Dropkick Murphys

support Frank Turner + Skullclub
author PP date 21/01/13 venue Store Vega, Copenhagen, DEN

Almost exactly one year later, seminal folk punkers Dropkick Murphys return to Denmark with a brand new album to support. This is their third time in Store Vega in about four years, although originally the promoters had booked the slightly larger Falconer Salen in anticipation of the band's growing popularity here and abroad. Perhaps the slightly spicy ticket pricing of 285,- DKK kept the youngsters from buying tickets, because they ended up downgrading the show to Store Vega again and weren't particularly close to selling out that venue either. In tow with them, the band brought the man who opened the 2012 London Olympics - Frank Turner - as well as tapped in a new-ish national act in Skullclub to open tonight's festivities.

Skullclub vocalist

Skullclub

Skullclub are a Kolding based punk rock band with strong influence from both the folk and street punk scenes. For them, this is an enormous opportunity and so the band do their best in making the crowd feel a bit more enthusiastic for a show on Monday night, a classic 'downer' day for Danish crowds if you ask me. They start off strong with Oi! shouts and tight riffs that have heads bobbing around the venue straight away. Punk'n'roll seems to be their specialty; the vocals are raw in the vein of old school 80s punk rock, while the riffs borrow from straight-up rock'n'roll. They modernize their sound with a banjo, harmonica solo, and even a female guest appearance from Pernille (missed her last name), who sings a soulful solo venture on top of a banjo-only song that has vibes of country in the mix as well. The band stop the show about halfway to pull out a couple of bottles of booze, which they proceed to pour down the throats of eager front-liners while chucking away merchandise. Coupled with their "Let's Go Murphys" chant, that's later incorporated into one of their own songs as the finale, you can tell that this is a really big deal for the band. It feels a little out-of-place, but you can't fault them for promoting themselves to their ideal target audience a little bit extra. But despite these antics and a decent amount of energy on stage, at this stage they just don't have enough good songs to last a full half an hour support set. The songs are therefore painfully inconsistent, with good songs few and far in between, which is probably why a lot of people leave for the side bars towards the end of their set.

Frank Turner & The Sleeping Souls

I've been skeptical of Frank Turner's output ever since he added The Sleeping Souls to support his energetic punk-singer/songwriter, because I've felt like they've distracted the listener away from his quirky lyrical universe too much. After tonight, I've decided to re-consider. The crystal clear sound from Store Vega was the perfect outlet for him to demonstrate just how strong his new songs really are. From the highlights, "Peggy Sang The Blues" and "i Still Believe" showcase his charismatic vocals exceptionally well, and the re-arranged old tracks "Photosynthesis" and "Dan's Song" sound surprisingly rich with the added band parts. The experience of bigger shows is also starting to show: he gets the entire venue singing along with him for "I Still Believe" easily, and large portions of the crowd explode to dance for "Reasons Not To Be An Idiot" at his request to dance as fast as we can. He's also good at disarming any critics by having learned a couple of Danish phrases before the show and delivering these with a hilariously bad accent - it's both charming and further demonstrates his quirky personality. He also plays with enthusiasm and a good amount of energy despite being glued to the mic during most songs, which means it's easy to get into his set, and well, the songs speak for themselves. Excellent warm up for what's to come later.

8

Setlist:

  • 1. If I Ever Stray
  • 2. The Road
  • 3. Peggy Sang the Blues
  • 4. Reasons Not to Be an Idiot
  • 5. Try This at Home
  • 6. Four Simple Words
  • 7. Glory Hallelujah
  • 8. I Still Believe
  • 9. Dan's Song
  • 10. Photosynthesis

Al Barr of Dropkick Murphys

Dropkick Murphys

The Dropkick Murphys show opens to a celtic intro tune that's probably five times as long as it needs to be, but at least it gives us time to marvel at the band's mammoth banner lit up on the background. Finally, the band do enter the stage, though, and start with the ideal opening track "The Boys Are Back", a festive folk punk song designed to get the rowdy dancing and drinking going straight from the start. It's a track from the new album, but it's as classic Dropkick Murphys as it comes, so that's good. What's not so good is the sound issues, where the levels feel unusually quiet even for a Vega show especially in the vocal department, but a few tracks in this is either gradually fixed or everyone gets used to it. The band play a lot of new material in the beginning, but that's because we all know it's the best time to introduce new tracks while leaving the hit parade for later. "Johnny, I Hardly Knew Ya", is the third track though, and its hurroo, hurroo chants receive an echoing response from around the venue, as is to be expected.

Primary vocalist Al Barr spends a lot of time at the barrier singing and screaming at the fans close by, which makes sense because the stage is crowded enough as it is from 7 dudes each sporting their traditional and non-traditional instruments. It also means there's a contrast between the energetic stage activity and with Barr being more close to the fans, which is much appreciated by those near the front, I'm sure. There are big sing alongs for the predictable anthems, such as "Fields Of Athenry", "Captain Kelly's Kitchen", "I'm Shipping Up To Boston", etc, but generally this being a Monday night and nowhere nearly a sold out show, the atmosphere isn't quite as eclectic as we remember from previous times having seen the Murphys play.

Just as "The Boys Are Back" is a great opening track, the other new track "End Of The Night" is likewise suited as one of the final tracks tonight with its melancholic, drunken sing along bits. The band invites all the girls of the venue on stage for this song, and by the time they play the AC/DC cover "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap" afterwards, the guys are invited on as well, and the stage is packed with celebrating, singing fans who are all smiles. "Citizen C.I.A." and "Skinhead On The MBTA" finish the show on a fast note, so people can leave the show happy having experienced yet another solid showing from Dropkick Murphys, with material evenly divided from their entire discography.

8

Setlist:

  • 1. The Boys Are Back
  • 2. Burn
  • 3. Johnny, I Hardly Knew Ya
  • 4. Going Out In Style
  • 5. The Gauntlet
  • 6. Your Spirit's Alive
  • 7. Fields of Athenry
  • 8. Prisoner's Song
  • 9. The Irish Rover
  • 10. My Hero
  • 11. Jimmy Collins' Wake
  • 12. Cadence to Arms
  • 13. Out of Our Heads
  • 14. The Gang's All Here
  • 15. Never Alone
  • 16. Sunday Hardcore Matinee
  • 17. Rose Tattoo
  • 18. Captain Kelly's Kitchen
  • 19. I'm Shipping Up to Boston
  • 20. Worker's Song
  • --Encore--
  • 21. Barroom Hero
  • 22. End of the Night
  • 23. Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap (AC/DC cover)
  • 24. Citizen C.I.A.
  • 25. Skinhead on the MBTA

Photos by: Lykke Nielsen

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