Cheap 'N' Loud Fest

support None
author PP date 22/11/13 venue Underwerket, Copenhagen, DEN

Valby isn't exactly the ideal place to spend your weekend, so I understand why there weren't more people present for the weekend's DIY punk rock festival, the Cheap 'N' Loud Fest, despite featuring some of the premiere underground punk rock bands from both Denmark as well as Sweden. But still, I can't feel a little bad for the miserable turnout on Friday, which felt like the only people present at the venue were the bands playing and a couple of curious onlookers who had stumbled by for the cheap beer and entertainment. With just a handful of people I actually considered whether it's worth reviewing the first day of the festivities at all, but then again, perhaps lack of coverage is exactly why there aren't more people out there tonight, so here goes. Apologies for no photos on Friday, none of our photographers were available due to other shows taking place during the same evening.

Kill The Rooster

First up were Kill The Rooster, one of the main draws for dragging me over to the murky venue for a Friday evening. As usual, they display just how good the songs are on their criminally under-appreciated self-titled full-length, with especially "Fear", "Medication" and "Fantasizing" leading into many a conversation later that night about why there aren't more people coming down to watch the band play tonight other than the handful of inner circle friends watching their set. As such, the lack of crowd eats into the band's usually more energetic performance, so it's difficult to award it much more than this despite awesome songs.

Rebuke

One of the Swedish names on the lineup was Rebuke, whose high-octane technical skate punk has earned them 35,000 fans on Facebook, but apparently not too many in Copenhagen because the same people are here as were for Kill The Rooster. Their set thus also stumbles on the lack of crowd dynamic, but this one also on two other things: really, really awkward in-between song banter about this being their opening date on their European tour, and a general feeling that all their songs sound exactly the same. They're played with more or less the same, identical breakneck speed, d-beat tempo from start to finish, so after 15 minutes or so their set is already growing old.

6

What Are You Like

What Are You Like arrive only about 20 minutes before they're supposed to play, because they already played a show earlier tonight at Templet, supporting Siamese Fighting Fish. In stark contrast to the first two bands tonight, these guys take the lack of attendance and a friends-only crowd with humour and don't even attempt to be serious at any point during their show. Yes, the songs are played as they should, but each one of them is followed by what is practically stand up comedy from the whole band, but especially vocalist Peter. He's a funny enough guy to make it not totally suck balls, but at the same time, it's a little too unserious and laid back to be rating any higher.

6

Onwards we move towards Day 2 (Saturday), where the first band are due to start already by 6pm, meaning the whole ordeal is going to be over by midnight. This is the first time I've ever seen this many bands at UnderWerket and have the show finish well on time to move on from the venue if you so desire (not me tonight, but that's another story). That's awesome, and all future shows and fests should be planned this way as well, thumbs up for the organizers for recognizing what I thought was sometimes an insurmountable problem at attending arrangements over here.

X Teenage Rebels

X Teenage Rebels

Copenhagen street punkers X Teenage Rebels are a new acquaintance for me as they start spot on at 18:00 with the stage bathing in red light. They've fully embraced the girls-in-music concept by featuring a female bassist and a female vocalist, who spends almost every chance during the first few songs to shout out cheers Copenhagen to the crowd that's already now much bigger than anything we saw last night. Their set is characterized by a ton of woohoo vocals, and unfortunately also by technical difficulties as one of Rikke's bass strings breaks early on, resulting in a switch of the instrument and a rather lengthy tune up session. The band take it with humour, though, and are clearly comfortable being on stage and talking to the crowd with a positive attitude. Their songs, on the other hand, are pure street punk, which isn't necessarily a bad thing in itself, but the band's song repertoire isn't strong enough yet to sustain a 30 minute song of 2 minute and something seconds songs. As a result, their 35 minute set feels like the band plays a thousand songs that all sound the same, and I find myself yearning for the bar long before their set is complete.

5

Stars Burn Stripes

Stars Burn Stripes

Next up are Stars Burn Stripes, who've been reviewed on this site for god knows how many times. Tonight, as they are gearing up to release their debut full-length after a slew of EPs, they mostly play new material. Of course, "I Lost The Point" is aired as the second song tonight to get the party going straight away, and "Rot Away" comes in at one point as a mid-set highlight, but the real positive to take out of their set is that their new songs sound very promising, and like they're pushing the band to a higher level as songwriters. On first listen, they sound a little more melodic and easier on the ear than their melodic hardcore tracks of their earlier days, even if one of the new songs has a slight Smoke Or Fire vibe attached to it. But what's perhaps more important is the manner in which the band perform their songs tonight, as if they really, really believe in them. That's why the band are drenched in sweat early on, and generally look like the band that has it most 'together

out of all the bands here tonight. Still, it's always difficult to go into a set not knowing the majority of the songs; I've simply seen them play for a much better crowd dynamic in the past.

7

Total Egon & Den Inre Orkesteren

Total Egon & Den Inre Orkesteren

Total Egon are the second Swedish band so far at the fest, and they play fast, melodic punk rock that's all sung in Swedish. That's about all you can say about their music other than its nuances of skate punk, because it's once again fairly standard within the punk rock scene, but what really characterized their set was their hilarious banter throughout the set. Their vocalist would attempt to speak in English, but would hilariously forget words so he would be forced to add Swedish words to replace his missing vocabulary at times. That caused quite a bit of laughter during the evening, that's for sure.

7

The Skavengers - sheet music?

The Skavengers

Can you fit any more people on stage than Skavengers? I think I counted eight people on the tiny stage of UnderWerket, but I could be wrong, since The Skavengers packed themselves on stage in layers that made it pretty much impossible to see whatever each band member was doing on stage. "This is a dancing song", they say, before sending a cheers down to the people at the back bar. They continue with catchy, light ska that has a fun, upbeat vibe attached to it, as well as a slightly peculiar twist to it given that their trumpeter is literally playing his parts from sheet music in front of him. It feels like we're back to summer, and so the venue breaks out into a skanking party, with the exception of when their female backup vocalist gets a chance to deliver some of her sublime vocals, which are more soulful in their nature than the rest of the band's material. But for the most part, they play lots of danceable ska tracks that sound very convincing and well-thought out for such a young band. Very promising.

Misconduct

Misconduct

Usually bands wearing their own merch is reserved to bands like AC/DC and Metallica who play stadium size venues, but Misconduct couldn't give a fuck about that and wear their own shirts in unison aside from the singer and the drummer. Not that it matters, because the band play awesome, catchy skate punk that references modern Millencolin on more than just a few occasions throughout their set. They have a few woo-hoo vocals that give the venue a good vibe, and once they play some of their bigger songs from "One Step Closer" from three years ago, the crowd of about 25 people starts moving frantically in the venue. Generally, it seems like songs from this record feel right at home with the crowd tonight, which is not surprising considering new album "Blood On Our Hands" was released only recently. Unfortunately at this point people are either drunk, bored, or ready to move on, so a good number of people have left the venue which leaves a rather disappointing atmosphere in terms of the crowd dynamic for the rest of the show. The band do everything right, though, with jumps on stage, plenty of energy, and all that, but it's just hard to play a solid show when there are only a handful of people who are at all interested in what is going on. By the time the encore hits, we're down to just 10 people, and so the encore feels forced and miserable as a result. It just goes to prove that no matter how hard you play, sometimes the crowd abandons you, and hence you have almost no chance of recovering in the minds of the people watching.

Photos by: Philip B. Hansen

Comments
comments powered by Disqus

Legal

© Copyright MMXIX Rockfreaks.net.