25 and Alive Show
6/12 – 2007
Reviewed by: Anders Sandvall
Pictures by: Anders Sandvall
The latest release from these Danish veterans was the 2006 years studio album WAKE UP TO THE REAL WORLD. 2007 was a pretty slow and quiet year with only a few shows and no new album. At the end of the year the band did two Christmas shows and also celebrated 25 years in the business. During these 25 years the band has stood solidly and kept on delivering their own kind of music with no care of what has been the latest “in” things within the music scenes.
When I arrived at the venue early during the day I met up with a few Danes that told me that the old members of the band were going to make appearances on stage during the night. As always Pretty Maids had two support acts.
More and more people showed up and once the show started the venue was quite full. It wasn’t nearly sold out but there were far more people there compared to the last time I was there. The stage went dark and the music silenced when on stage came:
Ronnie Atkins – lead vocals
Ken Hammer – guitar, b-vox
Allan Tschicaja – drums
Ken Jackson – bass, b-vox
The evening started with “Sin – Decade” which followed with “Spooked” which are sone of the bands older classics. The huge stage was nearly empty besides a huge drum-kit in the middle surrounded by marshall amps. Beside Jackson stood two keyboards which meant that there were going to be surprises during the evening.
Atkins sounded as good as ever when he sang and his voice hasn’t gone through any major changes through these past 25 years. Hammer/Jackson may look like their currently in the band Mammoth like my fellow writers in the Finnish team pointed out when the band played at Sweden Rock Festival in Sweden but who the hell cares, the boys sure do rock. Hammer delivered strong guitar riffs that could blew anyone off stage. Bassist Jackson still threw out amazing bass lines worth dying for and they showed that also old men can rock like there’s no tomorrow.
I think the new drummer Tschigaja did a great job as he is both technical and powerful. I think it is fun to see that the band has grown older with grace. They haven’t lost any hunger or eagerness at all and have gotten even better.
The crowd loved Atkins and he had them in the palm of his hand through the entire show. But it was hard to not get carried away when they revved up songs like “Wake up To the Real World”, “Hell on High Heels”, “Virtual Brutality”, “Perfect Strangers” and “Another Shot of Your Love”. Atkins talked in between the songs but it was in Danish so I had serious problems understanding what he said but I did understand that he thanked the audience that was there and also thanked the hardcore fans that had stuck with the band for 25 years.
The band old keyboard player Allan Owen came on stage as well as an old guitar player from back in the day. Another old acquaintance was the drummer Michael Fast who now sat behind the drums. Hammer sat down on a chair and started to play acoustical guitar and drummer Fast plays only tambourine and the second cover of the evening is played. It’s the Brian May song “39” taken from their acoustical album STRIPPED. This version of the song was really impressive and I have never heard this song sounding so good during all the times I’ve seen the band live. Another acoustic song they did was “Savage Heart” and that was also a great live experience. Atkins invites us all to sing a long which we all did of course.
Fast took the mic and held had a speech to the band where he hoped for at least 25 more years. The crowd went crazy and drowned Fast in cheers and screams before he went of stage.
“Attention” and “Love Games” were next on the set list before they took a real long leap and dove into the bands earliest songs. They did “Children of Tomorrow” which was taken from their first EP. When I stood in the audience I noticed that the band got a much richer and more appealing sound with two guitars rather than one. Maybe it’s time to take in a second guitarist?
The lighting was amazing and everyone stood in light during the entire show. Atkins was the only one moving around a lot on stage and he really got the crowd going. At the end of the show they played classics like “Back to Back”, “Waiting for the Time” and “Eye of the Storm” before Atkins once again thanked everyone for being there. The last song he announced was “Red Hot and Heavy” to which every one in the venue sang a long. The band had been on stage for about 90 minutes but the audience wanted more so the band came back and the first encore was “Future World” and “Loud and Proud” followed. Then came the song that everyone had been waiting for, the monster song “Please Don’t Leave Me”.There was no doubt about that this was one of the most longed for songs amongst the crowd.
The evening ended suitably with “A Merry Jingle”, then over 2 hours passed away and everyone seemed really happy. This was a perfect evening, with perfect light, perfect sound, a perfect band and a different but great set list with some songs I haven’t heard them play before. I congratulate Pretty Maids for 25 years of great music and hopefully we can expect many years of music in the future from one of the best bands in Denmark.
Sin – Decade
Wake up To the Real World
Hell on High Heels
Another Shot of your Love
Children of Tomorrow
Back to Back
Waiting for the Time
Eye of the Storm
Red Hot and Heavy
Loud and Proud
Please Don’t Leave Me
A Merry Jingle
Thanks to Mario de Riso at the head office at Frontiers Records for help with the press/photo pass.
More info about the band