New Year’s Eve and we entered 2014, I was in Nashville with a bad cold… And what’s more, I only had one flight ticket for ONE gig in 2014 (Steel Panther in Manchester in March).
THAT hasn’t happened since… well, 2006 I think. I’ve simply made concert travel my thing. But no interesting tours have been announced until now. But, things are beginning to shake, rattle and roll!
Gus G has just announced that there will be a Greek solo-tour in March with Mats Leven, Jorn Lande and Uli Jon Roth – and suddenly 2014 is looking a whole lot better! Unless, of course, it happens to coincide with the Steel Panther weekend in the UK! :-/
I’m all out of vacation days too until May, so every gig-trip I do the coming few months (February, March and April) has got to be on weekends or during the Easter holidays (any day that I have time off anyway). That is a weird feeling. I’ve gotten so used to being out all year round, going to different places that it’s strange knowing that maybe I won’t be able to until May…!
We’ll see what happens. I just need to have stuff to look forward to or I start getting restless. :P
On a more local level, I’ll be going to the Royal Hunt-gig in Helsingborg next month. The main reason being that these are basically the same guys behind CORNERSTONE (with Doogie White on vocals) which I love. Most of all because of the DRUMS on those albums.
The Cornerstone-albums are so well mixed and mastered, everything is done with absolute perfection – it’s just so elegant and so well made.
And the drummer, Allan Sorensen, is without a doubt one of my favorite drummers. He’s the only drummer that made me listen through four albums focused on the DRUMS as if it was a lead instrument (usually it’s the vocals or guitars).
I just automatically sorted out the drums when I listened to that stuff, because I think that his playing is interesting and colorful – he’s steady as a rock, powerful like the “Thing” and I enjoy all those little details, he just has a cool, playful style. Kind of the same stuff that makes me love Paul Gilbert. Technical skills – but still has the ability to present those skills without putting people to sleep! It’s the subtle touch of fun that does the trick!
So, although I haven’t listened as much to Royal Hunt as I have listened to Cornerstone, I’m looking forward to a pleasant surprise. :)
There’s not much Cornerstone-stuff on Youtube, which is really annoying. Some of what was once up there is gone. But if you like Gotthard and Rainbow (Joe Lynn Turner-era style) then you will most likely like Cornerstone.
Arrival – 2000
Upon Our Yesterdays – 2003
In Concert (2 CD) – 2005 [recommended!]
Human Stain – 2006 [recommended!]
Two Tales of One Tomorrow – 2007