Stream City

support Ciccone Ritchie
author PP date 16/10/10 venue Rust, Copenhagen, DEN

Underground Music Awards were hit by a bombshell of a surprise when it was announced that Pumpehuset went bankrupt and would be closed immediately, only a litttle over a week before the ceremony was due to take place at the venue. Despite paniced efforts at finding a replacement venue of equal quality and opportunity for the audio-visual show they had in plans wasn't possible, and the awards were dealt in a small private event where only bands, the media, and the judges were given access to. To make up for the lack of a proper awards ceremony, the people behind UMA figured out to arrange six showcase events, where the winners of each genre would headline a set in Copenhagen with plenty of support bands suitable to the genre in question.

The first one of these took place recently at Rust, with rock-category winners Stream City headlining a long lineup of smaller bands with show start as early as 7pm. Free beer was promised from 6pm, which is a fantastic idea at a place like Rust, where a few pints is enough to bankrupt even the city finance industry at 48kr a piece, but unfortunately that was pushed onto 10pm, and us at crew simply cannot afford to spend five hours at a bar with such ridiculous prices, nor wish to not enjoy any beverages during the night. So thus we bolted straight away for some cheaper beers with the meaning to return for the last few bands. Our sincerest apologies go to those bands we missed, but given how often we cover the underground, I'm sure we'll write about you very soon.

Ciccone Ritchie

As we return to the venue in a slightly happier state later on just on time for the promised free beverages, the place is rammed to its limits and Ciccone Ritchie are almost ready to kick off their set. Now here's a band I'm glad not to have missed, because their core sound references the older, "Make Yourself" / "Morning View" -era Incubus, both albums which happen to be among my favorites from around the turn of the millennium. Here I'm thinking of songs like "Circles" and "Privilege", that heavier alternative rock sound lead by superb clean vocals in good range. That's precisely what Ciccone Ritchie deliver throughout their set, with touches of Creed also hinting from their sound, and they play it with good energy despite the lack of space for any bigger movement on stage. This is a new band, so their lack of confidence and inexperience when performing live gigs shows clearly tonight, leaving the impression that more personality is definitely needed before they'll start drawing more interest from the general public. Fortunately the songs are very good by the sounds of it, even on first listen, so that should just be a matter of time. Looking forward to hearing more to this band.


Stream City

Moments later it was time for tonight's headliners, the innovative punk rockers in Stream City to enter stage. Judging by the clothing style and general appearance of the public, however, the vast majority was expecting something more traditional along the lines of Ciccone Ritchie, or quieter indie-rock leaning stuff like a couple of the other bands that played earlier, and so it doesn't take more than a couple of songs for large chunks of the crowd to show their fright and lack of appreciation for fast, violin-driven punk rock songs. No biggie (epic fail at understanding good music), there's still plenty of people to dance to the songs, but curiously enough Stream City choose to dedicate lengthy sections of their set to songs which either a) are older than the recordings on the EP and thus most people won't know them, or b) brand new tracks that only the fewest have been able to hear. It's always difficult to get into brand new songs on first listen in a live environment, so things predictably stay out of the crazy-zone in the crowd until tracks like "The Magician", "My Only Friend" and others from the EP blast out of the speakers. That said, Stream City are showing excellent showmanship on stage at times, with vocalist Dion commanding the crowd and the rest of the guys whirling around in their respective spaces to keep the set interesting. But it has to be said the most fun is had when the crowd recognizes the songs, and as commented by one of my friends who's never heard of the band, she too seemed to enjoy the EP tracks more despite never having heard them. Here's for hoping the new stuff will grow in the same way as the older material, which I'm sure it will. Anyway, the guys finish the set with a shout out to yours truly to also enter the dance floor (I'm waaaay too old for that guys, and unfortunately way too sober at this stage to engage in such a thing) as a result of the brilliant "Incompetent Doctor" acting as the finale. Good stuff, but perhaps a little too long of a set compared to publicly available material.

Photo credit: Ditte Hector Degner

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