Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Trailing Scandinavia



As a general fan of all things Scandinavian I was always bound to quite like Danish band The Kissaway Trail, who I witnessed appear live ('as opposed to appearing unalive', © Morrissey) just a couple of hours ago. It's not just the music, what with its often dreamy arctic soundscapes, that sets Scandinavia apart. It's also the social conscience of its politics, its emphasis on the welfare state and a sensible tax system, its climate with joyously dark winters, its laid back culture, its crime and litter free streets, its water features (I love a good archipelago), and its Norwegian ex-Boro star Jan Aage Fjortoft. I'm still hoping to end up living in Sweden one day. A five-day trip to Stockholm is my only experience of Scandinavian life thus far but despite coming back with no money to my name due to the extortionate prices, I fell in love with the place. Mind you, they've elected a centre-right government and its Foreign Minister Anna Lindh was stabbed to death in a department store just a few months after I left, so it sounds like it's all gone to pot ever since my visit. I might just stay over here afterall.

Anyway, this band right. They combine the aforementioned Scandinavian tendency for dreamy and wintry indie sounds with some highly catchy pop melodies. The layered cacophonies and song structures of Arcade Fire and the youthful charm of fellow Danes Mew. I remember first hearing their song 'Smother + Evil = Hurt' (kindly skim over the crass title) on a DrownedInSound podcast nine months ago and really liking it, so I was delighted when this gig was announced. I enjoyed them immensely: they had a fine energy that really filled the little room they were playing (capacity 130). It was at The Knights in Middlesbrough and I went along with Welford and David B. The Knights has hosted a few brilliant gigs since March this year thanks to a new local promoter doing it purely through love of music. It's a great venue for gigs like this: an intimate, social club atmosphere lends itself well to a good honest gig experience, devoid of the pretensions and scenesters you'll find at your average diluted gig/club night combo that seems to be all the rage nowadays. The ticket prices are kept to a minimum with the aim of covering costs rather than profiteering. There's a little cultural revolution going down on Southfield Road - it's brilliant. And The Kissaway Trail could be brilliant in many people's eyes (ears?) soon too.

12 Comments:

Blogger D.B. said...

Fab review. Would you mind if I stole it and put it in the zine? You've said everything I wanted to say in a much better way than I could. Classic roving reportage courtsey of Mr Incident.

I love that venue and I'm really looking forward to Young Republic too. And I think Das Wanderlust are in action there with Euro Childs in late September/October. The cultural revolution continues!

September 06, 2007 11:23 pm  
Blogger Paddy said...

Yes, Euros and Wanderlust is September 29th but I'll be over in Manchester then so will miss it. Hopefully the cultural revolution will survive in my absence. Feel free to pilfer anything - once I put words down I hand them over to the people. You've got to put something back.

September 07, 2007 4:54 pm  
Blogger Gez said...

Aha, with that Morrissey quote you have revealed yourself to be a listener of Russell Brand's podcast (unless, of course Mozza repeats himself, which he does, in which case I've just revealed my self to be a Russell Brand fan live (as opposed to unlive) on the blogosphere). Time for home I think, I'm rambling all over your blog.

September 10, 2007 6:48 pm  
Blogger Paddy said...

It seems I've been outed. I have indeed listened to Brand's podcasts for quite a while, although it's gone rapidly downhill since the departure of Trevor Lock, who really raised its standard and made Brand seem better than he really is. Mind you, the Morrissey one was the best of all.

I didn't like hearing Morrissey had introduced himself live on stage as Russell Brand at a gig shortly afterwards though. No need for that.

September 10, 2007 8:50 pm  
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