Dean Allen Foyd

support Dirty Old Town
author AP date 01/03/13 venue Beta, Copenhagen, DEN

It's Friday evening, and I find myself at Beta for the second night in a row, nursing a hangover from the previous state. I'm wearing a suit - not to stand out, but in anticipation of a gentlemen's night out later - and am pleased to find out that I am not the only one, whatever the reason may be. We are all here to watch the much hyped Swedish psychedelic rockers Dean Allen Foyd, as well as the local support Dirty Old Town, and the turnout is more than satisfactory.

Dirty Old Town

Dirty Old Town is a name I've seen frequently in the capital city gig lists, and judging by the solid showing for their ten o'clock support set, they seem to enjoy a moderate amount of attention around these parts already. The quartet's style is best described as soft-ish melancholic roots rock that in my mind draws parallels to Ancient VVisdom, with various bits of 90s Brit-pop thrown in for measure as well. Morten Christensen - the frontman and mastermind behind the project - sings in a way not too distant from the likes of Liam Gallagher and Our Lady Peace's Raine Maida; and although stylistically this is not the case, there is a certain Bob Dylan-esque feel to his lyrics and the way he carries himself on stage. The backing musicians comprise former members of Syreregn, Highway Child and Wrong Side of Vegas, so there is no shortage of talent at the band's disposal.

As a result, their set is one that creates a firm impression of professionalism. The songs are played with precision and finesse, and the frequent lapses into psychedelia are handled in a way that induces a dream-like state in the listener. It is during these parts that the various band members also create a visual aesthetic, contorting their bodies and expressions to reveal the amount of soul that has gone into creating these songs. Still, I am plagued by the feeling that despite Dirty Old Town coming across as a rock solid ensemble of musicians - one whose songs are almost instantly enjoyable for the most part - they never cross over to territory where they could be described as truly special.

Dean Allen Foyd

Dean Allen Foyd, on the other hand, are special off the bat - not least because of their ultra-retro look. The quartet, which comprises guitarist/vocalist Francis Rencoret, bassist Fredrik Cronsten, drummer/vocalist Wille Alin and vocalist/organ player Erik Petersson, are all clad in ornamented 60s shirts, vests and quirky feather hats, which adds a nice touch of nostalgia to this most modern of venues. Dean Allen Foyd fashion themselves an acid rock band, and that is a description that beats any dubbing I could give their sound. It is the kind of music you would have listened to at the infamous Woodstock festival, with lengthy, trippy jazz fills piercing a rock'n'roll foundation that reminds me above all of Pink Floyd, and perhaps to some extent also Captain Beefheart.

The music is delivered live much in the vein of the low-key mix that characterizes their recorded material, so if you were expecting more punch in the live setting, you will have gone home disappointed. Indeed, Dean Allen Foyd are about as old school as can be, and I'd imagine their music is best enjoyed in an altered state. Alcohol might do it for some, but personally I feel as though I cannot quite comprehend what this band is trying to do in my relatively sober state of mind, though I suspect that owes at least partially to the fact that my experience with, and interest in the psychedelic rock genre remains at an early post-virgin level.

There isn't a finger to be pointed at things Dean Allen Foyd do wrong, but all the same the atmosphere inside the venue is not one I would attach to music such as this. It is perhaps the near-constant chattering and in/out movement of the audience that proves the most disruptive factor for me, when trying to assess this concert. Whether or not the band could have done something to change such behavior can be debated - but all in all Dean Allen Foyd do take a rather disconnected approach to entertaining the audience. Musically and professionally it is a fine showing, though not one which I will remember for years to come.

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