Danko Jones – headline act
Nordic Tour 2017
Skraeckoedlan – support act
Kulturbolaget, Malmo, Sweden
15/12 – 2017
Live review and pictures by: Anders Sandvall
The Canadian powerhouse Danko Jones took on Scandinavia with shows in Finland, Norway, and 15 shows in Sweden. Many of the shows were sold out which shows just how popular the trio is here in Sweden. With the release of the new album WILD CAT the band changed record labels from Bad Taste Records to AFM Records. The bands previous releases are the 2015 studio album FIRE MUSIC as well as the 2016 live DVD/CD LIVE AT WACKEN. The band stopped by Malmo on a Friday night and the place to be was Kulturbolaget. The 850 tickets to the show were sold out pretty fast as about 1.5 months before the show the club said that there were no tickets left.
Earlier during the day of the show, the band held a signing session at the clothes/merch store called Shock. It was there I took the opportunity to meet the band and have a chat with them. The guys arrived 20 minutes late and the short line of fans were excited to see their idols. The session went by smoothly and the band was really nice and friendly. The band should have credit for not jumping on the stupid meet and greet epidemic that runs among bands that makes fans have to pay large sums of money to meet their idols.
The line to the club wasn’t long at all when I arrived about 20 minutes before doors were set to open. Therefore, it went pretty fast to get inside the club from the cold outside. The first thing I checked out was if there were a photo pit and there were, it makes taking photos so much easier when there is an actual pit. I took a look at the merch and saw that a lot of the sizes of the t-shirts were sold out, a bit strange to not fill up the stand with actual sizes since the tour continued after the Malmo show. There were many that wanted to buy shirts but couldn’t because of the lack of sizes available.
Skraeckoedlan is a Swedish act that was formed in 2009. Already the year after the band released their first EP titled FLYKTEN FRÅN TELLUS (Escape From Tellus) and later same year came their second EP VÄRLDENS FALL (Fall Of the World). Until today the band released two full-length albums with the latest one SAGOR (Fairytales) came 2015. I have read different opinions regarding the bands music style like psychedelic rock, stoner rock and heavy metal. Many consider the guys to be the next hot band from Sweden. I hadn’t heard the bands music until this night, and at the stroke of 8pm it was time for the evening to start.
“Mammuten” opened the show and nothing but the guys and their equipment stood on stage. The band is a four piece and singer Lamu thanked the audience for being there looking at the band, We are Skraeckoedlan and we have the honor to open this night he said and fired off next song in “Äppelträdet”. The sound wasn’t working in favor of the band and it was hard to even hear if he sang on Swedish or English. Lamu said that the band was in the process of recording their new album and the next song was a new on called “Talisman”. The club was already now semi-full with people and the temperature started to rise. “Guldåldern” followed and to me the bands music sounded like stoner rock influenced by psychedelic 70’s rock. The songs were all really long and to be honest I kind of lost interest in the band after a few songs. But on the other hand aren’t this kind of music my favorite genre either. Line up in the band is:
Robert Lamu – lead vocals, guitar
Henrik Grüttner – guitar
Tim Ångström – bass
Martin Larsson – drums
Lamu was the one that moved around the most while the rest of the band stood solid on their spots. The sound system was still bad and the lights wasn’t great either. There was clearly a lot more to wish for when it came to the lights and sound. “Tale of Squidman” followed and Lamu once again thanked the fans asking if they started to get warm enough because it was really hot up on stage now he said. “We have two songs left”, he said “and remember you can buy our merchandise at the back of the club.”
“Haven” and “Cactus” followed and the band thanked for the support saying they were really thankful for the opportunity to open for Danko Jones. The band ended the show with taking a picture with the crowd on stage and that ended their 40 minute show.
Set list (not in order)
Tale of Sandman
As you already probably figured out, this band didn’t make me eager to dig further into their music. I was pretty happy when the show was over and the crew began to prepare the stage for the headline act. Now the club was getting full with people and I could feel the anticipation in the air. Danko Jones is a very busy man, and besides leading his rock n roll trio to triumph, he’s also involved in writing columns for several metal/rock fanzines in Europe, hosting his radio show and podcast and touring with his spoken word sessions. WILD CAT was released earlier this year and is the second album with drummer Rich Knox. Knox joined the band in 2015 and he is the seventh drummer since the beginning. After about 30 minutes of prep the clock struck 9.10 and it was time for the Canadian rock n roll trio to once again take on the Swedish crowd.
The stage lit up, the members walked on and as they faced the roaring crowd they kicked off the night with “I Gotta Rock” which was the perfect way of beginning the show. “Sugar Chocolate” followed straight away and the audience was given no chance to catch their breath. Line up in the band is:
Danko Jones – lead vocals, guitar
John JC Calabrese – bass
Rich Knox – drums
The stage was set so that Jones and Calabrese stood on each side with Knox in the middle and both of the guys at the front moved around on stage connecting with the fans. “The Twisting Knife” followed after which Jones took the word saying he and the band thanked the fans for coming and that it was nice to be playing for the champions in Malmo (Malmo recently won the National Soccer League and Jones seemed to know that). The best crowd in Sweden can always be found at Kulturbolaget he said and the fans shouted happily back at him. Jones looked down at the fans asking if they had caught his speech with their smartphone “otherwise I can say it again?” “Are you ready to start off the night”, he asked and “First Date” was the next song. Jones let the fans take care of the chorus and Jones fired the crowd to sing louder and louder. “You Are My Woman” and “Sex Change Shake” followed instantly and the crowd was totally wild. The Malmo crowd showed some real love for Danko Jones this night. The music was packed with energy, tempo and vitality and it’s always nice to see Danko Jones live, when you visit one of their shows you know you’re going to have a good time. Jones urged everyone to clap their hands for “She Likes It” that come from the new album but the crowd felt a bit reluctant to the current songs. Personally I think the new songs are of a really high standard and thought it was fun to hear them live. Already now the band had run through three of the songs from the new album WILD CAT.
“I think we have had a really great time together so far”, Jones said, “are you doing OK?” he asked, “I’m having a great time here on stage and give it a 10 out of 11 so far, what do you think? Now Malmo it’s time to play a song we have written ourselves and it’s really good, here is “Code Of The Road”.” Jones walked out to the middle of the stage throwing a solo and the sound system worked really great. The same went for the lights and the stage was fully lit all through the show. Calabrese urged the fans to clap their hands and to sing a long in the song and the great atmosphere on stage rubbed off on the fans. “Dance” and “Legs” and just like he use to Jones said that the song is about women’s legs and nothing else.
“Ok everybody are you doing alright this Friday night?”, Jones asked, “I see you all in the club tonight and I have to say you all look beautiful, thanks for being here. There aren’t many rockers left in the world and we have to stick together, are you ready for the next song, here comes “Full Of Regret”.”
The great “I Think Bad Thoughts” followed in which the sing a long continued. Danko Jones is the kind of band that works best in a smaller intimate club rather than on a festival stage in broad daylight. Their good spirits and the great atmosphere rubbed off on the crowd and together they worked in perfect harmony. Their music works best in a small sweaty club jammed with crazy fans. Another song taken from the WILD CAT album in “My Little RnR” followed and despite the fact the band have been out on the road quite long now there were no signs of the guys being tired. “Had Enough” followed and Jones wanted to introduce Calabrese and Knox to the audience. Jones took a sip of water and then he wanted the fans to give it up for Skraeckoedlan that opened the night. Then he said – this is Swedish for beginners and started to say “I eat sausage and meatballs every day” in Swedish. That sentence brought down the heaviest applauds for the night and I have to say that Jones is a great frontman that always manage to keep the crowd in the palm of his hands no matter what stage he’s on.
Jones said it was “…time to play the best song from the WILD CAT album and the best part about it was that it was the band that had written it, are you ready to hear it?” The title track “Wild Cat” followed and I think that the new songs worked really well live. “Do You Wanna Rock” followed instantly and even though the crowd mostly wanted to hear to old classical hit songs it felt good that the band also put in some rare songs into the set list. Jones wanted the fans to once again give a hand for Knox and Calabrese and so was it time for the monumental “Lovercall”. It started to get really hot inside the club now and it wasn’t only the band that was soaking in sweat by now, the crowd seemed a little sweaty as well. The final song on the ordinary set was “Gonna Be A Fight Tonight” after which Jones thanked the fans once again for coming and the band walked off the stage. Altogether the ordinary set of the show lasted for 70 intense minutes but that wasn’t enough for the fans which shouted for encores.
The band returned pretty fast back on stage and Jones thanked the fans in Swedish, “it’s nice to see that so many want to see us live tonight. It’s an honor and I have to say that Kulturbolaget is the best club in Sweden and we feel right at home here. No, I’m going to go a step further and say that Kulturbolaget is the best club in Europe and we love to be here so much that I’m thinking of moving in here. Last time we were here we were pretty much the only band that didn’t have a poster up on any of the walls at the club, but now I’m glad to see that we have 2 posters of us down here and 3 up in the dressing room. ” This is an ongoing thing that Jones has with Kulturbolaget, the last time the band visited the club there was just one poster up, and the time before that there wasn’t a poster up at all. (Kulturbolaget have signed posters on the walls in the club.)
“We usually doesn’t play covers because we can’t agree on which one to do but tonight we have decided to do a Misfit cover in “American Nightmare”” From where I was standing I could see a clearly drunk middle-aged man beginning to wave his arms singing along in the song when he heard it. That was a really lucky guy. Straight away followed another Misfits cover in “Where Eagles Dare” until it was time for an original Danko Jones tune in “Mango Kid”, it was a great surprise that the band dusted off that old song this night. The song features on the 2001 year album I’M ALIVE AND ON FIRE which is a compilation album with songs that spans in between 1996-99. The absolute last song for the evening was about Malmo. Jones said and that we all were rock shit hot…the song was of course “Rock Shit Hot” which also is another track from the vault. Thank you everyone, JC, Rick and I Danko Jones salute you. And that was the final words from the band before they all gathered on stage taking pictures with the fans behind them.
85 minutes ran by so fast and I had wished for the band to play some more high energy rock n roll music, but since the night club was about to start the band had to end the show and let the pop kids have their fun. The show left nothing more to wish for and the band delivered yet another rock solid fun show to watch and remember. It was nice and bold to see that the guys dusted off some old songs from their vault and that they didn’t rely completely on their hits. I spoke to some people after the show that aired they wanted the band to have played more hits but for me that didn’t matter, I thought the show was amazing anyway.
The Danko Jones show ended the concert year of 2017 for me and what better way to end it than with some high octane rock n roll of the best brand.