support Stream City
author AP date 05/08/11 venue Huset, Copenhagen, DEN

While half of our Copenhagen based editorial staff were fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to cover the annual Hevy Music Festival in Port Lympne Wild Animal Park in Kent, UK, I humbly looked forward to catching Bornholm's finest punk band, Stream City, performing as part of the monthly Punk's Undead event at Huset i Magstræde. For some reason this is the first time has actually attended one of these shindigs, but if the line-ups are anything like this, also featuring Pranksters, The Bollocks and Moralens Väktare from the other side of the Øresund, then this certainly won't be the last time we do so. Unfortunately our debut at reviewing it will go down in history as a bit of a disaster, given that yours truly grossly overestimated his ability to sustain heavy drinking from 3PM onwards in celebration of the International Beer Day, and thus failed to remember that there were, in fact, four bands playing and not two.

Stream City

Stream City is quickly becoming one of my favorite bands in the domestic scene. They're a rare proposition in a country whose sound tends to be constrained by Janteloven (the idea that extraordinary achivements are unworthy or undesirable), finding a perfect balance between a unique style and instant memorability. Violin might not be as unusual an addition to a punk based sound as it used to be, but when used in such an integral way, at the very centre of Stream City's sound, the result is nothing short of stunning. Think of an immaculate blend of Millencolin type vocals, wacky Gogol Bordello type arrangements, and Streetlight Manifesto type instrumentation, and you should be able to form a basic idea of what Stream City sound like. Having seen the band twice before, I also know that the band are just as bombastic on stage, relying on an impassioned and urgent demeanor to convey their socio-political ramblings, rather than on the kind of lunacy some punk and hardcore bands are renowned for being able to muster up. But while Stream City might not be the most active band live, they fully compensate with an uncanny ability to engage and involve the crowd without so much as uttering a single word - a tiny mosh/skank pit is in operation almost immediately despite the low turnout, and continues until the end of the set. But at the same time, it is also obvious that Stream City are not at the top of their game tonight, having been forced to bring in a temporary replacement from Stars Burn Stripes on guitar and suffering from a relatively poor sound throughout. And yet it speaks for itself that even under mitigating circumstances, Stream City still manage to pull off a show that easily outranks most performances by similar domestic bands, and do not allow themselves to be phased by it.



Pranksters play a much more straightforward variant of punk rock than the openers, but manage nonetheless to lure certain members of the audience, including myself, into frenzied skanking and moshing as soon as they hit the stage. And although this showdown distracts some attention from the actual performance, there is one obvious thing to note about the demeanor of Pranksters on stage: it is very punk rock. Taking that stance of leaning into the microphone whilst punishing the living shit out of the guitar, vocalist Lars Hornehøj represents exactly the sort of passionate singer that makes punk rock so enthralling to watch despite not moving around so much. His face expressions tell of genuine conviction; each lyric is spat out with relentless urgency, bringing to mind both The 20 Belows and Stars Burn Stripes; musically though, Pranksters play a slightly different variant of the genre than either of those bands, with songs like "Farvel" and "Living Disaster" reminding me more of Millencolin. And although not as experienced as the Swedish gang, the Pranksters play with exactly the kind of passion and conviction that one should expect from a band with 8 years behind them, including numerous high profile support slots for bands like The Casualties, Flogging Molly and Good Charlotte.

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