Vidunder

support Katla
author AP date 24/10/13 venue Stengade, Copenhagen, DEN

Stengade has been booking some very interesting bands of late - bands that are generating buzz already, but still waiting to get a proper foothold. Tonight is no exception, and since it's a Thursday and I've got no better plans, here I am again, for the second time in one week, to treat my ears to some tunes that were cool in the 1970's, and which most people probably thought would never be cool again.

All photos courtesy of Peter Troest

Katla

Katla get off to a sluggish start with a track that seems to go nowhere, and a sound mix that sounds like the band's namesake, an Icelandic volcano, erupting. Fortunately, the mix becomes more balanced cue the end of the lengthy opening track, with a wonderful shrill guitar solo producing the first glimpses of this local doom trio's talent. The music is good, and as the second song grows louder, heavier and faster via a fantastic crescendo, the trio - timid up until now - become more animated, thus adding an important visual component to the set. Still, it is far too clear Katla still lack the experience and, above all, confidence to command a live audience, as none of the three members seem comfortable enough to interact with us. Instead, they spend most of the set glaring at each other or the floor, diminishing my general opinion of them somewhat - though it must be said that the last song (possibly titled "Anima Mundi"), set to appear on a cassette tape the band plan on releasing in 2014, bodes well for this as-of-yet unknown act. It concludes in a feverish psychedelic jam that has the crowd entranced, with a cool tribal feel to the drumming giving it a ritualistic feel. There's certainly promise here, but Katla need to work on their performance and, most importantly, confidence, in order to push themselves to the next level.

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Vidunder

The torrent of Swedish heritage rock bands continues: up next before my critical eye are Vidunder, who, despite having two less members, sound eerily similar to Graveyard on their self-titled début album and "Hisingen Blues". In fact, the only difference I can siphon out based on tonight's performance is that in one song, an instrumental jam sandwiched between opener "Summoning the Not Living" and "Your Ghost", the band expose a rather psychedelic aspect of themselves, reminding me more of Dean Allen Foyd. Similar to that band also is Vidunder's garb, all three - guitarist/vocalist Martin Prim, bassist Linus Larsson and drummer Jens Rasmussen - are dressed in some serious 70's gear, patterned shirts, bootcut jeans and all. They have the semblance of what we currently call hipsters, and it does make me wonder why the 'real' hipsters, for all their ironic embracing of all things retro, have not taken to this style of rock music rather than noisy, atonal garage punk and such.

As is customary to bands like Vidunder, the setlist is balanced between slow, blue ballads à la "Trees" and "Threefold", and faster rock'n'roll tracks like the natively sung "Asmodeus" and "Into Her Grave" - the lead single off the group's recent self-titled LP. The set is short though, clocking in at just 35 minutes (which is less than the support act use) excluding the unplanned encore "Beware the Moon". This works to Vidunder's advantage, as the concert has the feel of an appetiser and awakens in me a desire to find out more about this band. It's long enough for Vidunder to showcase their strengths - they're a decent live act and rock some interesting ideas in a number of their songs - without compromising its catchiness; there simply isn't time for Vidunder's set to become boring, given its short length.

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Setlist:

  • Summoning the Not Living
  • (instrumental jam)
  • Your Ghost
  • Trees
  • Threefold
  • Asmodeus
  • Fire
  • Into Her Grave

--Encore--

Beware the Moon

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