Funk-O-Metal Carpet Ride 25th anniversary tour 2015
FM – very special guests
Kulturbolaget, Malmo, Sweden
11/11 – 2015
Review and live pictures by: Anders Sandvall
Finally, the Swedish kings of funk metal are back on the road again. They are celebrating the 25th anniversary for the album FUNK-O-METAL CARPET RIDE. The band held a celebration show in Stockholm last year, but now it’s time for the entire country to take part in the party. The band is playing the entire album back to back, and since I always loved the their music, I was really exited when I saw that the guys were heading to Malmo. The show was originally planned to take place at the end of October, but had to be moved to the beginning of November because the Boys were set to perform with Dan Reed Network in England in October. The three biggest cities in Sweden hosted the tour, and after Sweden the band continued down into Europe. Along on the tour FM joined as very special guests and the show landed in Malmo on a Wednesday.
Since the show was held on a week day the club wasn’t sold out, but I hoped people would turn up since it’s a unique moment to hear this classic album. As an extra bonus, the band’s line-up was all original on this show and drummer Sigevall who usually lives in Los Angeles teamed up with the Boys in Malmo. When Sigevall can’t join he’s replaced by Jolle Atlagic who toured with the band during the Dan Reed Network tour. The Electric Boys were put to rest back in 1994 but were brought back to life in 2009 and their latest studio album came out in 2014, entitled STARLIGHT UNITED.
FM is a UK band that was put on ice in 1995 but re-united in 2007 and today included three of the original members. The band has been quite productive since their re-union and have released 4 studio albums, the latest one is HEROES AND VILLAINS which came out earlier this year. The band has also released 4 EP’s and three DVD’s. The band comes from London and plays classical English hard rock.
After a short wait outside the club, the doors opened at 7pm and it was nice to be let into the warm venue. Since the band isn’t playing in Denmark at all, there were a lot of Danes that had made their way to Sweden for this night. On stage there was a huge backdrop with the opening acts logo on it and time went pretty fast and soon was it time for FM to start the night.
“Digging The Dirt” opened the night and singer Overland walked around on stage holding his mic stand in a steady grip. He put on a guitar and it was time for “I Belong To The Night” and he had the audience clap their hands to the song. “Don’t Stop” followed and the fans sang the chorus together with Overland. He said it was nice to be in Malmo and thanked everyone for the applause. “Thanks for coming so early to watch us play”, he continued and fired off the next song which was “Closer To Heaven”. FM is:
Steve Overland – lead vocals, guitar
Merv Goldsworthy – bass
Jim Kirkpatrick – lead guitar
Pete Jupp – drums
Jem Davis – keyboard
By now the fans started to wake up and really clap their hands and encourage the band to keep on playing. It seemed like many had waited to hear “Closer To Heaven”. Overland took care of the lead guitar part in that song and it’s taken from the 1992 album APHRODISIAC.
Overland’s voice felt solid and he sang as well as he did back in the day, maybe even a little better. All of the members looked happy and seemed to be enjoying their time on stage. Overland once again thanked the fans and fired off “Let Love Be The Leader” which made the fans go crazy. The sound system worked perfectly but the lights left more to wish for which it often does when it comes to opening acts. Even though I’m not a huge fan of the band, I could enjoy their well played English hard rock and the band treated the fans to an enjoyable show.
Overland said that the next song was probably easy to recognize and asked if the crowd was having a good time because the band sure had a great time. The title track of the second album now followed in “Tough It Out” from 1989. That song seemed to be a crowd pleaser and Overland got the audience to clap their hands in the middle of the song. It was a pretty calm crowd that watched FM which was great because there were no photo pit and a calm crowd makes it a lot easier for me to take pictures. It would have been nice for the band to play for a little more enthusiastic crowd and to get a little more encouragement and response from the ones watching but maybe people don’t get crazy on a week day. The club went silence for a short while and Overland once again took on the guitar and it was time for “That Girl” in which Davis played the harmonica. The band played their classics and I expected the fans to be a little more enthusiastic and show a little more support than they did. However the band seemed to be having a good time and Overland again thanked everyone for the support and said it was nice that the fans remembered them. Another classic tune in “Burning My Heart Down” followed and Overland let the fans sing the chorus. “Bad Luck” closed the show and Overland told us to have a nice night together with Electric Boys and the guys walked left the stage.
The fans shouted for more and even though the band had more songs to play on their set list the show was over. FM gave proof that they are back to attack, and delivered a fun and solid show with a lot of great songs. I wished for a few more current songs but the band chose to focus on previous hits. Overland was a great singer and front man and the entire show was cozy and enjoyable. I really hope to see FM back in Sweden soon. The only thing that was negative was the short amount of playing time, I wanted to hear more than 45 minutes of FM.
Digging Up The Dirt
I Belong To The Night
Closer To Heaven
Let Love Be The Leader
Tough It Out
Burning My Heart Down
As soon as FM left stage the crew began to make the stage ready for the headline act and brought in a drum kit and new backdrop. On each side of the stage stood speakers, that and nothing more but micstands and amps were placed up there and as the preparations were going on people actually left the club after having seen FM. I thought that people were interested in seeing Electric Boys but apparently FM drew a lot of people as well. Shortly after 9 the pause music ended, the stage lit up and it was time for the remaining people in the club to enjoy some funk metal music.
The members all came in and got ready and fired off “Psychadelic Eyes” as the first song for the night. “Into The Ditch” followed immediately and really cool singer/guitarist Bloom thanked the audience for their support and asked if everyone at the club was doing well. “The Change” continued the show and Bloom said the band was going to play the debut album back to back, however that didn’t go too well in the UK so we’re going to mix up it a bit and change the order of the songs so we can get a little better flow. “Electrified” was the next song up and Electric Boys are:
Conny Bloom – lead vocals, guitar
Franco Santunione – guitar
Andy Christell – bass
Niclas Sigevall – drums
Contrary to FM, the lights worked better now and luckily there wasn’t too much smoke either. Bloom stood in the middle of the stage with Christell to the left and Santunione to the right. Bloom is a brilliant singer and frontman; he is as charismatic today as he was back in the day. The three guys in the front complemented each other perfectly and were loyally backed up by the intense Sigevall. As an old fan of Electric Boys I felt blessed to hear the old classic album be played live again. Bloom took off his guitar and said, “Malmo you’re the “Freaky Funksters”, some of the songs like this one were extended with some longer instrumental jams where the guys showed off their skills as musicians. The next song was about dancing, Bloom said. You know when you were kids and you were going to the disco and you danced like this he showed and the audience laughed. This song is about dancing slow and is dedicated to all the ladies at the club tonight, the song was “Cheek To Cheek (In A Moonlite World)” which is a ballad taken from the debut album. Even though ballads have tendency to become show stoppers, this one didn’t and it was pretty nice to hear a slow song amongst all the funk metal music and Bloom really showed that he is a great singer with this ballad.
“Who Are You” followed in which the three front men sat down and had a jam session until the song continued. Bloom asked if the fans still had a good time and said the next song was about having a driver’s license, which he hasn’t got and he said that he thought that no one wanted to have him driving around in traffic. The song was “If I Had A Car” and by now it was clear that the band played songs from the international version of the debut album. That version featured 5 newly written songs that weren’t on the first edition of the disc and “If I Had A Car” was taken from that version of the disc.
The fans were really calm and didn’t make too much noise for the band. Some of them sang and clapped their hands but the majority stood still and watched the band calmly. Bloom asked if it was OK to play a few songs from the album GROOVUS MAXIMUS, sing with us in “Mary In The Mystery World”! Bloom let the fans sing the first verse which went pretty well actually. He stopped the song in the middle and let the fans sing the chorus a few times until the song continued and this song also contained an instrumental jam session. “Knee Deep In You” followed immediately and Bloom thanked the fans for the support. Before “Into The Woods” he had to tune his guitar and asked the rest of the band if they had played this song before and they all said yes. Bloom introduced the band in the middle of the song until it was time to move along. In “Rags To Riches” Bloom invited the fans to sing a long with him and he wanted them to sing a little bit louder each time they sang the chorus. It didn’t go too well and despite Bloom worked really hard to get the crowd going the fans weren’t following him.
Bloom said it was time for the band to play one of their strongest songs in “Bad Motherfucker” and I was surprised the band chose to dust off this piece as it’s a forgotten classic tune. I was glad to hear it live again. Bloom played the maracas in the song and walked around the stage. All of the members, especially Sigevall, were really sweaty by now and Sigevall also looked a bit tired. I guess it takes a toll to hammer the drums as he does. With the last song “Captain Of My Soul” the band had played all of the songs from the international version of their debut album and the song were extended by an instrumental jam and when the song ended the band had been performing for about 75 minutes. After a few minutes the band returned and it was time for encores, the band hadn’t played their biggest hits from the album and when Bloom came back he had his guitar sounding like a sitar and then everyone knew which song they could expect to be played. Santuione played the intro and Bloom walked to the edge of the stage and asked which fan who wanted to say the first words to the song, he chose a fan who said the epic three words that begins “All Lips N Hips” – now dig this! to instant success. The fans all went crazy because this was the song everyone had been waiting to hear. Bloom let the audience sing the chorus accompanied by bass & drums. I have heard a much better sing along in past gigs with the band but I guess the crowd sang the best they could. The song transcended into a version of the cover of “Party On Your Pussy” originally done by Red Hot Chili Peppers and then they changed back to the original encore. Christell did a bass solo and the song became a really long version of the original track.
15 minutes after the first note of the encore the band thanked the fans and said it had been fun being in Malmoe this night and the show and the funk metal celebration were over. It was really fun to have seen the band live again and especially fun to see the original drummer Sigevall live in action with his friends in the band. Singer Bloom was as brilliant a front man as ever and it was an impressive showing in how proper funk metal should be played. However they didn’t play the original version of FUNK-O-METAL CARPETRIDE but the international version with added songs but that didn’t bother me even though I would have heard the Scandinavian version of the album. I just got more songs to enjoy and it was nice to hear songs from GROOVUS MAXIMUS from 1992 as well. This show was something unique, it’s never going to happen again that the band plays the debut album back to back so I’m grateful to have experienced it. Both FM and Electric Boys performances were great and it was fun to have experienced this tour package. The only negative thing was the calm and boring crowd that didn’t add much fun to the show. It was a long time since I saw a more laid back audience than this one at a hard rock show.
Into The Ditch
Cheek To Cheek (In A Moonlite World)
Who Are You
If I Had A Car
Mary In The Mystery World
Knee Deep In You
Into The Woods
Rags To Riches
Captain Of My Soul
All Lips N Hips/Party On Your Pussy-medley
Thanks to head of Kulturbolaget Totte Lundgren for help with press/photo pass.
Thanks to the always friendly staff and security at the club.