Red City Radio

support The Respirators
author PP date 09/10/11 venue Huset, Copenhagen, DEN

Despite a cold and rainy evening typical to the Danish fall, around 60 people had shown up at Huset i Magstræde, where local up-and-comers The Respirators were going to host the release party for their excellent debut EP "Neverending Days" , and Oklahoma, US-based punk rockers Red City Radio would play their first ever show on Danish soil. It would be considered a low turnout for most concerts, but one to be expected when one band's just starting out, and the other one is still playing basement-size venues in their home country overseas. So you could assume the audience to consist of either friends of The Respirators, and perhaps a handful of people familiar with Red City Radio who came in just for them, but that's okay, because the way Huset's stage is built means that even with a couple of people at the front, you can create a feeling of a crowd.

The Respirators

First up were The Respirators, who both look and feel a perfect cross between the no-frills melodies of Banner Pilot and the straight-forward sing-along punk of Off With Their Heads. Armed with bright guitars and plenty of enthusiasm, the band play through a large selection of their songs both unreleased and from the EP, and they do it with the look and experience of a brand new band. That is, you can tell that the band are still either a little bit shy or unsure as to how they should interact on stage, evident in the slightly awkward pauses in between songs and the asynchronous movement on stage. Where Banner Pilot and other no-frills bands stand in their triangular formation and move in an almost uniform fashion, the outbreaks of energy and passion from The Respirators don't seem as convincing and natural - yet. They have so many great songs already ("Settle For Less", "Homecoming", and "Old No 7." among others) that it's all about garnering more live experience, get the crowd moving, and then we're talking. Glimpses of that are already visible on occasion during the set tonight, which is an extremely good sign of things to come.

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Red City Radio

Red City Radio released an excellent record called "The Dangers Of Standing Still" earlier this year, a gravelly shout-along punk record packed with emotive vocals and unforgettable melodies designed to be played precisely in intimate venues like Huset around the world. They have songs that simply connect with the audience whether through inspiring lyrics, great melody lines, or both, which is why you see the few people who know the band prior to tonight launch into a small, but a frenzy of a mosh pit screaming back every lyric at the band, as if in a hypnotic trance-like state. It's all a very intense experience, one where you can visibly see and feel the passion of the band from the way its members throw themselves towards the mics when its their turn to sing, or from the amount of sweat dripping off their bodies, or from something as simple as one of the members venturing briefly into the crowd to crash into a few audience members for added effect. It embodies exactly what I like about punk rock; a brilliant set of songs that are intimately rubbed against the audience, creating a strong response despite only half-a-dozen people who are really into the band. It of course helps that the band immediately start with songs like "Two For Flinching" and "Spinning In Circles Is A Gateway Drug", while looking like a band with hundreds of gigs behind them, moving around the small stage passionately, occasionally crashing into each other and that sort of thing. Moreover, they are clearly very funny guys, as evident in the short-but-sweet banter in-between songs, which is kept to minimum though, because just like The Respirators right before, Red City Radio don't like to hold pauses between their songs. This is good, because it ensures that the great vibe and intimate atmosphere is kept throughout the set, one that we'll remember as a show with small, but great sing-along moments, and thirteen songs that simply cannot be classified as anything else than great.

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Setlist:

  • 1. Intro
  • 2. "Danger" (possibly "The Benefits Of Motion") *
  • 3. Two For Flinching
  • 4. Spinning In Circles Is A Gateway Drug
  • 5. They Don't Make Gravel Roads Like They Used To
  • 6. Too Much Whiskey, Not Enough Blankets
  • 7. "JoJo" *
  • 8. You're Poison, I'm Well
  • 9. 50th And Western
  • 10. Captioned For The Hearing Impaired
  • 11. New Song
  • 12. No One Believes In Moons & Goochers
  • 13. We Are The Sons Of Woody Guthrie
  • 14. Nathaniel Martinez

* derived from a copy of the setlist, songs in quotations are simply named as that on the setlist... help me out here

Photos by Rasmus Ejlersen

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