Copenhagen Showdown #2: Preview

author PP date 04/12/09

A little over a month has passed since the first Copenhagen Showdown took place to mixed feelings both by the people in attendance and about half of the staff of who was present that night. The blurb said Copenhagen Showdown's the new real deal when it comes to punk and hardcore clubs after Stengade 30 shut down, but what we were treated to was monotonous hardcore from Fredericia and a decent but rather average hardcore punk act from the Netherlands. Lots of people came about to check out the bands without properly knowing either one of them, lots of people bought drinks, but overall the night left something to be desired for. From what I could gather from a brief email correspondence with 3rd Tsunami Agency, the people behind the Copenhagen Showdown initiative, they were happy with the turnout and how the night progressed but shared our slight disappointment at the bands' lack of ability to win the crowd over. However, they did mention before the show that the lineup was going to be the heaviest they're planning to book...well...ever, just for the purpose of launching the event with a bang. The lineup of Copenhagen Showdown #2 is pretty much the polar opposite, and this time 3rd Tsunami has booked a headliner that's actually worth paying for, namely Sarah Blackwood.

Who? Exactly my first reaction as well, and that's why it's my job to give you guys a reason to go, and boy, I'm actually really looking forward to witnessing Sarah sing her acoustic country/rockabilly songs live after checking out songs from her debut album "Way Back Home". But first some background information. Sarah's from Toronto, Ontario, Canada (we all know how awesome the Ontario scene is), and she normally sings and plays guitar in a horrorbilly band called The Creepshow (similar stuff as The Horrorpops), where she's known to her fans as "Sarah Sin". She has almost 300,000 profile views on Myspace, making her big enough to be recurrently covered on NME, one of the largest print music magazines in the UK. She's also played in a band called Dubstar, and had a side project called Client together with Katie Holmes, whom you might recognize from Batman Begins, Phone Booth and other blockbuster films. You might also recognize her last name because her brother Ian Blackwood plays in a punk rock band called The Artist Life (he also recorded & mixed her debut album). But as a solo artist, she stands/sits on stage alone with an acoustic guitar, playing rockabilly / country influenced folk / singer-songwriter songs that, upon a few repeat listens, won me over with their sheer warmth and honesty. Especially the live version of her song "Drag Me Down", which you can find in the player below, will give you a feel of how genuine, honest, and down-to-earth Sarah is in a live environment, interacting with the crowd mid song. Basically, Sarah Blackwood is all about country rock with lots and lots of feeling.

What the critics say about Sarah Blackwood

* "Way Back Home is exactly as it sounds, a CD of Blackwood visiting her early roots of country and working class folk heroes like Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger."

* "A heavenly voice to kill for"

* "Listening to Way Back Home is like finding Sarah Blackwood's diary, feeling bad about reading it, then getting completely immersed and captivated by the beauty, sincerity and heartfelt urgency that she pours into every word......There are no antics and no special effects when it comes to her music and live show, just raw acoustic rock coming straight from the heart"

* "Those who have never heard of Blackwood but happen to be able to attend one of her live shows will be in for a real treat"

Check out the songs in the player plus the video above, and tell me you're not convinced about Sarah Blackwood. I went from "meh" to "awesome" in a matter of 30 minutes! So all signs are pointing at Copenhagen Showdown #2 to be a very different event overall than the launch event over a month ago. There are two other local bands on the bill as well, The Untamed and Deadmen's Suit, who both play varying degrees of rockabilly / psychobilly, the latter leaning especially much on the 50s and 60s (think Elvis) with their sound. While I don't predict either band to blow the audience away, they'll have to try pretty god damn hard to be worse than Spinkick last time around. Who knows, maybe they'll surprise?

WHEN: Saturday, December 5th

WHERE: Amager BETA, Copenhagen (


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