LIVE: The 69 Eyes, Hardcore Superstar and Crashdiet – Electric Ballroom, London 01/04/2011
The last leg of the Dark Decadence tour featuring three of Scandinavia’s glam and sleaze dealers promised that the Electric Ballroom would wreak of the smell of hairspray and JD smothered in worn leather. This was certainly the case with openers Crashdiet. Backcombed bangs and finely tuned chorus sections over crunchy trash-fueled riffage dominated their set which was a rare treat for the UK audience as they seldom tour over here. Thanks to TFL we scuttled in to the last couple of songs, but the audience were going mental (pretty impressive at 7.15 on a Friday evening). Simon Cruz may not have been there at the start and fans may still be hurting from the death of Dave Lepard but he held his own with his pierced and punked swagger. Crashdiet’s latest album, 2010’s “Generation Wild” much like their previous material has an untamed, youthful desire – and after the reaction I saw from the crowd, there’s still that spirit. Let’s see what they have in store for the next release.
After being treated to a whole changeover break of Nickelback on the sound system, the audience were only too happy to hear Hardcore Superstar taking to the stage with the sounds of Van Halen’s “Dance The Night Away”. They ripped straight into their set that was to be the performance of the night. Vocalist Joakim was pinging around the stage like a budgie on speed belting out classics from their self titled album such as “My Good Reputation” and “Wild Boys”. “Last Call for Alcohol” – good, a song about drinking! One of the standout tracks on the band’s newest release “Split Your Lip” made for a good headbanger.
Grabbing the acoustic guitar and playing “Here Come’s That Sick Bitch” just gave a perfect demonstration of the vocal power and range Joakim has. Brilliant song on record but very satisfying to hear live. Ploughing through a high energy set, their drummer Adde went for a wander through the crowd and I’m assuming one of the road crew took the kit.
Ending on their ‘club hit’ “We Don’t Celebrate Sundays” the crowd were hot, sweaty, jumping and in full chorus. Having seen HCSS on every London leg since the release of ‘Hardcore Superstar’ – this was their best live performance, without a shadow of a doubt. Whether they were upping their game as the last night of the UK tour or they have just got tighter – who cares. They rocked. End of.
Helsinki’s Vampires – The 69 Eyes were the final act of the night. Frontman Jyrki 69 came out looking like a Gothic Elvis with his fringed leather jacket. So let’s refer to him as Gelvis 69. Flooded with blue lights and wearing sunglasses, they did indeed look like a bunch of vamps. However, musically – as they open with “Devils” think Sisters of Mercy making out with Hanoi Rocks and let Danzig kick back and watch.
Playing tracks spanning their entire catalogue, the standout tracks were easily from their most recent “Back In Blood” album. I’ve still got “Dead N’ Gone” rolling around in my head!. Tongues firmly planted in cheeks for “Dead Girls Are Easy” – the crowd pumped at the ‘hey! hey’ chorus parts. “Kiss Me Undead” was also a great addition into the lineup. Singing about furniture with “The Chair” (well, ok as a metaphor) took the band back about 10 years with chugging guitars and deeper vocals. Vamptastic. Gelvis 69 and his boys did good. But it’s about time we had another album, more tongue in cheek – definitely suits The 69 Eyes.
Each band had their own feel-good factor, so kudos to the promoters organising the tour for this line-up. My gripe of the night was the early start so that the Ballroom could get round 2 of paying punters in with the weekly club night after. I don’t know about other dates on the tour but the sets seemed shorter (bit cheeky on a London ticket surcharge) and the whole night seemed hurried. Plus points to Crashdiet for holding their own so early when lesser bands would have severely suffered.
All words and images by Nix.