HORSE The Band

support A Kid Hereafter In The Grinding Light + Gyserfilm
author PP date 08/05/08 venue Stengade 30, Copenhagen, DEN

HORSE The band are simultaneously one of the weirdest and one of the funniest bands out there, and that applies both in person and when they are on stage. Today's extremely delayed review of them originates from the Danish stop of their DIY world tour, where the band visits more countries in the space of 9 months than most people do in a lifetime. After having talked to the band's tour manager/keyboardist Erik Engström outside, it sounded like the band had already experienced so much crazy shit that a show in safe Denmark would be just another day at the business. Stengade 30 is a perfect venue for a band like HORSE The Band, as the shape and size of the stage allows the band to go as crazy as they want to without sacrificing any tightness or intimacy in their live show. Or at least in theory, but when most of the crowd has left the venue by the time HORSE come on stage and you're left with extremely drunken Danish people who've come more for a night out than for a show, you can't expect the band to be at their best. But more about that later.

A Kid Hereafter In The Grinding Light

First up were our local Danish indie-flavored grindcore heroes, A Kid Hereafter In The Grinding Light. Here's the funny bit: they had left out "In The Grinding Light" from the tour poster, leaving people ambiguous about whether it was the indie rock outfit or the grindcore outfit performing tonight. My guess is they had done that on purpose, considering how their bearded frontman kept making fun of people who came to see pop tonight song after song. Indeed, looking around the crowd from their first song, some people were shocked, others surprised, and only a few headbanging and moshing. But it seems like the pop fans liked it anyway, because only a handful of them left the venue halfway into their set. Ripping through about five hundred songs (it sure felt like that), AKHITGL's set was humorous and full of energy, which translated into the crowd and got people moving. Especially "Shortie", "The King" and "Kid Selling Shit" were close to getting at least part of the crowd into critical mass. But still, the novelty of their all-white dress choice and the crazy antics of their bearded frontman wore off fairly quickly (at least for the undersigned), and the shoddy sound quality ensured that about 80% of the songs sounded exactly like one another, and this despite I've listened to their album more times that I can remember. Not bad, but by no means great.


By this point the set was already delayed because of some problems at the door, and another Danish act Gyserfilm entered the stage closer to midnight than the 10:30 or so we had been expecting them to come on stage. After their set, however, I wish they hadn't come on at all, because I have honestly never seen a worse band in my life. At first, they seemed like they were going to be funny to watch, as they entered the stage wearing strange outfits, one having a medieval knights dress, another some kind of super hero outfit, one guy in all-spandex, and one wearing nothing but duck tape all around him. But then the music came, and made me wanna turn emo almost instantly. Okay, so they try to fuse something metallish into jazzy saxophones and funky bass-lines, but as soon as the vocalist opens his mind into nonsensical "BLA BLLALL BABBABAL BBALBBABAB" screaming/yelling, I just want them to get off stage as soon as possible. Their songs sucked, their outfits sucked, their stage show was boring, and they took up A FULL HOUR from the set time, leaving HORSE The Band to come on about quarter to 1 in the morning, by which time most people had to leave the venue to catch the last train/bus home. Please stop making music, it says a lot when I rather wanted to play my FotoQuest Fishing on my k800i than watch your set.


HORSE The Band

And then for the main event, HORSE The Band. The long-ass wait for them (thanks to venue organizers and/or delayed sound check by support bands) was suddenly worth every single minute of it, even struggling through the horrendous set of Gyserfilm for an hour. These guys literally wiped the floor with both other bands on the bill tonight, and showed our Danish audience exactly how a great live show looks like. As far as I remember, the band shot straight into a "A Million Exploding Suns" / "Birdo" combination, with keyboardist Erik showing off some of his psychotic moves that made him look like a neurotic robot on LSD. The word "performance art" came into spotlight soon after, when vocalist Nathan suddenly froze like a statue after having damn near destroyed everything on stage. For the instrumental bit of the song the intensity of the rest of the band was rising, while the crowd was left waiting in suspense on what the hell would happen to Nathan. Just as expected, during the first vocal breakdown of the song, he jumped into air scaring everyone at the front shitless. How's that for performance art, eh? His fingerwork (!) was also astonishing to watch, he could freeze every other part of his body during other songs, and only his fingers would one-by-one appear to the rhythm of the song, making their set look more like a crazy play than a gimmicked rock show.

Unfortunately, the venue was damn near empty at this stage, so few people got to experience his fantastic showmanship to the end. Additionally, the band lost a lot of steam because of some fucking asshole drunken Dane who kept screaming "louder, faster" in Danish ALL the time, insulting them for being Americans, and just generally acting like a fucking twat. If you're reading this, I hope you and your Gyserfilm band get shoved off to an island far, far away from here. The fans of the band, however, didn't seem fazed and supported the band fully, especially during the crowd favorites "Cutsman", "Murder", "New York City" and "Taken By Vultures". Still, towards the end of the set when the clock was nearing half past one in the morning, and the crowd numbers had shrunk to a mere handful, you couldn't help but notice how that and the shouting had affected the band. Comparisons to the intensity of the first two or three songs would be worthless now, and though the band kept their collective energy at as high as they could, one could sense that they felt like they were playing for a hostile crowd instead of a room full of HORSE fans. Lets hope that next time they'll get to play earlier - then we are nearing the very best ratings at this site, for sure!


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