Bandit Rock Night @ Debaser Slussen

Librah + Crunge + Junkstars
Debaser Slussen, Stockholm (SE)
13th June 2013

Librah, Crunge and Junkstars playing live in the same Bandit Rock Night, with DJs Sheriffen and Richie Puzz, at the iconic Debaser Slussen, in beautiful Stockholm city was something I couldn’t miss (and trust me, I did go through a lot of trouble not to miss it…).

Librah started seducing the crowd with their experimental alternative rock somewhat after 8 p.m. Not that many people there yet, but little by little more arrived and they all let themselves be carried away by the heavy emotion that the trio unleashes with every note. And Debaser may be a nightmare to the average photographer (like me) regarding the lights – dim back lights with occasional strobes – but the sound is great. So one could hear distinctively Martin’s voice and all instruments, appreciating both the quality of the music and how much the musicians gave themselves to the performance. Promoting their debut album “Inside The Black Balloon”, songs such as “Welcome Denial”, “Red Matter” or “Someone At The Door” enthralled the crowd.

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Before Crunge got on stage, Sheriffen, Richie Puzz and Kimmy (the only female voice at Bandit Rock Radio at the moment) distributed the prizes of some quiz that had been taking place outside. If my Swedish wasn’t so terrible, I could tell you some of the things they’ve said, but right now all I can say is that everybody was in high spirits and clearly having fun.

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Crunge, who “don’t play grunge” as singer Mathias stated, don’t have a full-length album yet to promote, but a couple of EPs do the trick perfectly – “Desolate” (2011) and “Throwdown” (2012). The band explores a side of rock totally different from Librah – the heavy side, loaded with groove. While the previous gig took people into an introspective journey, this other appealed to rawer feelings and more effusive body manifestations (meaning fists in the air and headbanging). Also the musicians didn’t stand still for a moment, the rhythm just too infectious for that to be possible. With or without a guitar in his hands, Mathias addressed to the crowd often, whether to thank them, incite them to clap their hands, introduce the following song or just say something funny. Bassist Peter talked a few times too – after all, he’s also a Bandit Rock Radio host, so if there was anyone who still didn’t know Crunge, the chances were that they would certainly know him. One of those times I believe he was talking about the “last shows” there at Debaser, as it seems the place is shutting down in September, due to the rebuilding of the Slussen area (something that’s been planned since the seventies). But as people cheered afterwards, Peter must have said something like “let’s hear it for Debaser” or “scream loud as there won’t be another chance to do it here”… whatever it was, it wasn’t a sad thing.
Mathias introduced “Diggin’” as “the best song we’ve written” and after that came a brand new one, to be featured on their upcoming album – “Evil Woman”. “We Are” closed a very energetic gig, leaving the crowd screaming for more.

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I confess I didn’t know much about Junkstars – except that they were a punk-ish rock band and had won the best Swedish newcomer at Bandit Rock Awards 2012. That was enough for me – punk rock bands always work great on stage, plus they had the vote of so many Bandit listeners… even if the quick listen I took on Spotify didn’t impress me much, I was sure I was going to have a great time. And of course I was right. Let me tell you that the studio versions don’t make these guys any justice!
It was their very debut album, “With A Twist Of Lemon”, that caused such a fuss in the Swedish music scene, but only half of their setlist featured its songs. Since the follow-up is supposed to see the light of day this fall, I believe the other half was all new songs.
At some point, singer/guitarist Max Diesel introduced the band’s own Lifestyle Magazine (“40 pages of punk n roll!”), made after their “reality show” Junkstars Lifestyle, whose episodes can be watched on Bandit’s website. Just go check it out in order to understand.
They’re one of the Monster Energy Drink bands and so the gig was being filmed. That’s why I got somewhat better pics of them – the cameraman had his own light and I took advantage of it (tack som fan Sulan Von Zoomlander!). Truth be told, such adrenaline is better caught in a video than in a photo.
“Traveling”, “Fuck Me I’m Famous” or “Jane In A Box”, the new “Old School” and “Fucked Forever”, all songs were a party on and off stage. “Rock Bottom” got a special guest singer – Richie Puzz. Who later would pull people on stage, so that “Bang Bang Baby Bang” got lots of special guest singers. What an awesome way to finish a concert!

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I think the party went on until three in the morning with the Bandit DJs, but I was exhausted from both the trip and the three great shows I’d just experienced. Like I said, I’d gone through a lot of trouble to get to Stockholm, as my original flight was cancelled due the strike of air traffic controllers in France (seriously, guys, you have no idea how much I hate you). So I had to find an alternative route, which I did, but it took a lot of stress (and money) to make it. But in the end, it was all worth it.

Text & photos by Renata “Pieni” Lino

3 Responses to “Bandit Rock Night @ Debaser Slussen”

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