Astpai

support Timeshares
author PP date 28/05/15 venue UnderWerket, Copenhagen, DEN

It's a Thursday evening and we find ourselves at the murky interiors of Copenhagen's premier DIY venue UnderWerket once again. We've taken it as our duty to book the bands that no-one else does, provided we know they deliver quality material on record that we also like and think others in Copenhagen should hear. That's very much the case tonight with arguably the best punk rock band in Europe right now, Astpai, and their touring partners Timeshare, whose Midwestern style punk rock pushes all the right buttons for yours truly. Tonight, the allure of two excellent bands has drawn a few handfuls of people out into the rain and the venue's intimate surroundings, just enough for the venue to feel full enough for a good show.

Timeshares

Timeshares' material is best described as melodic, gravelly punk rock of the basement kind that has a lot of texture, melodically ringing guitars drenched in reverb, and cozy sing-alongs that recall Midwestern bands. Tonight, they open their set with "Skirt Wednesday" and its somber "I don't believe in young love" chorus to set the mood. It's more of a quiet track that eases us into the set, whereas "From An Admirer Not Darryl" is its polar opposite with an explosive opening passage, louder guitars, and semi-screamed vocals. Here, the crowd reacts instantly to the band's passionate delivery on stage where every member in the band is screaming and shouting their lungs out like they mean it. Both tracks are from 2011's "Bearable", but the band have recently released a new album called "Already Dead", so understandably a lot of the material tonight comes off that. "Focus, Eddie" is sneaked in between newer tracks, further confirming that "Bearable" is a damn good album even in a live environment.

Timeshares

I've seen the band play songs off both albums in the past, but it's mostly been on bigger festival stages (pre-FEST, FEST and Groezrock), and here they haven't been particularly convincing. Tonight, however, their energy rubs off and it becomes very clear that Timeshares is a band designed for small intimate shows like this one where there's no real separation between the band and the crowd. You can tell it from how comfortable the interaction is between them and the audience members, where the band fires off jokes about Danes being a happy bunch and giving anecdotes about cold cut sandwiches relating to someone's t-shirt design. What's more, when they notice a few people singing along and raising their hands for key sections in the songs, the band seems genuinely impressed and happy about playing a show on the other side of the planet where people actually know their material. They play a bunch of new songs, which sound slightly different from their older tracks but in a good way, before finishing off with the catchy "Everybody hates us for this" chorus of "Woke Up In A Grappler School". And here's where the magic happens: a crowd member starts a "one more song, one more song" chant that is soon joined by others. And eventually, the band agrees to play "State Line To State Line", the opener from their new album. You can tell from their facial expressions they were definitely not expecting this type of reaction. Overall, their set is encompassed in a showcase feeling, where warmth, friendly vibes, and catchy punk rock songs compose the overall theme. Solid, and definitely the best way to experience Timeshares play live.

Astpai

As one of my friends said recently, Astpai play more shows in Copenhagen than most local bands do. They've played at UnderWerket more times than I can remember, but they've only recently made a breakthrough in terms of critically acclaimed albums internationally. Both "Efforts & Means" and especially "Burden Calls" elevated the band into punk rock elite with their special brand of progressive, depth-laden punk rock that stretches the genre far beyond basic three chord rhythms. They open straight away with "Careers", one of the best tracks from their new album, a perfect track to launch off the evening. They're playing a lot more older material than usual, showcasing "2012", "All The Thieves", and another old track before coming back to their later material once again with "Biting Dogs Don't Chew". Here, the opening riff of the track has everyone's heads banging thanks to its sheer powerful delivery, whereas "Death Everywhere" and "Departure" demonstrate the band's knack for writing extremely melodic and irresistibly catchy material straight after.

Astpai

Towards the end of their set, we are treated to a heartfelt speech by the band dedicated to Timeshares and how they've been one of the best bands they've ever toured with. Normally, Astpai are looking forward to going home towards the end of the tour, but this time they wish it would just keep on going, singer Zock proclaims in a manner so genuine many of us almost tear up in the process. "Honest Or Sentimental" then follows logically to that speech, before they close off with "Southwards" as the final track in the evening. The crowd might have thinned out a bit at this stage, but it's great to see Astpai not letting that show at all in their performance, which is as aggressively energetic and passionate as it always is. A hard working band that continues to be criminally underrated had many of us singing along tonight.

Photos by: Lykke Nielsen

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