Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Mixtape - Hometown Shows

Before my nomadic tendencies break through and I hit the road again I better update you on a couple of shows that happened right here in Munich in the last couple of months.

The first few months of 2014 were awfully boring before finally the first couple of decent gigs were scheduled. Thankfully 2015 started much better ... with a quite big boom:


I had seen the lads already at T In The Park where they easily rocked the giant King Tut's Tent and so I was looking forward to the fairly small club show they would play here in Munich.
As usual I was lucky that the folks here take gig life so easy. I arrived after doors at the sold out venue ... and still could just walk straight to the barrier and secure myself a spot right in front of the stage where bass wizard Mike Kerr would stand very soon.
But before I could watch and listen to Mike and Ben we got the US band "Mini Mansions" featuring QOTSA's Michael Shuman (I wish it would have sounded a bit more like QOTSA but it really did not). The music wasn't terrible, but I did not like the vocals at all. I did not like 80ies synth pop with all those high note vocals when it was the actual 80ies and I am not starting now. The songs were quite catchy though and the audience seemed to really like them.

Then it was Royal Blood time. You can say what you want ... complain about them being hyped (I see that and I am worried for them) an overplayed but these guys do play a damn hot Rock 'n' Roll show and I love how much music just drums and bass can be. They do not reinvent rock music - actually they do quite the opposite. My personal musical roots are in blues and classic rock and that is what I hear here. Nothing makes me want to practice some blues scales more at the moment than listening to Mike Kerr. To me they are two people who dig to the ground of what they are doing - to the roots - and take what they find and make it their own. That worked great on record and works even better live. What a great first 2015 show.

We will need to see where this band goes from here. There is a lot of pressure and I do not want to be in their shoes for album 2. I hope they will find their way ....

Royal Blood 

Back to 2014 

Let's go backwards from here ...

December 12 - only days after the Big Weekend I went to see Mastodon. To be honest ... I cannot say how it was. Sure well ... it was pretty good. The venue was packed, the band rocked like hell fire and theoretically I loved it, but I was still absolutely DEAD on the inside. It was unlucky but the show was too close to the most wonderful music weekend I ever had and it would have needed hugs from Eddie Vedder or something on that level to wake me up. So my happiest moment of the night was when the merch guy of Krokodil spotted my "Biffy Fucking Clyro" shirt, smiled, waved and shouted "MON THE BIFF".

Krokodil ... that was the other reason - despite the greatness of Mastodon - because I was not really happy. I was much looking forward to see Daniel P. Carter and his bandmates and I was even more looking forward to hear "Sun Riders" live - even without Simon, but nope .. did not happen. 
I was at the venue at the time of doors and joined a long not at all moving queue. Time passed by - not moving. I had a print-at-home ticket (NO box office pick up - print-at-home) but at the venue they did not have any scanners and every single person with a print-at-home online ticket had to go to the box office, they would look for name and ticket number on a huge huge list and mark the ticket as used. You can imagine how long that took? It was ENDLESS! End of the story?  When I was finally in Krokodil just finished the last tune. Ugh :(

Still ... if you have the chance go see Mastodon - it's a huge show!


My fave Munich show in the second half of 2014 definitely happened at Kranhalle / Feierwerk because: Scottish people in town! 
I FINALLY managed  to attend my first Twin Atlantic show and they brought the equally awesome The Xcerts along as their support.

The venue is small - about 400 people - and when we arrived there was no barrier .. pure club show feeling!  It's always weird when you see a band through the Scotland / UK eyes and then realize how small they still are in your own country. Hydro (almost 15,000 people) in Glasgow for Twin Atlantic, Kranhalle in Munich ... and it was not sold out. As much as I wish huge international success for Twin and The Xcerts as much fun it was to enjoy them from so close by.  VERY close by ...  

Barry McKenna - Twin Atlantic - No Zoom

As usual the people of Munich were late and the venue only filled up while The Xcerts were playing already. Sadly the audience - minus the "traveling with the bands" front row (and us) - did not exactly rock along too much with Murray, Jordan and Tom. The bright side: IF you sing along then you get a big band hug at the merch stand ;) - worth it! I cannot tell since I did not travel to other shows on that tour if Germany would already make sense for The Xcerts to tour by themselves like Arcance Roots did in early 2014, but I hope so. I would love to see them coming back for sure.

Twin Atlantic were much much fun on stage and after the show (thanks for the really great chats!) although the gremlins were out quite a bit, the sound not ideal and Sam pretty sick. Even if they come back to Munich in spring (I would logically go) I might travel to then to the one or other show in some more rocking cities though because the audience as so often here was not exactly the most enthusiastic one. Of course the best place for a Twin Atlantic show is Scotland and I was playing with the idea of going to the Hydro show but now I will have my friends and our Swedish boys from Friska Viljor coming over for that weekend so that trip won't happen. Next time then .. hopefully.

Murray McLeaod - The Xcerts

Sam McTrusty - Twin Atlantic

And finally there was Kasabian. I jumped on the train kind of last minute when a friend had a spare ticket. I am not a Kasabian fan, but they had Pulled Apart By Horses with them on the road and I SURE wanted to see them and those guys really did not disappoint.

Again we were lucky ... about 30 min before doors the queue was still no longer than maybe 30 people - something UK fans can only dream off. We just walked in and went to the barrier ... not center barrier though (we both had no interest in getting boots in our necks) but at a super cool spot three steps up (PERFECT sight) almost side stage.

Pulled Apart By Horses are not yet very well known here, but they rocked the house. I hope some of the kids down in the mosh pit memorized their name and we can get them back to Germany soon!

A pretty big portion of the people I met on the road are pretty big Kasabian fans but that's not exactly me. It just does not do much for me - even if I try. Still ... I was there to enjoy the show and so did I. Kasabian sure know what they do and it was a good show and very solid performance (btw mostly from the rhythm section most people seem to overlook being so focused on Tom and Serge). It was entertaining though with a lot of big pose and laser lights. After a while I was a bit done with that dance party rock sound but the crowd and my friend were enjoying it a lot and it's always great joy to see happy people celebrating a show of their favorite band. 
One of the best things of the evening btw was the venue. I was never at the Kesselhaus before and it's very pretty and the sound is much better than at the rotten awful (and bigger) Zenith just across the street. I would not mind seeing more bands there.

Pulled Apart By Horses


Enough now with looking back and on to the next ones ....

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