Troubled Horse

support Hound
author AP date 22/03/13 venue Beta, Copenhagen, DEN

Apologies for the monstrous delay in posting this live review; a colossal hangover the day after, and hasty packing for a ski-trip the day after that made it impossible for me to jot down even a single word about this gig the weekend before last. Although this was not officially a Rockfreaks.net endorsed concert, it was nonetheless one which saw us celebrate the official inauguration of one of our newest writers, Bo Kastaniegaard Vinberg (BV) with a heritage/stoner/psychedelic rock DJ set throughout the night by him (with some assistance from myself) - one which I am told was a resounding success.

Christian Hede Madsen, aka. Hound

Hound

Hound is the alter ego of Pet the Preacher frontman Christian Hede Madsen; a creative outlet for all the material that doesn't quite fit the palette of what PTP are trying to do. Tonight, Madsen is sat on a chair just in front of the stage wielding his signature Les Paul guitar, accompanied on drums by none other than Jacob Bredahl (renowned producer and vocalist for The Kandidate; formerly also for Hatesphere). This setup creates an intimate setting which is sadly weakened by the constant chatter resounding inside the room, but nonetheless one which proves perfect provided you're standing in close proximity to the duo. As you can imagine, there isn't much by way of a performance happening per se, but when you're in possession of a gruff, misty voice like Madsen and know how to bare your soul with the lick of a single guitar string, this is all you need to mesmerize an audience. Indeed, those of us not busy or distracted by chit-chatting soon find ourselves fixated on Madsen's soulful blues melodies, with Bredahl wilfully sticking to the background with his simplistic, yet effective drumming.

Inveritably, there are overt similarities to PTP to be heard - not least because of Madsen's singing. But such similarities restrict themselves to the most dreamy tracks his primary outfit has to offer (the likes of "When I'm Around"), and without the extra punch of a bass guitar and the power of distortion, Hound's music resides very much on the blues and psychedelic side of heritage rock - a tranquil, yet captivating warm-up for tonight's headliner, who promise to be quite the energetic bunch.

Michael Linder of Troubled Horse

Troubled Horse

Indeed, these dudes who have drawn comparisons to pretty much all of their Swedish contemporaries (Free Fall, Graveyard and Witchcraft - whose guitarist John Hoyles actually plays for Troubled Horse) suffer from no shortage of energy. Their take on heritage rock is perhaps not as convincing yet as those groups, but their 2012 album "Step Inside" was nonetheless well-received by critics across the globe, and live renditions of songs like "Tainted Waiter", "Bring My Horses Home", "One Step Closer to My Grave" and "Shirleen" provide excellent reasons why. Just like their peers, Troubled Horse revel in the contrast between bombastic rock'n'roll bangers and chilling blues rock ballads that energize and woo the audience in shifts. Combine this effect with a band that is visibly and audibly thrilled to be able to play for us despite the size of the crowd not meeting my own expectations, and there is little reason to complain.

My only negative notion is that which I already scribbled down in the previous paragraph: Troubled Horse possess great talent, but their songwriting is not yet on par with the flagbearers of this genre (in my opinion), Graveyard. It seems as though for the moment Troubled Horse are perfectly content with dispensing exhilirating energy with songs leaning more toward the old school rock'n'roll of Free Fall and especially performance value, than delivering a full-fledged heritage rock experience akin to Graveyard and Witchcraft. Still, the promise is certainly there, and with plenty of Golden Ladies already working their magic in my mind, I at least find myself well and truly entertained.

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