Fribytterdrømme

support Tyrants & Kings + The Janitors
author BV date 11/10/14 venue Loppen, Copenhagen, DEN

In the confines of an apartment behind the record store Repo Man Records, located in Nørrebro, the two record labels Bad Afro Records and Levitation Records and the booking agency Gearbox decided to host a showcase of sorts – a collaborative effort – where each entity would bring one band to the lineup in order show a diverse roster of bands that these three entities find particularly relevant. On this Saturday night, that particular lineup was realized when Tyrants & Kings, The Janitors and Fribytterdrømme were scheduled to play at Loppen. As an additional scoop, this venture was also successful in convincing legendary radio-host Jan Sneum to get behind the decks as a DJ – thus ensuring a wide range of quality tunes to listen to whenever the bands weren’t playing.

All photos courtesy of: Jan Dyrlund

Tyrants and Kings

Shortly after 22:00, Tyrants and Kings took the stage in a somewhat anonymous fashion. Opening their set with a slow-paced, brooding and lingering sort of track, the band seemed to have initial difficulties in getting the crowd engaged in the proceedings. This proved to be a somewhat valid point throughout their set, as their crunchy, balls-to-the-wall style of rock n’ roll failed to strike a chord in many of the listeners’ immediate consciousness. However, to be fair this did not necessarily mean that everyone who attended were stoic watchmen, waiting for the next set. I’d rather say it created a clear division of the audience between those who were clearly there for the remaining two acts, and the faithful fan-base of Tyrants & Kings who were wiggling around and dancing to the crunchy riffing or staring at the various power-stands as performed by the band during their heavier or more groovy passages. Sadly, I probably belonged mostly in the first part of the crowd, staring at the stage with a beer in hand ready to admit that I wasn’t really getting into the vibe. – Luckily I don’t have a hard time imagining why the people who got into it – this is just one of those cases of different strokes for different folks, I guess.

The Janitors

Now, The Janitors on the other hand were something I had looked forward to for quite some time. Having initially missed their set at Copenhagen Psych Fest due to scheduling clashes and a poor ability to keep track of time, this seemed like a perfect opportunity to redeem myself and finally see what the fuss is about when it comes to a live show by The Janitors. Sounding heavy and ominous as ever when they took the stage, The Janitors relied heavily on the forceful but minimalistic bass grooves and the lingering sense of impending doom from the hypnotizing vocal work. With tracks like “There Will Be Blood” and “Here They Come” (both from their newest EP), The Janitors made it rather clear that echoes, politics and hauntingly drone-based psych is the perfect counterpart to some of the somewhat popularized and easily accessible psych that is currently being released upon the world. One thing I particularly enjoyed throughout their set, was the consistency with which their material was delivered, as if the material was conceptual, almost intertwining. In spite of natural halts in the music and small forays into attempted communication with the crowd, each little (or rather grand) piece of music seemed to connect perfectly with the one that preceded it – in turn becoming an utterly fascinating listening experience.

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Fribytterdrømme

I can’t say that I didn’t have huge expectations for Fribytterdrømme’s show on this particular night. After they blew me away at Copenhagen Psych Fest, I’ve felt drawn to their music with equal parts of fascination and awe, wondering if they might be the next ‘big’ thing within Danish psych once their debut album finally sees the light of day. It was a quarter past midnight before the 7-man strong ensemble took the stage in a fashion that was far from anonymous. As born conveyers of showmanship, even their brief soundcheck seemed at least a bit entertaining due to their various humorous antics – leaving the crowd somewhat entertained until their set, quite surprisingly, opened with their 17-minute epic “Fribytterdrømmen”. Through the various ups and downs of that particular track, including the various on- and off-stage antics by the band members, Fribytterdrømme displayed most of what I find so endearing about them – everything from the occasionally off-pitch but highly charismatic vocals, over to the subtle but forceful drumming, the sheer magnitude of sound coming from the three guitars and the swirling organ and the dynamic foundation of the bass which seemed to make it all come together in this epic, sonic adventure. With “Jeg Graver Huller I Mørket” they displayed their affinity for creating relatively concise and rather danceable tracks that seemed (especially) popular among the female attendees of the night. Venturing into a track called “Kosmonauten”, Fribytterdrømme showed a development in their sound that is borderline Hawkwind-reminiscent in its execution – making full use of the wall of fuzz guitars at their disposal, whilst also making heavy use of droning repetition. Closing the proceedings with the ritualistic and hypnotically drawn-out “Fem Er Det Magiske Nummer”, Fribytterdrømme once again manifested themselves as an excellent live-band that constantly stands on the verge between highly professional and hilariously random at the very same time – making it damn near impossible for me to not leave Loppen with a smile on my face.

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