Club Angry Music

support Nemas + Øregas + Phlegmatix + Stars Burn Stripes
author PP date 23/10/09 venue BETA, Copenhagen, DEN

You know how to make me feel really happy? Send me an email inviting me to go to a punk rock show - local or otherwise - on a weekend night which in my calender looks deplorably empty. That it's a recurring punk rock club night that I had no prior knowledge of made things even better, because hey, if there's something Danish people need more of, it'd be exposure to punk rock so we'll eventually get enough people together to have a band like Bad Religion come and play a show on one of their many European tours. So here's obviously a show that I was looking forward to for a while, not least because local punk rockers Stars Burn Stripes were on, so imagine the disappointment when my manager screwed up my work schedule only a few days before, switching my 'free' date from Friday to Saturday instead, meaning I'd almost certainly have to leave before the last set was over. No problem, I thought, given that either Neemas or Phlegmatix seemed to be headlining based on the flyer, but the punk rock Gods didn't want it that way. The first band to play tonight would be Sweden's Neemas a full hour and a half after the doors opened, and apparently Stars Burns Stripes had been pushed to be the headliners tonight. Great for them, but shitty for me, since they're actually the main band I came to check out, given the zero knowledge I had for the other bands. Oh well. So I tried to catch as much as the show as possible, and then speed to work with my bike (subsequently being stopped by police and fined for 'reckless driving')....god damn it. At least the venue was great, and the sound was good, plus the DJ played pretty much a perfect cut of my top25 favorite punk bands, so lets get to the bands that I actually saw.


After checking out a few songs on Myspace a couple of hours prior to the show, I figured there'd be a good chance of Nemas being entertaining live because of their happy-go-lucky woo-hoo punk rock songs. Tonight was their first show ever outside of the borders of Sweden, and you could see it in their high energy level and the joyous expression on their faces: this band was all smiles while playing in front of only a handful of people. Typical to pop punk bands, they weren't afraid to fire off a couple of jokes, starting off with saying "We're playing with a German band called PHALLYLYLLY, or whatever they are called, and then a Danish band called... what are they called again? Oh shit that's right, Stars Burn Stripes", before proceeding to ask if they were anti-American or something to much laughter from the crowd. But even though heads were bobbing up and down, people seemed afraid to move closer to the stage, probably because the band didn't exactly have much space, so there was a clear danger (opportunity?) of one of them jumping into the crowd to play. That only prompted Nemas to threaten everyone with prison if they didn't take a step closer. These are small things, but in a melodic punk meets pop punk setting they make all the difference in the world. A little more people at this point and their set would've been much better.



For the first five or six songs, I could've sworn that I was watching a Danish version of the hilarious Guttermouth who last played in Denmark with Less Than Jake about a year ago. Their frontman had a similar crazy spark in his eyes that made watching the whole band an interesting - and funny as hell - experience, but unfortunately that only lasted for a short while. After that, it was time for generic punk rock which didn't really lean towards one subgenre or another, mostly made out of fast power chords and the sort. A couple of my friends told me they had really funny lyrics, but since speaking Danish is hard enough to start out with, hearing foreign lyrics at pedal-to-the-floor speeds is impossible. Trust me, and I thought I was good at Danish minus the strong accent! Later on, the band played a scream-laden song "Kick Back The Jams" / "Kick Out The Jams", which I swear is a cover of some famous song - possibly MC5 - but I'm not 100% sure so don't hang me if I'm wrong - which also applies to the rating because I'm sure the Danes found it way more enjoyable.


I had a word with Jakob, the drummer from Thought Police Brutality and the organizer of Club Angry Music, about how come the bands were playing so late (Stars Burns Stripes starting long after midnight), and he told me it's because people don't show up early enough on a Friday night to make it worthwhile for the bands playing. I'm guessing he was right, because for the last 15 minutes that I saw before leaving, the place started packing out just in time for the Phlegmatix set. And they started off fucking great, with an energetic set opener that reminded me of The Dwyers, a great Finnish punk band I only recently discovered, perfect for making me feel even more disappointed for missing the last two bands almost entirely. Their mohawk-sporting vocalist jumped straight off the stage into the crowd to scream in front of people's faces, showcasing a great attitude, whilst the rest of the band made sure they'd be in people's faces as well by utilizing the front speaker stands to a great extent. For the few songs that I had time to see, it felt like someone from the band was constantly in your face, plus their songs actually sounded really good, so I bet it was an awesome set.

I can't say more after seeing just a couple of songs, nor rate the band with a grade, but what I can say is this: people should come earlier to the event next time. The DJ played everything from Propagandhi to Bad Religion to No Use For A Name to Lagwagon, plus a whole bunch of other awesome stuff sure to get people dancing, so if we're able to pack this place out earlier great times are to be had, that's for sure. Overall, my impression on the arrangement was extremely positive - save for the late set times - and I'm looking forward to the next event already. Well, except it's planned for the same date as the Every Time I Die show, which I'm sure all too many people will be going (including myself, their latest record is amazing), so perhaps a different date would be optimal so we can have both! See you next time.

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