Archive for baltic sea

Rockbitch Boat 2014 – day 2

Posted in Festival, Live with tags , , , , , , , , on 24th November 2014 by Pieni

Baltic Sea, somewhere between Riga and Stockholm
9th November 2014

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On Sunday, the boat arrived at Riga’s Tallink ferry terminal at 10:30 in the morning, which in Latvia meant 11:00. As the departure back to Stockholm was scheduled for four-and-a-half hours later, most people went on land to sightsee and get cheaper alcohol. Others, like us, also took the chance to have lunch. Now I wish I could tell you that we sat on a typical Latvian restaurant and had a very local meal, but we came across this flashy American-looking place, with a ‘60s-themed interior design, and we obviously didn’t go any further, ending up having burgers, pizza and Caesar salad. Ah well. photo riga_zps3a3d3d73.jpg

Back on board, the first band would take the Sky Bar stage 18:20 but I was interviewing The End Of Grace around that time, so I missed those blue-ish rockers Trainwreck Remedys. As after the interview I lingered chatting with the TEoG boys, I also missed the “heavier harder melodic hardrock” of Haven, who came next on the same stage. But for BatAAr, who was the other band of this cruise that I REALLY wanted to see, I made sure to be on the front row a few minutes before they hit the Starlight Palace stage, at 20:00. They kicked off with their latest single “Riskbreaker” and for the next half hour they delivered a dazzling mixture of sounds in an enthralling performance.

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 photo inspite_zpsbdfd8eef.jpgThe choices began after BatAAr. Dismissing the Guitar Battle on Sky Bar, I just had to choose between InSpite and Kerbera. And since I was already on Starlight Palace, Kerbera it was. Terrible choice! There was a large number of people way before their gig started, so I thought they’d be good, and so the disappointment was bigger. I don’t know if singer Seike was just having a bad day, but he was constantly going out of tune! Now either people just didn’t care like I did, or that’s really his way of singing, as the crowd was all happy about it… After two songs I was sure it wouldn’t get any better so I gave up and went to the Club Hell stage, where I definitely should have gone in the first place – InSpite were kicking ass up there!

Then I went and indulged my rocker side by attending White Trash Heroes. But I still had time to drop by Sky Bar, where the Guitar Battle was still raging and shoot a couple of pics of Herman Frodit from Skitarg.

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 photo wthd_zps04582458.jpgWhite Trash Heroes is not only the name of a band but also the title of the 5th and last album that Fatal Smile released before splitting up. Which is no coincidence as WTH, the band, was born from the ashes of Fatal Smile, featuring the three members that joined the latter in 2007 – Alx, Blade and Philty. With guitarist Snake, they’ve been performing the songs of the three Fatal Smile albums they’ve played on, but I think my broken Swedish caught a few words about something new coming up. Whatever the case, it was a great show.

Fearless would be on Club Hell for just five more minutes when White Trash Heroes were done on Starlight Palace, so I went straight to Sky Bar to catch the second half of the Black Magic Fools gig – their medieval-folk-meets-heavy-metal is always a treat.

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Between Lizette & and Hellshaker, the first won my vote and there I went back to Starlight Palace. It was running late and Lizette apologized, but I didn’t understand what happened (broken Swedish, remember?). But when it started, it was worth the waiting. And their alternative rock was clearly quite popular among the crowd, which contributed to a very good vibe.

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Pray For Locust was another band that I was eager to check out and it totally paid out. Plus, guitarist Jerry is leaving the band so it felt good being there supporting one of his last shows.

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I wanted to check out Dynazty afterwards, but the whole up-and-down between stages (plus the trip to Stockholm from London, where I’d see Deathstars the night before) was starting to get a toll on me. Not to mention that the following day I had two flights and a 5-hour period between them until I returned home. So I called it a night, leaving also Warthog, Sideburn and Von Trath for another time.

The rating? 5/5, of course!!!

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Text & photos by Renata “Pieni” Lino

Rockbitch Boat 2014 – day 1

Posted in Festival, Live with tags , , , , , , , , on 19th November 2014 by Pieni

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.

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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.

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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.

 photo vapenlicensrbb14_zpsa4a0f217.jpgHanged 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. photo bmfrbb14_zps5c3ca779.jpg

 photo franticamberrbb14_zps7efd21f6.jpgFrantic 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.

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After that, I just hanged around and socialized – it’s so easy to get happily distracted on this boat! I missed Years Of Falling, Grande, Facebreaker, Defueld, Ave Nova and Intestinal. But since most bands return the following year, maybe I’ll catch them in 2015.

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Text & photos by Renata “Pieni” Lino