Baby Woodrose

support Bite the Bullet
author BV date 13/03/14 venue Templet, Lyngby, DEN

By now it really can’t be a secret that I usually seize any and all forthcoming opportunities of seeing nearby Baby Woodrose gigs. As such, I decided to catch a train to Templet in Lyngby for what should then be my first time at the venue that I have, quite often, contemplated on visiting – only to be distracted by something else. This particular night would also be special in the sense that Baby Woodrose will soon release a collection of rare b-sides on vinyl. In honor of this, tonight’s set would therefore largely consist of tracks from the more garage-punk sounding era of the band, from which most of these tracks stem. As always though, there was first the matter of the support band to tend to.

All photos by Philip B. Hansen

Bite the Bullet

I’ve seen Bite the Bullet a few times before this particular show, so I pretty much knew what I was about to witness. – Or so I thought. Usually a four-piece featuring the traditional guitar/bass/drums/vocals lineup, Bite the Bullet had apparently been reduced to a three-piece wherein former bass-player Christian Norup now handled the guitar, former guitarist Paw Eriksen handled the drumming whilst vocalist Thomas Storgaard Christiansen’s duties had now been expanded to incorporate synth and theremin playing. At first befuddled due to this lineup change, I quickly became positively surprised. My initial fears of lacking low-end were somewhat instantly laid to rest as Christian Norup’s guitar sound was supplemented by the use of an octave pedal. It did, however, affect the soundscape in the sense that the usually cock-rock inspired sound of flurrying guitar solos and fast-paced riffing had been shifted towards a grittier, somewhat desert influenced groove rock – with added spacious theremin leads.

On songs like “I Will Not Die”, Paw Eriksen’s tribal-like, almost ritualistically simple drumming had a major effect on the song's dynamics. Whereas “I Will Not Die” formerly had some kind of magnificent upbeat splendor, it had now been reconstructed to be some kind of heavy mantra. Quite befitting really, though I doubt it will remain interesting in the long run as the album version is magnificent and far more accessible. Nearing the closing of their 30 minute set, the band had progressed through various different themes – however, the one that seemed ever-present was the constant build-up of a heavily rhythmic groove, emphasized by the frantic movements of all three members. As far as attitude goes, they had all their bases covered. Their set was, however interesting, not as great as I have previously experienced them. Nonetheless it was an interesting showcasing of their different talents and it certainly had its merits. I just don’t think it’ll be particularly interesting in the long run.

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Baby Woodrose

Following a 30 minute changeover Baby Woodrose took the stage. From what snippets I heard of their soundcheck from outside the venue, their volume-level was quite befitting of a garage-punk set. As I then approached the stage to take it all in, the powerful kick-off of “Information Overload” blasted me away. It was fuzzy, gritty and loud as fuck. Following the initial grittiness of “Information Overload”, front-man Lorenzo Woodrose wasted no time in signaling the band to go on through a somewhat constant barrage of excellent riffs in the form of “What a Burn”, “Disconnected” and “Let Yourself Go”. Magnificent as it seemed, however, it wasn’t without initial kinks though. From the otherwise impressive mix, I had a rough time actually hearing the guitar-parts coming from Mads ‘Yobo’ Saaby - a shame in itself, but even more so due to his rather dominant part in songs like “Disconnected” where the dual-lead between him and Woodrose is the pivotal climax of the track, or the guitar-solo on “Let Yourself Go” which passed by in a relatively anonymous fashion with only snippets of it being clearly audible.

Kinks are, however, meant to be worked out and the mix seemingly became far better as the night progressed. This was in particular evident on the fuzzy eruptions of “Volcano” which, dominated by a simplistic yet utterly magnificent riff, became one of the earliest high-points of the set as quite a few people in the venue seemed to be mouthing the rather catchy lyrics “I’m ready to go / I’m ready to go / Well, you sure turn me on / I feel like a volcano!” - whilst the band was, in turn, displaying a consistently high level of energy and an overwhelming presence.

Halfway into the set, front-man Lorenzo Woodrose, obviously tongue-in-cheek, remarked: ”There comes a certain point in one’s career where you look back on your previous work and realize that you used to write far, far better songs. That’s why we’re releasing some of them again on a compilation on Monday, Sunday or whatever. Anyway, we’re gonna play a few cuts from that.” - following this remark, the band blasted into the stoner-rock sounding “Here Today Gone Tomorrow” which had the crowd banging their heads to the thunderous riff, whilst the bombastic low-end of Kåre Joensen’s bass and the frantic drumming of Hans Beck had the crowd enticed to the point of a near-trance state. Following this, the crowd had very little time to get their thoughts together before being bombarded with “Light up Your Mind”, “I Feel High” and “Good Day to Die” – all of them from the upcoming compilation. Following a briefly psychedelic detour into Baby Woodrose’s excellent cover versions of “Baby the World Ain’t Round, It’s Square” and “A Child of A Few Hours” the band launched into the ultimate crowd-favorite and final track before the encore; “Baby Blows Your Mind”. A natural set-closer in the sense that it is upbeat, catchy, memorable and easy to sing along to. However, it lacked the spacious experimentation it had been exposed to the last time I saw the band – making me consistently feel like it lacked a key element.

Returning for the encores, Baby Woodrose launched into the danceable “Pouring Water” which, much to my surprise, seemed to be a favorite of the female part of the audience. This can probably be attributed to the aforementioned danceable nature of the track. The real treat, however, was to be found in the anthemic “Born to Lose” wherein the band quite possibly reached the very peak of their energy-level for the night, ending in as bombastic a way as the set began with Baby Woodrose showcasing the fastest, grittiest and most garage-punk sounding aspects of their back-catalogue for the duration of an hour. All in all a rare treat which showcased an aspect of Baby Woodrose that I, personally, have recently neglected in favor of the more psychedelic exploits of the band.

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Setlist:

  • 1. Information Overload
  • 2. What a Burn
  • 3. Disconnected
  • 4. Let Yourself Go
  • 5. Nothing is Real
  • 6. Volcano
  • 7. Love Comes Down
  • 8. Here Today Gone Tomorrow
  • 9. Light up Your Mind
  • 10. I Feel High
  • 11. Good Day to Die
  • 12. Baby The World Ain’t Round, It’s Square (The Savages)
  • 13. A Child of A Few Hours (West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band)
  • 14. Baby Blows Your Mind

--Encore--

  • 15. Pouring Water
  • 16. Born to Lose

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