Pet The Preacher

support Fortress
author AP date 28/02/13 venue Beta, Copenhagen, DEN

"Beat up by BETA" is part of the new initiative Musikforeningen BETA, a kind of union for the venue's volunteer staff. The event concept is much in the vein of our own monthly All Killer, No Filler nights at the venue, an opportunity for the out-crowd to sit down with cheap beers and listen to rock music all night, including live performances. Based on the enormity of my hangover on the following day, I judge it to have been a huge success - well spent in the company of a profuse amount of friends and acquaintances, and with two fantastic bands.

All photos by Henrik Moberg Jessen

Fortress

The first of these is a band I've either managed to completely miss whilst they've forged a name for themselves, or one which is so new it has yet to flash on my radar. What a pleasant surprise it is then, to find that Fortress is an enormously talented ensemble of musicians, studying in the Black Sabbath school of rock as is popular right now. Their retro rock tunes are of the instantly enjoyable sort, brimming with all manner of tasty guitar licks, solos and - naturally - buckets upon buckets of infectious grooves. As a result, the by now tipsy audience is wooed right off the bat, including yours truly, helped no doubt by their vocalist's fantastic swagger. He is exactly camp enough in his antics to come across as the perfect mix between a stand-up comedian and rock'n'roll singer, his voice bearing a close resemblance to Graveyard's Joakim Nilsson and the way he carries himself on stage reminding me of one Mick Jagger. All this combined with tightly wound, catchy rock songs played with the utmost precision and backed by the always awesome BETA sound engineer Rasmus, makes for one hell of an introduction to what must surely become an exciting prospect in the Danish underground in the coming months.

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Pet The Preacher

But even a performance as convincing as that of Fortress pales in comparison to what Pet the Preacher have in store for us tonight. Christian Hede Madsen (guitarist and vocalist), Torben Wæver Pedersen (bassist) and Christian Von Larsen (drums) are in magisterial form tonight, looking and sounding absolutely monolithic. Twice I have seen this trio consolidate their status as one of the best rock bands in the country, both on and off stage, but on neither occasion have they convinced me quite so instantly as is the case here. I'm hard pressed to even describe to you what it is that makes my head bang so severely this time, but it could be the lengthy barrage of brand new material we are confronted with, all of which sounds like upon its release it will put even last year's brilliant "The Banjo" to shame. It could also be the perplexing confidence of the three dudes, standing there with all the self-satisfaction of rock stars, or the confounding tightness with which the tunes are delivered.

Whatever the case may be, Pet the Preacher absolutely tear the venue apart - in the metaphorical sense of course, since this is no Dillinger Escape Plan or Chariot type madness we experience. No, rather, it is a rock show with an enormous R. The volume has been cranked to the maximum, yet the disparate instruments emerge clear as daylight from the mix, and the proceedings emit an extraordinary amount of testosterone - exactly the sort of catharsis one needs upon the dawning that it is not Friday yet and you're already well spent from a week's worth of work. So hats off to Pet the Preacher for producing my best concert experience yet in 2013.

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