Elway

support Joe McMahon + Jake Lundtofte + Mark Bryld
author PP date 12/04/14 venue UnderWerket, Copenhagen, DEN

It's a Saturday night and I've found myself to UnderWerket once again for yet another punk rock show organized by DIYMCA. Originally I was meant to go cover Rovers Ahead supporting Young Dubliners since Elway will be in our upcoming Groezrock coverage anyway, but the former cancelled which opened up an opportunity to catch these Colorado melodic punks in a small venue as opposed to a festival setting. Alongside them the group had brought a number of solo artists, some more famous than others. No photographer was available for tonight's show, so unfortunately we'll have to go without pictures this time around.

Mark Bryld

First up is Mark Bryld, who normally spends his time as the frontman of upcoming Danish ska group Megafonzie. He's been tasked to open tonight's festivities briefly after the doors opened, so the venue is still practically empty with only a couple of onlookers checking out his acoustic demos he's been working on at home, as he refers to them during his set. A couple of acoustic Megafonzie covers are added to the end, but largely this is more of a showcase and a rare chance to watch Mark play alone rather than a captivating set to write home about. Decent, but you can tell he's not used to playing acoustically alone.

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Jake Lundtofte

Jake Lundtofte normally plays and performs in Sweden's The Headlines, but tonight he's been tasked to play solo armed with only an electric guitar and nothing else. He owns a great, charming voice with a little bit of Americana vibe to it (think Brian Fallon here) and some pretty good songs mixed with a bit of humour as well. "You don't have to just stand there and look, you can dance if you want to", he says, before covering "I Fought The Law" by The Clash. A cover of "Train In Vain" ensues, before a brief pause takes place in the middle while he turns around to tune his guitar and/or change a string. Not really sure what was going on there except he encouraged people to talk here. Once we're ready to go again, he takes full use of the whole stage bouncing around, and receives nods of approval from the punk crowd for covering Billy Bragg's "To Have And To Have Not", which sounds an awful lot like the Lars Frederiksen & The Bastards version. A cover of "The Wars End" by Rancid and its classic "Little Sammy was a punk rocker" lines close a set of covers that, while decent, failed to be more than pub style entertainment tonight.

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Joe McMahon

"It's my birthday, I'm a bit drunk, deal with it" is how Joe McMahon introduces himself on stage, before jumping straight into a solo version of Smoke Or Fire classic "Monsters Among Us". For the remainder of the evening, McMahon plays a variety of songs from his main band with small sing alongs taking place in the same venue that they played in last year. Not only does he own a great voice, but he plays with passion and with his heart on his sleeve, making it feel like he fills the whole stage despite standing alone on it. A few songs in the crowd organizes the Danish version of the happy birthday song, and also donates a shot of Gajol to McMahon since he asked to try something Danish tonight. Bad decision - "I've never tasted anything like that before...so much going on there!", he responds after a less-than-enjoyable facial expression right after taking the shot. He dedicates a song to his girlfriend present tonight, a touching love song that clearly makes her feel special from where I was standing. A Jawbreaker cover of "Jinx Removing" arrives in a great rendition, before "Days Go By" (Smoke Or Fire) proves another highlight in the evening. For an acoustic act all by himself, the set works surprisingly well, but then again, his experience from fronting Smoke Or Fire shows big time here.

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Elway

I must admit not being that impressed with Elway at FEST last year, so I was skeptical how well they'd do in a far smaller setting and a crowd of only a few handfuls of hopeful fans. Well, it turns out they did very, very well tonight, playing an energetic collection of great songs spliced with tonnes and tonnes of humour from their laugh-out-loud funny frontman. "Play some black metal", shouts someone in the crowd, to which vocalist Tim Browne responds "I'm glad you asked that, this next song is the most black metal song we have - parentheses the dark Lord rules everything and all around us". What follows is of course their trademark alternative rock-rooted melodic punk rock expression, delivered with infectious energy and with another sublime chorus. The humour persists after almost every song: "These lights are very colourful. Can you make them flash as fast as possible? It's like a Cher concert up here", adding much-needed flair to their set that makes it feel just that much better than an ordinary punk rock show.

The band is crashing around in different directions on the stage, and generally look like they're having the time of their lives out there on the small stage. They genuinely thank people for singing along, because after all, they're in a tiny country very, very far from home, so they naturally feel very grateful about the response from the small, but dedicated crowd. "Skål", someone in the crowd shouts, to which Browne responds "School? I know we're from Colorado but South Park isn't based on reality...this next song is dedicated to Mr. Garrison", before launching into "Dear Colorado". The amount of activity from the band, combined with the humour and the intense crowd response makes it feel like this show could easily reach to the 8.5 marks, if only there were more people present in the crowd. Finally, the band finish the show with "Ariel", but pause just before to remark that the reason they aren't going to Sweden is because they're disappointed with "The Girl In The Dragon Tattoo". It's a hilarious set, full of energy and enthusiasm, and one that suggests we'll all be eagerly singing along to these same songs at Groezrock in a few weeks' time.

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