Baltic Sea, between Stockholm and Riga 8th November 2014
I believe Rockbitch Boat had her maiden voyage in 2011, but I only joined last year. At the time I didn’t write a report (although you can see pics here), as I thought it wasn’t fair to the bands I couldn’t see. But it’s even less fair to the hardworking management/promoting agents who put up this amazing event not to write about it. So with the promise that there was a lot more to it, I’ll give you a general idea of what I’ve witnessed, making sure I mention even the band that I’ve missed, with links to their Facebook pages so you can check them out just the same. It’s the least I can do.
There are three stages pumping on this cruise between Stockholm and Riga, with pretty much the same schedules – hence the impossibility of covering all bands. I guess I could have watched just a song or two of each band, but then the review would be quite incomplete and sloppy, so no. Besides, there were a couple of bands I really wanted to see in full – the first and foremost being The End Of Grace, which is probably the only one who I’m reviewing with more detail here. They started on Sky Bar stage at 21:00 – same time as Mojo Madness on Club Hell stage – so even if visual rockers Crestillion kicked off ten minutes before that on Starlight Palace stage (and they surely would have been fun to shoot) I preferred to hang around during the TEoG soundcheck. Their first show had been precisely on that stage, one year ago, so this was kind of special. And the band dressed up to the occasion! Did I mention that this is also a Halloween cruise? Yep, almost everybody is wearing a costume, or a mask – bands included. TEoG went little beyond makeup as they soon realized they wouldn’t stand the heat of performing in a full costume.
I don’t know if it was for being the first band on that stage, being the guinea pigs for the sound tech, but TEoG experienced lots of audio problems in practically all instruments and all songs… but the attitude was there and the crowd appreciated it, moshing like crazy to prove it (it was early, they were all sober enough, so it was for real). Guitarists Jimmy and Robert climbed on the amps, singer Kriss jumped into the crowd and eventually Jimmy joined him… Like the year before, Seb from Bataar helped them out with the Swedish verses in “Fist Face Bleed”, before the band played for the first time ever a new song, “Final Burden”, from their upcoming debut album. Despite the technical problems, one could see the killer potential of that song.
Hanged a bit with the TEoG boys after the show and then had to decide between Frantic Amber, Disregard and Vapenlicens. Went for the latter, as I didn’t know them. Groovy death metal sung in Swedish! As cool as it sounds, and a matching live action! A quick overlook at Spotify and I see they have three albums already. Will make sure to listen to them all when I have the chance.
But as a few friends of mine – including my boss here at Valkyrian – like Frantic Amber, I went back to Sky Bar to take a couple of shots of the girls. On my way there, I saw Black Magic Fools warming up for the next day’s show in a hallway. I remember seeing them doing that last year also, so I guess it’s a tradition by now.
Frantic Amber were also having tech problems (maybe that stage is cursed…) so their gig got delayed and I actually caught the beginning. But no one seemed to mind the waiting. Pretty enthusiastic crowd!
The next choice was the hardest as I knew and liked all three bands playing around 23:00 – the “clown metal” of Skitarg, the death metal of Monoscream and the glam & sleaze of Rockstars On Mars. Skitarg released a new album early this year (“Tarmageddon”), Monoscream are recording their second album, and Rockstars On Mars have a new drummer, so not even their “recent history” helped me out. Ended up going for the most popular – when you make the reservation for this trip, you must tell which band you’re supporting (or supporting the most, in case you have more than one option). And Skitarg managed more than 130 names! So I thought I should go check them and their crowd out. Since I took a bit to decide, that crowd was already everywhere and I couldn’t get near the stage… But I had fun just the same watching from a distance, as these guys know how to put up a show.