Electric Boys: Flying High Tour 2018
Abramis Brama – support act
2/11 – 2018
Live pictures and review by: Anders Sandvall
The Swedish funk/metal legends Electric Boys is alive and kicking and taking on Sweden at the moment. The band did their comeback in 2009 and a lot has happened in the band since then. One member have been added to the equation in drummer Jolle Atlagic, the bands original drummer Niclas Sigevall is still in the band but lives in USA today and Atlagic stands in on the shows Sigevall can’t attend. Atlagic came into the band 2015 and is also a solid drummer just as Sigevall. The bands comeback album came 2011 titled AND THEM BOYS DONE SWANG, two years later STARFLIGHT UNITED came and last year the guys founded a pledgecampaign in order to get the new album out. It was also last year the band celebrated it was 25 years since the release of the almighty GROOVUS MAXIMUS. The single “Suffer” came out in March this year and in August the news came that the Danish label Mighty Music landed the distribution deal regarding the new album titled GHOST WARD DIARIES that was released the 23rd of November on CD, vinyl and as a digital release. In October the video to the song “Hungover in Hannover” was unveiled and the band have toured in Spain, France and Germany since then. The Scandinavian part of the tour started out in Malmo Sweden and the day before the band performed in Hamburg Germany which was the only show in Germany during 2018 with the band.
Hangover In Hannover (official video)
No one was happier than me when I read the band was performing at Kulturbolaget in Malmo, I have been a fan of the band since the very beginning and I can’t count on both hands how many times I have seen the band live through the years. On the shows in Malmo and Stockholm the Swedish act Abramis Brama joined forces with the boys. The doors to the club this Friday night opened at 7 and Abramis Brama was going on 30 minutes later. Not all of the 850 tickets was sold to the show but since the band is highly loved in Malmo I bet the club was going to be pretty full.
Since the winter is coming to Sweden it was a bit cold when I waited in line for the doors to open but well inside it was warm and cozy. After I scouted for the photo pit I took a look at the merchandise stand that sold t-shorts but not any CD’s or vinyls at all.
Abramis Brama is a Swedish band founded back in 1997 and the bands music are inspired by other Swedish 70’s bands rock music with bands like November and Kapia but also by bands like Black Sabbath and Kiss. The band write lyrics on Swedish and the debut album DANSA TOKDJÄVLENS DANS came 1999 and since then the band have released albums in a steady row, the latest studio effort TUSEN ÅR (Thousand Years) came out this year.
After the first strictly instrumental song the bands singer showed and it was time for “Mjölk Och Honung” a song that woke up the crowd right away. Singer Torkelsson thanked for the support saying we are Abramis Brama and we are here to warm you up and make you ready for the Electric Boys show. “Kejsarens Nya Kläder” followed and it felt like many of the people in the venue was there in order to see Abramis Brama, it was a few years ago the band last visited Malmo and it was obvious that the fans missed the guys. The line up in the band consists of:
Peo Andersson – guitar
Ulf Torkelsson – lead vocals
Fredrik Trisse Liefvendahl – drums
Mats Rydström – bass
Torkelsson moved around across the stage walking out on the short ramp using tambourine and maracas working really hard to get the crowd going. He thanked again for the support and fired off the next song, Torkelsson was the one that moved around the most connecting with the fans and he inhabited crazy energy. He said the band had been out on a crazy ride and that it was fun to meet everyone tonight, he was glad that so many had made their way to the club this night. Now it was time for the band to play a song about vinyl albums which everyone in the band thinks is a magic thing Torkelsson said. The bands 70’s hardrock infused with progressive elements worked really well and the fans kept on dancing and singing along the entire show through. All of the members handled their instruments really well and felt really skilled, the singer was solid as a rock, however with that in mind I didn’t really appreciate their music, it was simply not my cup of tea.
It was so time for a blues tune taken from the new album which was really well received by the fans, the last song for the night was called “Kylan Kommer Inifrån” and the song was a crowd pleaser that set the roof on fire for the fans. Before the song was over Torkelsson had the fans to sing chorus with him and then he thanked the fans and the band walked off the stage. Don’t forget to buy something in the merch he said before he walked off, and that ended the night for Abramis Brama.
The bands 70’s progressive hardrock music maybe didn’t appeal to me but it felt like the fans was really happy and wanted to hear more from the guys. The bands big asset is the lead singer and I hope he doesn’t leave the band because it was he that made the show bearable.
Change of gear was coming on and a new backdrop with Electric Boys written on it came up and the crew worked pretty fast to get the stage in order. Electric Boys is by now a music institution within the harder rock scene in Sweden. The bands previous album STARFLIGHT came out 2014 and from the new pledge-campaigned album THE GHOST WARD DIARIES there have been a few single releases so far. The album is going to be released at the end of November and I have high hopes for it. At first the guys said that they weren’t going to release the album through any distribution label but changed their minds and signed a deal with Mighty Music so it’s them that take care of the release. The band have been active on and off through the years and was woken alive back in 2009, during the absence Bloom and Christell joined forces with Hanoi Rocks between 2004-09, today Electric Boys is alive and kicking and since I have been a fan of the band from the very start I was really looking forward to hear and see the funk o’ metal legends on stage.
The band got ready on stage and first song out was the brand new “Hangover In Hannover” and since many hadn’t heard the song before the cheers wasn’t reaching the top when the song began. I think the song is brilliant and it set the tone really well of what the new album sounds like. The song is the first single from the new disc and was also released with as a video at the beginning of October. “Suffer” followed straight away which is also one of the more current songs, the song was released on the bands youtube channel at the end of March this year as an official audio video. I don’t know if this song is going to be on the album to be honest. The solid line-up consists of;
Conny Bloom – guitar, lead vocals
Franco Santunione – guitar
Andy Christell – bass
Jolle Atlagic – drums
Bloom thanked the crowd saying it was nice to be back in Malmo again, now it’s time for an older tune he said and fired off the epic “Groovus Maximus” that turned up the heat amongst the crowd. Bold by the band to throw such an iconic song so early into the show. The fans sang along with Bloom and stirred up some heat on the floor. “Knee Deep in You” followed which is just another classical song from the band. It was extremely nice to hear those old songs that I have had such a good time to and the song has grown old with style. The band felt solid and tight together however Atlagic doesn’t inhabit the same groove in his drum play as Sigevall has, but he’s still a great drummer that’s for sure. Bloom said it was time for a song about Mary, and when the fans heard that they all raised the roof with cheers because it was time for “Mary In the Mystery World” a song that Bloom now live started out with the Bob Marley intro “No Woman No Cry”. The song is just another major single hit from the GROOVUS MAXIMUS album from 1992 and this night the guys ran through three of the albums big hits after each other. The band was now a bit sweaty and the temperature had been turned up a notch, Bloom fired off a longer guitar solo in the middle of the song where he showed what a great musicians he is. “If Only She Was Lonely” taken from the STARFLIGHT UNITED album from 2014 followed and Bloom looked cool as always in his hat, vest and jacket on. He looked like a real 70’s rock star!
Bloom took off his jacket saying it was getting hot on stage, he played around with his guitar jamming off for a while and then introduced the band. After he had tuned/jammed for a while it was time for “Angel In An Armored Suite”, come on let’s sing together Bloom said and kicked off the song. The song turned into an extra-long version with the fans singing with Bloom and the thanked everyone when it was over. He took out a bottle saying that we all should toast for Malmo, and here comes a new song taken from the album that’s coming out the 23rd of November, the song is dedicated to a dear friend that passed away (Mats Magic Gunnarsson a really well known saxophone player here in Sweden that was a member of Diamond Dogs amongst others bands, he passed away 51 years old in 2014). The song was called “Gone Gone Gone” and the fans calmed down and listened respectfully to the song, I’ve never heard the song before but it sounded promising. Bloom was pretty taken by the lyrics and seemed to be having a hard time finishing the song without getting teary eyed. The other members saw what happened and stopped playing. Bloom took on a guitar solo that led up to “Electrified” which woke up the crowd and Bloom seemed to be needing letting off some steam. It’s just a fact that the band’s older song have stand the test of time and still are amazing to listen to. Bloom asked if the club was ready to sing with the band and while the fans clapped their hands Santunione took on the lead guitar solo.
Bloom told the fans the band had been in a small town some miles outside Malmo to record an album and got sick when the band was headed to Kulturbolaget and Malmo, but now I’m feeling really good he said and here is a song just for you all in “Spaced Out”. Santunione urged the fans to clap their hands and Bloom said it was time for another song from the new album, it was single number two called “You Spark My Heart”. The song was a slower one and the audience stood calmly and listened to the beautiful tune the band was playing. “From Rags To Riches” and “Bad Motherfucker” followed in which Bloom took off his guitar. “Bad Motherfucker” is a more odd song taken from the GROOVUS MAXIMUS album and to my surprise the band, so far, hadn’t played many songs from the debut album FUNK-O-METAL CARPET RIDE or if you will the international version of the album at all, only two songs and that was a bit cheap. Bloom took on his guitar and smiled behind his sunglasses, let’s end the show with a song from the new album, Santunione changed guitar to one with a double neck, and it was time for “One Of The Fallen Angels”. It was a bit strange that the band played so many new songs but I guess it’s fun to play the new material for the fans, by now the band had performed three new songs that the fans hadn’t heard before, bold indeed, however it is nice to see that the guys don’t totally rely on the old classical tunes.
The 65 minutes rushed by and suddenly the show was over, the band thanked for the support and walked off the stage. I looked at the clock and saw it was only 10.20 which meant the guys had a few more minutes left to play for. The fans shouted for encores and the band shortly came on stage again and fired off “Black Betty”. Bloom played the intro and had the fans sing the chorus; it wasn’t much lyrics but mostly chorus which kept the fans busy for a while. I know many artists that have covered this particular song so I had to google the origin of the song. Google said that the song is an African-American work song often credited to Huddie Leadbelly Ledbetter. The best known modern recordings of the song are by Ram Jam, Tom Jones and Spiderbait. Bloom changed his guitar saying it was time for an old crowdpleaser and as Bloom started to play the Citra-intro everyone knew it was time for “All Lips N Hips”, as he held the mic out to the crowd everyone shouted Now Dig This Motherfucker and the song was on. The song is one of the bands biggest hits and is featured on the debut album FUNK-O-METAL CARPET RIDE. Needless to say the song brought down the roof and the crazy fans all sang along and jumped up and down during the song. The band did a brilliant live version of the song that left nothing more to wish for. As the song ended Bloom thanked for an amazing evening, see you all soon again, and the band walked off the stage leaving the fans with another 20 minutes of music.
It was pure joy to see one of my all time favorite acts live in action again, the band was solid and it felt like they had a good time on stage. The set list was bold but fun even though I missed some of my personal favorite songs or a few more tunes from the FUNK-O-METAL CARPET RIDE album. Four new songs were a bit many to play (two of them which the audience hadn’t even heard before). It was a brilliant night at Kulturbolaget and I’m so glad the club booked Electric Boys, hats off for you.
When this review is online the new album THE GHOST WARD DIARIES is out so check it out!!
Hangover in Hannover
Knee Deep In You
Mary In The Mystery World
If Only She Was Lonely
Angel In An Armored Suit
Gone Gone Gone
You Spark My Heart
Rags To Riches
One of The Fallen Angels
All Lips N Hips
Thanks to head of Kulturbolaget Totte Lundgren and Mona Franke Lundgren for help with press/photo pass.
Thanks to the always friendly staff and security at the club.