Siamese Fighting Fish

support Stream City + VOLA
author TL date 25/09/21 venue Rust, Copenhagen, DEN

I had originally mistaken the night I am about to describe for you, as an installment of Rust's Comet Club, where upcoming local bands get a shot at impressing a crowd. However, I have later been informed by a certain mr. Radonjica, that the night did in fact belong to his band, Siamese Fighting Fish, who were indeed headlining the bill. Regardless, I remember talking to him prior to the show, in conversations where he stressed that not only did SIFIFI have something in special for us, but that it was also important to get there in time for the two bands they had landed as support. Knowing that the frontman does not usually whip up undeserved hype, I made a mental note to follow his request, and found myself scrambling to make trains on the night itself, so that I would arrive at Rust, a venue I have previously described here, in due time to watch all three bands!


I almost succeeded too! At least as far as I could gather when I arrived at the venue, starters VOLA had not been playing more than a couple of songs, and this impressed me, because they had already gathered the attention of a respectably sized crowd. It didn't impress me half as much as the band proceeded to do with their music though. Adding keyboards and backup vocals to the ordinary rock band setup, the guys treated us to a confident and powerful doze of their dreamy prog rock - at one moment tranquil and melodic, only to change in the next, into short danceable electronic bursts of atmosphere, and then change again, into deafening riffage. Okay, so arguably the sound was mostly rather quiet, which gave VOLA a very mature and restrained appearance, but when they let it rip it was simply awesome, and it was especially impressive to hear how well their singer made his relatively deep voice compliment the soundscape, not only when singing alone but also when supported by the higher pitched backup vocals. If you ask me, VOLA's music is an example of the best kind of stuff, for taking home and listening to on your own, which they'd also given you the opportunity to do, by placing free EP's around the venue (review in max. one week!). However, if I must make a little squeak of criticism, is must be that the perceived maturity of the band also made them seem a little bit too restrained maybe. I'm not suggesting that all bands jump around like pop-punk teens on stage, but a little more energy, both in the music and in the performance, and it would only make VOLA even more promising than I already think they are.

Stream City

Now after that display, I didn't think I could expect much from the next band on the bill. After all, learning about two new entirely unknown and entirely awesome bands in one night, is a bit much to ask for right? Maybe usually, but not this night, because Stream City were possibly even a slight step cooler than VOLA. Mixing together more elements than I dare remember into a fast-paced, attitude-fueled punk rock explosion, Stream City's performance tonight took them straight up alongside Stars Burn Stripes in my Danish Punk Hall of Fame. Shamefully though, the amount of people who got excited for them was notably smaller than the one for VOLA, as the hipster crowd that usually frequents Rust thinned out considerably for this more down to earth and straight forward affair. For anyone in the market for punk however, it truly was show time. Adding a violinist to the punk setup looked promising from the get go, but if I was briefly hoping for Yellowcard, what I got was closer to a ska-meets-Celtic-punk-meets-battle-rock. It's hard to explain, because the mix of things came at you at NOFX level speeds - technical punk riffs, Turisas-like violin playing, ska-ish tempo changes and a vocalist that sounded like a hybrid of Nikola Sarcevic (Millencolin) and Greg Graffin (Bad Religion). Oh and there were even backing screams! I was loving every second of it, simply because it gave a fresh face to a genre that, to me at least, is reinvented much too faithfully, much too often. Add humorous between song banter, courtesy of singer/guitarist Dion Finne who sounded almost too much like a jesting, provincial barroom hero, while exchanging words with the home crowd that had obviously followed the band to the front of the stage. Oh and there was crowd surfing and drunken dancing and people on stage, and lots of other things you don't often see before the last band comes on. All Stream City really need to do to start blowing other minds than mine, is to get some proper recordings to put on myspace, and until they do, for the sake of punk, go see them if they play near you!


Siamese Fighting Fish

Even though Stream City were pretty damn awesome however, I had absolutely no expectations of Siamese Fighting Fish taking the show down a notch. Not only have the guys sounded better and better each time I've heard them, but the new material they've been playing have also been promising, and lately it seems that they have become more and more eager to surround their band with various special happenings for fans to be amazed by. This night was no exception. Donning the same black ninja outfits that they wore when they recently hosted a secret street party, the band jumped on stage in front of video screens to the sound of samples from the classic Karate Kid movie. And as they kicked into their set, I couldn't help but think, that even though they've always been energetic and hard to get into, these days, they are more intense than I think I can describe. I frankly don't know what's busier, their bandmembers on stage, or their songs? To see them live this night, seems a little bit like listening to System Of A Down for the first time, thinking "that shit is craaazy", while fuckin' ninjas are jumping around a stage with instruments. Singer Mirza's skillful Eastern-European vocals often change suddenly and seamlessly from mood-setting drawn out notes, into angry yells and screams, as his band hammers out breakdowns like it's nobody's business - while all are of course bouncing through the air. I can think of no band that sounds like this, let alone performs like this, I'll give SIFIFI that much, and as they spice things up with more samples in between songs, and a cheeky appearance of a laser glove on the picking hand of guitarist Jake in the last song, it's clear that this is a band that manages to give it's audience a total experience. That being said though, the extremely busy and ambitious soundscapes are still retardedly hard to appreciate without prior knowledge, which can also be felt in the crowd's sometimes confused reaction to the songs that aren't available online. However, let's see that album out soon boys, then I'm sure we'll be ready to appreciate the show even more. We just need some time on our own to fuckin' get it!


Photos courtesy of Tania Gibson

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