Rockhimlen Rock & Metal Festival in Helsingborg Sweden 2007

August 8th, 2007
by Anders Sandvall

Saturday

We got back to the festival a little later during the next day because my friend over slept, well it’s hard to be on tour ha,ha.

Saturday play list seemed to be a little stronger compared to Friday’s play list. Saturday offered us acts like Fatal Smile, Gemini Five and the great Zan Clan.

We arrived just in time to see the Malmoe band Vanity Dies Hard, the band is just about to get their stuff up on stage so we talked a little with the singer in the band and when I got out of the VIP area I noticed that the audience was just as small as the day before.

After Vanity Dies Hard had played it took about 40 minutes before it was time to enjoy the first golden moment of the day with Fatal Smile going on stage.

I was introduced to the bands new lead singer Thomas E Blade and the new bass player Alex Johnson before the show in the VIP area by bandleader/guitarist Y. Both were really nice and I looked forward to see the guys live for the first time.

The new line up in the band here

 

Fatal Smile 

A little late entered the guys the stage and fired off “Neo Natural Freaks” taken from their previous album. Nothing bad about their last lead singer H.B but Blade is more charismatic and he looks like he fits into the band in a totally different way compared to H.B. The same goes for Johnson on bass, the entire band feels more harmonic and solid now which is something that is obvious on stage.

Fatal Smile blasts off 7 tracks in their 40 minutes and most of the songs are taken from their last album called NEO NATURAL FREAKS except for the song “Hip MF” which seems to be a new song.

Blade does a great job on stage and also he uses the ramp to get closer to the crowd. The bands 80’s hardrock mixed with glam/sleaze is refreshing despite the overdose of that music genre during this festival. Fatal Smile closes the show with my personal favourite track “Learn Love Hate”.

Y and crew delivered a perfect show jammed with heavy music with a big heart. It’s gonna be real fun to hear the next album with this new line up. I’m sure they can execute wonders with the two newcomers.

Setlist
Neo Natural freaks
Crash And Burn
Bleeding Kiss
Common People
11th Hour
Hip MF
Learn Love Hate 


 

After Fatal Smile it was time to get ready for another Stockholm based act – Gemini Five.

Gemini Five 

Gemini Five is another glam/sleaze rock n roll hardrock band but they deliver a slightly more modern form of their music. The band is a well oiled machine with

Tin Star – lead vocals, guitar
“Hot” Rod Teilmann – bass, b-vox
Snoopy – lead guitar, b-vox
Slim Pete – drums

The band gives a solid and safe impression on stage and because of the short playing time they let the music do the talking instead. Gemini Five have a little more stuff on stage than previous bands but it’s still a big enough place for the guys, especially Hot Rod and Tin Star, to run around on.

It was a solid show with a lot of heart that the band gave us and luckily more people had found their way to the stage. The Setlist was nothing to argue about, great songs paired with a great performance made this to another memorable moment.

Setlist
Hollow
Automaticool
Babylon Rockets
You Spin Me Round
When The Body Speaks
All Systems Go
Get It Off
24/7
Hitchin A Ride
Suicide Tuesday

Next in line was Zan Clan, a band that I have waited years to catch live on stage. Their latest album was amazing so you can believe I was psyched to see the guys live.

Zan Clan

I met up with the band earlier in the day and the guys were just as friendly as ever. To see Zan Clan is truly the moment I had been waiting for during these two days and they had 1 hour to use.

The band stepped on stage right on time and the amazing show kicked off with the equally brilliant song “Go, Go, Go”. From the beginning you can tell that Zan Clan is an extremely experienced bunch of people that knows exactly what to do and how to behave on stage.

All of the songs are taken from the new album, the masterpiece called “We Are Zan Clan Who The F**k Are You?!”. Singer Zan sounded exactly as good live as he does on album and this living legend surely impressed me this day.

The rest of the band is just as steady as Zan, their performance was flawless and left nothing more to wish for. Guitar player Laney and the newcomer Love completed each other perfect and were backed up by the solid rhythm section that included Koleberg on drums and Grizzly on bass.

Zan Clan sounded much meaner and dirtier live which was something that only benefited the band. At the end of the show Zan said that they were about to try a new song form the forthcoming album. The song was dedicated to a special girl and was called “Good Girl”.

The show ended with the brilliant “Can’t Get You Out” but the small audience screams for an encore and I can’t but wonder why the band didn’t feature any Shotgun Messiah song. But to my relief Laney came in and said that there are two great bands, Kiss and Shotgun Messiah, and fires off “I Don’t Care About Nothin” taken from the first album and that closed the bands 1 hour show.

The only negative thing with the show was that it felt way too short with the band getting only 1 hour to play. My expectations weren’t very high and I totally loved this performance with the Swedish legend Zinny Zan. This was the best moment during the entire festival and I really hope that guys heads out on tour when the next album comes out.

Setlist
Go, Go, Go
Déjà vu
Heart n Soul
High Speed Junkie
Mess Ya Up
Good Girl
Silver Bullet Toy
Can’t Get U Out
Encore
Care About Nothing (Shotgun Messiah song)

After the show I talked with Y from Fatal Smile and he told me that it was their first show with new singer Blade and that they hardly had time to rehearse, that were something that didn’t show at all I can say. He also told me that the new album is due to be released sometime during the winter and that he was incredibly happy with the new line-up.

Me and the new Fatal Smile after the show here

Then I met up with Laney from Zan Clan and I asked him if he was happy with the show and he told me he was really happy with it. I also had a shorter talk with Zan and he was really nice and friendly. It’s always nice to talk with people that, despite their success, are humble and down to earth.

Cloudscape

Cloudscape was the next band on stage, it’s a band that I never had heard before prior to this festival. But it seems like Cloudscape is the band on everyone’s lips so I decided to check them out to.

Luckily Cloudscape’s appearance had drawn more people to the area. The band plays very technical, progressive metal influenced by neo-classical metal and it was a nice break from all the glam/sleaze music I had heard during the festival.

Evn though I had never heard of the band I really did think that they delivered a strong performance with a lot of heart and soul. Lead singer Andersson did use the entire stage to run around on and bass player Pherson and guitar player Swärd are two great back ups that helped Andersson with getting the crowd going.

Andersson had a lot of things to say and if the people wanted to see more of Cloudscape he told us that the band were about to play at Club Powerhouse in Malmoe at the beginning of August.

The gig featured 8 songs and what I understood were they were from album number 1 and 2. It all ended with “The Presence Of Spirits” and 1 hour had passed really fast. The Helsingborg based Cloudscape did make a very positive impression on me and it’s gonna be interesting to see what they are up to next.

Setlist
Breach In My Sanity
Shapeshifter
Witching Hour
Demon Tears
Aqua 275
In These Walls
Take The Blame
The Presence Of spirits

 

I stayed and looked at the first songs by Gotthard who was the headliner this day but it wasn’t anything that sounded interesting so the bed suddenly felt like the place to be for me.

 
Overall Rockhimlen was a nice festival with great atmosphere and for once the weather was also acceptable. The festival sure has potential to become something annual but there are a few things they have to adjust first. I heard rumours that the number of visitors the first day was only a couple of 100 and the second day it were about 4-500 people there. In the camping area the numbers of tent were estimated to about 10 tents.

In my opinion there were too many glam/sleaze acts that played, a little more variation within the genres would be nice. And maybe it wasn’t the smartest move to kick off the festival so early during the first day. The bands that played in the beginning played for about 12-15 people.

A better lighting system would also be a bonus as the stage and sound were great  but someone had forgotten to bring proper lighting. And for the next time, please print a proper program and schedule with times when the band’s will play. Now we could read the schedules from a white board and on paper notes that were attached to walls around the area and that weren’t any good.

The head of press connections managed to make no interviews with the bands and I could hardly see any members of the press besides me and like 4 other. Next year the festival ought to make more press for this in newspaper, fanzines, metal papers etc so that more people get to know about the festival. This year it wasn’t possible to purchase a one day ticket, you were obligated to buy ticket for the entire festival. I don’t think that if you’re only interested in Gotthard you’ll buy a ticket for 400 SEK only to see them. The organisers should pay a visit to a “real” festival in order to see how things ought to be taken care of. 

But if the festival got these things together I’m sure that this could be a serious competitor to many other festivals around the country. And giving money to charity is always an admirable cause so keep that up.

 

 

Thanks to the head of press Peter Nilsson of the festival for the press/photo pass

 
More info about the festival
www.rockhimlen.com
www.myspace.com/rockhimlen

More info about the bands in order

www.crazylixx.com
www.baibang.se
www.darkane.com

www.fatalsmile.com
www.geminifive.com
www.zanclan.com
www.cloudscape.se

 

 

 

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Posted in 2007 | Comments (0)




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