support Deadpan Interference
author BV date 12/11/15 venue Stengade, Copenhagen, DEN

Even though November is a regular clusterfuck of concerts one would normally want to see, I’ve recently found myself becoming increasingly selective as to what I actually want to spend my time on, rather than my previous efforts to see everything I possibly could. In terms of that, I’ll admit to actually having been looking forward to this particular show for a while as I have never seen Deadpan Interference or Spökraket live in spite of the former getting a bit of seemingly well-deserved attention and the latter having released one of my favorite albums of 2015. – To say I was excited would actually be a bit of an understatement.

All photos courtesy of Philip B. Hansen / philipbh.com

Deadpan Interference

As the time neared something close to 21:15, Deadpan Interference made their way on stage to face a half-packed venue. Armed with a rather anonymous initial impression, their sudden burst of rampant, noisy shoegazing hits with a sense of vitality I hardly could have expected. From the very beginning of their set, Deadpan Interference managed to get several parts of the audience into a minor dancing frenzy up front by sheer musical force – interactions with the crowd were sparse, as were the necessity of such antics as this kind of music works best when it manages to speak for itself – thus minimizing the risk of losing that particular immersive touch. With a throbbing low-end provided a rock solid rhythm section, there was plenty of room for reverberating guitar madness to ensue on several occasions as contrasts to the otherwise surprisingly delicate vocal work which rang clearly through the wall of blissful noise. The set peaked for me somewhere around the time “I Like the Taste (of Ugly Women)” was played – or, well, that’s what it sounded like anyway as I’ll gladly admit that I am not entirely well-versed in Deadpan Interference’s catalog. – Yet, that is, as tonight was a thorough wake-up call. I’d like to hear more variation in their sound, but nonetheless they fared rather well on this particular night.



Following the obligatory changeover, Spökraket slowly began to emerge on stage. Opened by an ambient guitar drone seemingly created via looping and volume swells, more and more members of the band began picking up their instruments until no less than six musicians kicked off with a flurry of cacophonic, highly energetic psychedelic noise-droning. Fueled by three guitars chugging away, armed to the teeth with tons of fuzz and reverb, you can easily imagine the kind of sonic onslaught Spökraket managed to produce within mere minutes of their set. Surprisingly, most of Spökraket’s show is dominated by relatively dynamic material sourced from the band’s more focused efforts like their most recent album “In a Witch Forest”, rather than their lengthy musical flirtations with the art of droning. That doesn’t equal a short and concise performance by any means, and thank whatever deity you’d like for that. As the band ventured into the title track from “In a Witch Forest”, the menacing atmosphere of the track surrounded the, by now, relatively large crowd at Stengade. This was, in part, due to the haunting, percussive effect of Jonathan Højgaard Jensen’s vocals drenched in echo, but also the simple but forcefully dominant drumming performed by the band’s temporary replacement drummer.

Often times a band with three guitarists can easily be deemed either superfluous or a Brian Jonestown Massacre knock-off, but neither of those things seem to apply here as all three guitarists have very defined roles in providing optimal noise to the proceedings – for instance adding frenzied wah-wah squeals on top of another guitars wall of fuzz, whilst the third one plays something entirely different. This was particularly evident throughout the band’s final track of the night, the aptly titled “Lord Drug My Mind” which worked its way into the crowd like a powerful narcotic – eventually inciting frenzied dancing and resulting in more than a few blissfully hypnotized crowd-members. Opting to end things on a freaky note, the band’s percussionist enters the front of the stage to perform some seriously strange vocal work to top off the howling feedback coming from the virtually every instrument on the stage. The crowd wanted more, but Spökraket were sadly unable to deliver more than their 45 minutes of psychedelic freakiness as they had only rehearsed the material they had already opted to play – due to their drummer having split from the band recently. It would have been amazing to hear more, but I ended up leaving Stengade satisfied nonetheless.


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