The Hellacopters with support act The Datsuns on European Mini Tour – 2022 at Kulturbolaget Malmo, Sweden

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The Hellacopters

European Mini Tour – 2022

The Datsuns – support act

Kulturbolaget
Malmo, Sweden
23/11 – 2022

Live pictures and review by:
Anders Sandvall

 

 

Swedish garage rock n’ rollers The Hellacopters were initially put to rest back in 2008, only to reunite in 2016. Over the years the lineup has changed, with original guitarist Dregen leaving and returning, and the bass slot currently being filled by Dolf De Borst of current tourmates, The Datsuns. Earlier in 2022, the band released a brand new studio album titled EYES OF OBLIVION, and have done some spot shows in support. In November, the band kicked off a short European tour, consisting of 8 shows, with the last being in Malmo. It’s actually the first time they’ve performed in Malmo since their reunion.

As I said, playing support this time were The Datsuns, which meant that De Borst had a hectic schedule. The Datsuns, from New Zealand, formed in 1998 by Dolf De Borst, Christian Livingstone and Phil Somervell. The bands self-titled debut album came out in 2002, just as the band moved to London, UK.

 

The Datsuns

The show sold out almost immediately, so there was a long line of excited fans outside the club, wiating for the doors to at 7pm.

The Datsuns hit the stage at 8 o’clock sharp, and the first songs out were “Gods are Bored” and “Other People’s Eyes”. After “Sittin’ Pretty”, De Borst thanked the people for being there to see them before kicking into “Harmonic Generator”. The line up in the band today is:

Dolf De Borst – lead vocals, guitar
Christian Livingstone – guitar
Phil Somervell – guitar
Adam Lindmark – drums

“Brain to Brain” continued on the show, and I noticed nothing much really happened on stage, nor were the fans on the floor very active. Maybe the fact that it was a Wednesday took away some of the party mood? “Dehumanise” and “Caught In the Silver” followed, and I can say that despite the lack of action, the band’s garage rock n’ roll was a perfect opener for The Hellacopters.

De Borst didn’t do much talking between the songs, he mostly thanked the crowd and introduced the next song. “Axethrower” followed after which De Borst handed over his instrument to another member, leaving him to focus on singing, which allowed him to move around a bit more, standing with one foot the monitor and then jumping down into the photo pit. To the fans delight, he walked out amongst the crowd while singing, which was a highlight of the show.

The band felt solid and De Borst is a great front man that shined most when he was able to leave move around without his instrument. Besides The Hellacopters, he’s also a part of Nicke Andersson’s other band, Imperial State Electric. In “Helping Hands” he had the fans to clap their hands and he once again took a leap into the photo pit. De Borst thanked fans for the support and announced Boba Fett from The Hellacopters would join them on stage. He sat down at his piano and played “Goodbye Ghosts” with the band. Fett also joined in on the next song, “Gold Halo”. “MF From Hell” was next, and that song ended the show.

It felt like not many people in the club had heard The Datsuns before, and I guess the vast majority were only there to see The Hellacopters. Still, I think the support act did a fairly good job warming up the crowd. The band delivered solid garage rock n’ roll and I was satisfied with what I had witnessed.

Setlist
Gods are Bored
Other People’s Eyes
Sittin’ Pretty
Harmonic Generator
Brain to Brain
Dehumanise
Caught In the Silver
Axethrower
Bit My Tongue
Helping Hands
Goodbye Ghosts
Gold Halo
MF From Hell

By now, many more people had shown up and the club was pretty jammed. Clearly, many were eager to see the band who hadn’t performed in Malmo for quite a while. There were some mixed emotions, given that this would be the last time The Hellacopters would play at Kulturbolaget at this site, given that the club will move in 2023. It was also emotional not to see former guitarist Robert “Strängen” Dahlqvist who passed away a few years ago perform with the band live, and we will always miss seeing departed original bass player Kenny Håkansson up on stage.

The Hellacopters

The band showed up during the intro music and the first song out was one of their biggest hits in “Hopeless Case of a Kid in Denial”. The song set the fans on fire right away! “Crimson Ballroom” continued straight away and the fans weren’t given time to catch their breath. What an amazing way of opening the show with such two strong songs. The line up in the band today is:

Nicke Andersson – lead vocals, guitar
Robert Eriksson – drums
Anders “Boba Fett” Lindström – organ, piano
Dregen – guitar
Dolf De Borst – bass

Andersson kicked off the next song but Dregen had some issues with his guitar pedal, forcing them to slow things down. Finally the issues were solved and it was time for “Carry Me Home”, taken from 2002’s BY THE GRACE OF GOD; it’s a personal favorite of mine. “A Plow and a Doctor” from the new album was next and it seemed like some of the fans hadn’t listened to the new album yet, based on the lack of reaction. “Positively Not Knowing” taken from the new album EYES OF OBLIVION continued the show and once again the tempo amongst the fans slowed down. Dregen noticed that and urged everyone on the floor to clap their hands.

Back in the days the whole band was a whirlwind on stage, but now they are more laid back and stand mostly at their spots during the show. Even the energetic force that is Dregen took it pretty easy on stage, keeping himself on his side during the majority of the show. Andersson thanked the fans while introducing De Borst on bass, who kicked off the next song “Like No Other Man”. The song is from 1997’s PAYIN’ THE DUES and woke up the crowd again. But then they played the ballad, “So Sorry I Could Die”, and it brought down the enthusiasm yet again. I have to be honest, that song isn’t the most exciting.

“Toys and Flavors” set things straight again with a big sing along as the fans took care of the chorus on. As the stage filled up with smoke it was time for “Tab”, from SUPERSHITTY TO THE MAX. When Dregen asked if the fans were having  a good time, everyone shouted “yes!”. “The Devil Stole the Beat From the Lord” brought back the ecstatic atmosphere in the club; the old classic song sounded as good as it did back in the day. Boba Fett was handed a guitar for “The Pressure’s On”, another new one that yet again took the crowd out of things. “Try Me Tonight” continued on the show, after which Andersson thanked the fans and fired off “Everything’s On TV”.

It was really nice to hear one of my old favorite songs and it was also nice to see the band back together in a smaller club. The band has always delivered some of their strongest performances on smaller sweaty club stages and all of the members seemed to have a great time together. Eriksson’s drumming was as solid and groovy as ever and together with De Borst’s bass lines, kept the rhythm’s pumping. I do miss the guitar poses that Andersson and Strängen had going on between them; Dregen and Andersson left that all behind.

Andersson said it was time to play a new song in the title track from the new album, “Eyes of Oblivion”. Fans should really pay more attention to the new album, it’s really good. “Soulseller” was next and the fans jumped up and down together with Andersson. “By the Grace of God” had the crowd exploding, and after a long outro, Dregen thanked the fans for a great night and the rest of the band left the stage with him.

The 70-minute show wasn’t enough and the fans started to shout for encores straight away. After a while Eriksson returned back on stage thanking the crowd for the massive support, followed by the rest of the band. Andersson said that even though the guys aren’t 45 anymore, the night had been awesome and that the band still had some songs left to deliver. The first encore was “Reap a Hurricane” which was the first single out from the new album and by now the band probably had played the majority of the songs from EYES OF OBLIVION.

“I’m In the Band” continued the encores and Andersson left the chorus to be sung by the fans. The band clearly wasn’t tired as the members all delivered fierce encores. Andersson must be one of the best front men alive; he’s got such a presence on stage, it’s ridiculous. The massive hit “(Gotta Get Some Action) Now!” continued the party, and it’s another personal favorites of mine. That song ended the final show for The Hellacopters at the present Kulturbolaget. Dregen and Andersson both thanked the fans for the support while taking off their instruments.

Even though I think 85-minutes is maybe too short for a headline act, I guess the guys were a bit tired and it was time to shut down for this night.

The Hellacopters showed why they are one of the best live acts in the world and why they are the undisputed heroes of garage rock n’ roll. Not many other bands can deliver shows like this; it’s always a treat to see the guys live. The set list included 7 current songs which was maybe a couple too many; I would have liked to hear more songs from both HIGH VISIBILITY and BY THE GRACE OF GOD.

Overall this was another epic night with The Hellacopters, at the best club in Sweden. I hope it doesn’t take them as long to return to Malmo next time! This show ended the concert year in 2022 for me.

Setlist
Intro
Hopeless Case of a Kid In Denial
Crimson Ballroom
Carry Me Home
A Plow and a Doctor
Positively Not Knowing
Like No Other Man
So Sorry I Could Die
Toys And Flavors
Tab
The Devil Stole the Beat From the Lord
The Pressure’s On
Try Me Tonight
Everything’s On TV
Eyes Of Oblivion
Soulseller
By the Grace of God
Encores
Reap a Hurricane
I’m In the Band
(Gotta Get Some Action) Now!”

Huge thanks to Totte Lundgren, head of Kulturbolaget, for help with press/photo pass.
And thanks to staff and crew at the club for a great night.
www.kulturbolaget.se

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Thanks to Kulturbolaget for booking so many great acts during 2022.

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