Scandinavian Tour 2013
Märvel – special guest
Mary’s Kids – support act
Kulturbolaget, Malmo, Sweden
21/11 – 2013
Review and live pictures by: Anders Sandvall
Dregen (ex-The Hellacopters, Backyard Babies) recently released his solo self-titled album, one which was highly anticipated by his fans. With the release of that album, he had to decline to participate in the Michael Monroe tour that kicked off almost at the same time as his own tour. After the break up with Backyard Babies, Dregen joined Michael Monroe on tour and on the MM solo album HORNS AND HALOS. As for now, Dregen is too busy with his own career…and besides releasing a solo album, he has also released his autobiography. The first single from the solo album was the excellent song “Just Like That” which was a great sneak preview of what the rest of the album was going to sound like. Dregen sure is a busy man. Besides the solo album and the book, has he also gotten married and had his first kid (a son named Sixten). Märvel joined him on tour as special guest and on selected shows Mary’s Kids tagged along as support act. The bass player in Mary’s Kids is none other than the old Hellacopters bassist Kenny Håkansson. That was enough for me to go and see Mary’s Kids when the tour hit Malmo. Märvel released their solo debut back in 2005 called FIVE SMELL CITY and their latest studio album came 2011 titled WARHAWKS OF WAR. The tour landed in Malmo on a rainy Thursday at Kulturbolaget and when me and my friend turned up at the club was hardly anyone there.
There was a lot of Dregen merchandise to buy and he sold shirts, CD’s, vinyls, pics, and lots more. People had started to arrive to the club and at 7.30 it was time for the support act to hit the stage.
The band kicked off the show right away and fired off two songs after which Mary said “Hello Malmo nice to be here”. The music can best be described as fast and furious punk music. The members are:
Mary – lead vocals, guitar
Glenn – drums
Kenny – bass
Erik – guitar
Even though most of the people in the club stood by the bar and not by the stage, the band kept a furious tempo for the show and the singer Mary looked really cool in a cap singing really good. Mary stood in the middle of the stage with Kenny on the left and Erik to the right of her. Mary wanted the audience to give a hand to the best sound guy in the world Fred Estby (ex Dismember) who was in charge of the sound system on the tour. Even though I hadn’t heard the band before this night I was impressed by their furious tempo and raw attitude. As always, when it comes to punk, the songs were quite short but catchy. It was nice to see a band fronted by a female and it was also nice to see Kenny Håkansson in action again. I really miss The Hellacopters!
The show lasted for 30 minutes and it was 30 minutes of raw and pure fun. As soon as the band headed off stage, the crew ran off and began to prep the stage for the masked trio in Märvel. Out came a new drum kit and two mics and now you could start to feel the tension in the air. It took about 20 minutes before the stage was ready for the special guests to enter the Malmo stage and once the stage lit up it was time to see what Märvel was up to.
The show began as soon as the members turned up on stage and as I wrote earlier, the band wore leather masks. Two songs was played after which the singer The King said that it was nice to be in Malmo. It felt like Märvel was more anticipated than the band before, and with Märvel came the crowd. The band members are:
The King – lead vocals, guitar
Speedo – bass
The Burgher – drums
As most times on Kulturbolaget, the sound was really good, however left the lights left something to be desired. The King ran around on stage during the entire show and it was he that connected most with the audience. The King asked if the fans was ready to see Dregen and the audience screamed yes back at him. But before we got to see Dregen was it time for Märvel to finish off their show and the band was like a well oiled machine. The trio completed each other great but the sound picture had gained a lot with a second guitarist. The band is about to record their new album and for this matter the band had taken help from a website called Pledgemusic where fans can donate money to their favorite bands to help them record their thing, and that was also what The King said to the people at Kulturbolaget. He continued with saying that it was now time for the band to play a few new songs so that the fans knew what they were waiting for.
Märvel’s music have a lot in common with The Hellacopters music and you could hear the influences brutally clear here and there. A few more songs followed before it was time to say goodbye to Märvel. The show had lasted for about 35 minutes. I thought the band did really great and I was intrigued to hear more from the band once I got home. The one thing that didn’t work in the bands favor was the guitars. The band should add another guitarist in order to get a fuller and richer sound picture. It also felt a bit lame with the masks. Drop the masks, and add a second guitarist.
It would be a lie to say that the club was crowded but more people had arrived while Märvel played. A huge backdrop with the cover art-work of the new Dregen album could now bee seen on stage and in front of it stood a smaller drum kit. Amps was placed in front and at the side of the stage and at the edge of the stage was three mic stands positioned. The fans was a mixed bunch of people with young girls screaming for Dregen to come out as well as older Backyard Babies and The Hellacopters fans waiting for Dregen to do his thing. My expectations were really high and I was eager to see if Dregen could fulfill them.
One by one the members entered the stage and finally Dregen also came out and faced his screaming fans. “Divisions Of Me” kicked off the night and it was boldly followed by the first single “Just Like That”. The speed was high from the very start and it didn’t take long until Dregen was soaking wet from sweat. He ran around and jumped around on stage during the entire gig and it’s hard to see that the man has reached his 40’s. His band consists of:
Dregen – lead vocals, guitar
Hux Nettermalm – drums
Martin Tronsson – bass
Michel Santunione – guitar
Dregen had the screaming fanbase in the palm of his hands from the very start and said that it was really nice to be back in Malmo. “One Man Army” then followed and Tronsson stood solid on the right side of Dregen throughout the show. Santunione stood on the other side but he moved around a little more than Tronsson. “Bad Situation” followed and then came the old Backyard Babies song “Star War”. The fans sang the chorus and it was now the crowd went really wild. Dregen used the ramp that’s in the middle of the stage to reach out to his fans however was it really hard to take pictures because of the crazy crowd and the non existing photo pit. It was obvious that Dregen loved being the center of attention and fly solo and it fits him like a glove to be in this position. He sure is one hell of a frontman and he sings really good. I have always thought he should have sung more in Backyard Babies and it’s fun to see and hear him singing solo.
The band was really solid and it was obvious that they all loved what they were doing. The songs went a little faster than on album but that didn’t matter, the songs rather grew even more this way. “Gig Pig” followed then was it time for Dregen to take off his guitar and let Santunione take on the acoustical guitar in the song “Flat Tyre On A Muddy Road” which is the new single. The song was done in a little different kind of way compared to on album but it was a brilliant version of the song. It included a jam by Santunione in the middle of the song where he showed off his skills on guitar. Dregen said that the audience was much better than the one in Gothenburg which made the fans scream out loud of liking. (It’s always a battle in between the audiences in Malmo, Gothenburg and Stockholm.)
“Pink Hearse” and The Hellacopters classic “Soulseller” followed and the crowd went a little crazy. The fans were otherwise pretty calm and didn’t jump around much at all. Not even the hardcore fans in the front put on a show. Dregen introduced the band and had a little jamsession going on where he tried out his new guitar pedal. “Black Canvas” followed and Dregen came out with a cigarette in the corner of his mouth. (since a few years back it’s not allowed to smoke inside clubs and venues in Sweden but I guess Dregen do what Dregen wants he he). “Refuse” and “6:10” continued the show and Dregen wanted everyone to clap their hands and sing a long in the songs. Then he wanted us all to give a cheer for his old tour manager Anders who turned 40 this day. He said that he had a lot of stories to tell about Anders but it was best not to mention them out loud just now. Dregen dedicated “Minus Celsius” to Anders. That ended the show and by then had Dregen been playing for about 65 minutes. Of course came he back on stage after a few minutes when the fans had cheered for him to do encores.
The first encore was the monumental The Hellacopters song “Gotta Get Some Action” and as soon as the first tones of the song was heard went the crowd crazy. Dregen urged everyone to scream at his command which the fans did and when he was satisfied he asked if we wanted to hear a little more music this Thursday night. The last song for the night was “Mojo’s Gone” and by then was the band really sweaty and Dregen was extremely wet. The band thanked the crowd and it seemed like Dregen was really happy with the response he got.
75 minutes flew by and it was an amazing show. Dregen didn’t let anyone down, that man is an amazing front man. Both the band and the set list was excellent and it looked like everyone had a great time on stage. The good mood spread on to the crowd which also had a great time. Maybe it was a little too short with only 75 minutes of music but I guess that was all Dregen had. After all he added a few Backyard Babies and Hellacopters song to make the set list longer. And instead of the long guitar solo jams why not play another song?
Otherwise was this a statement that Dregen as a solo artist is here to stay. Why hasn’t he gone solo earlier? Only a few dates remained on the Scandinavian leg of the tour after the Malmoe show and now Dregen is about to close the tour out in Europe together with his old band mate in Hellacopters Nicke Andersson and his new band Imperial State Electric. In 2014 is it Japans turn to take part of the Dregen circus, make sure to catch the tour if you can.
Divisions Of Me
Just Like That
One Man Army
Flat Tyre On A Muddy Road
Gotta Get Some Action
Thanks to Emma Svensson head of press at Kulturbolaget for help with media pass.
Thanks to the security/staff for a nice treatment.
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