Racing Decays

support Sickness Within
author PP date 14/08/09 venue Lades Kælder, Copenhagen, DEN

For what must happen only once in a lifetime, one of the largest Danish music magazines Gaffa was actually right about something when choosing Racing Decays and their record "Full Throttle" as the winner of their demo of the month competition. It's not too often (if ever) that punk bands win this prize, which awards a pre-booked show at Lades Kælder for the winners that are usually dominated by crappy indie bands month after month, so here's one more reason to feel good about the burgeoning Danish punk scene. It's just too bad that even a cheap 50DKK entrance fee and a perfect Friday night time slot couldn't entice more people to come check out the psychobilly punks - only about 30-40 people had showed up today - but at least the ones who did were ready to party. Lets start with the support band Sickness Within though.

Sickness Within

Out of a whole bunch of bands that could've supported Racing Decays tonight, Sickness Within were probably the least suitable, considering they are the polar opposite to the party inducing psychobilly punk of the former. Combining together lengthy progressive metal/hardcore passages with lightning speed shredding and thrash metal influences, they were just not the band for tonight's crowd. Not only were they too serious in their expression (like all metal bands always are), but their songs didn't have enough spark in them to keep the crowd interested, and so after only a couple of songs I found myself to be the only crowd member still standing in front of the stage, whilst everyone else had retreated back to their tables and were engaging in conversation instead. It's not that these guys were terrible, because they played with conviction and with the occasional superb moment in a song or two, they just don't match with a punk rock crowd.

5

Racing Decays

As soon as Racing Decays entered the stage, however, the crowd quickly rushed to the front, ready to dance and party along to the music. Much like material by The 20Belows the night before, their songs simply just sound much better live. For starters, the slightly annoying clicking noise from the contrabass wasn't audible (thanks to the loud volume), making it much easier to enjoy the slick bass-lines which so nicely supplement the rowdy three chord guitar. Perhaps this is why the front of the stage was dominated by a dozen or so people dancing frenetically along to the music, using both the 2-step dance from hardcore as well as something that at least looked similar to ska-skanking. Or it could've been that Racing Decays played four or five of their best songs straight away in the form of "Death Before Disappointment", "Barroom Hero", and "Feet Song" among others. Kind of a weird choice, because although it got the crowd moving and excited, this meant that the next five or six songs were destined to be somewhat more boring - visible also in the amount of people dancing that reduced significantly at this point.

Luckily, Racing Decays never spent too long in between those and the killer tracks, so you never had a long wait before the next party song was up. Performance-wise, the band were quite energetic, but as you would expect from a band sporting a contrabass in their set, the highlights were predictably during The Living End-esque trickery with the instrument, where Kasper Jensen would be standing on top of the instrument while playing it, or alternatively supporting the instrument whilst guitarist Micheletti would be soloing whilst standing on it. Such pre-arranged moves may feel gimmick-ey to some, but in reality they are just cool little details that make you remember the show much better.

Finishing off with a whole bunch of awesome songs after "Go", a quick look around the crowd meant seeing lots of sweaty people with smiling faces. Whenever that's the case for the majority of the crowd, you know you've been to a good show. Actually scratch that, you'll know you've been to a good show when you're singing along to at least half the songs and moving about yourself - and any show that contains a cover of "Ace Of Spades" by Motörhead (by Sickness Within) and a psychobilly Johnny Cash cover as its final song just has to be good.

8

Setlist:

1. Death Before Disappointment

2. Barroom Hero

3. Feet Song

4. Good Ol' Times

5. Paranoid

6. Fastlane

7. Red Child

8. Tits N Ass

9. Nightmare

10. Devils Deal

11. Go

12. Neighbourhood Chick

13. Play Dead

14. Lonely Hero

15. Hey

16. Few Things

17. Full Throttle

18. Cover of Johnny Cash - Folsom Prison

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