Home / Opinion / Event Reviews / The Poodles – The Underworld Camden, London: 23rd October 2015

The Poodles – The Underworld Camden, London: 23rd October 2015

As I already had plans to go down to The Big Smoke to see Spike and Tyla’s Hot Knives, and inflict myself upon my brother, I was pleased to see that The Poodles were doing a one off UK gig in Camden the same weekend. I haven’t heard much of their music but I have heard good things and, of course, I’ve noticed that they are very easy on the eye! I tend to like bands with dog or cat themed names anyway! So it came to be that I braved London, in rush hour, and made my way from the brother’s pub The Queens Head in Piccadilly across to Camden. The Underworld was, luckily, very easy to find being just across the road from Camden Town tube station and underneath The Worlds End pub. It turned out to be a great little venue with a warren of rooms.

Opening tonight were Maverick a hard rocking band from Belfast. Unfortunately I got a bit confused, although doors were at 6pm, I’d thought the first band were on at 7pm and by the time I arrived at around 6:40 their set was well underway. This is a band where appearances can be deceiving, with frontman David’s slicked back mohawk and Hells Angel style I would have expected a more hardcore/punk band but the first full song I heard Whiskey Lover, which was dedicated to the tour photographer, sounded more eighties glam. David paid homage to the new band joining them on the tour Crimes of Passion (or COP UK) saying they sounded great during sound practice before dedicating the last song In Our Blood to all who had come down tonight. Starting with a piercing yell this song reminded me of Billy Idol’s Rebel Yell. I enjoyed what little I heard and hope to catch a full set next time!

Maverick

Set List:

Paint By Numbers
I Want It
Cat Got Your Tongue
Rock ‘n’ Roll Lady
Whiskey Lover
In Our Blood

Band Members:

Lead Vocals: David Balfour
Guitar: Ryan Sebastian Balfour
Guitar: Ric Cardwell
Bass: Richie Diver
Drums: Mike Ross

Maverick on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MaverickBelfastuk

COP UK

Next up came COP UK (Crimes of Passion) a metal band from Sheffield. I first saw this band last month when they played at Redemption Festival and was looking forward to seeing them again. After a short intro they opened with the melodic Body & Soul, a great power ballad with a bit of bullet drumming, reminding me of Place Vendome. Frontman Dale in shades and a bandana was posing for pictures and announced ‘We’re COP UK from up North where it rains, but not as much as in Belfast! Give it up for Maverick‘ and after a few cheers ‘The Poodles‘ who got even more cheers. After Think I Can Save You  Dale said the next one was from their new EP which we could buy after the show. Kiss Of An Angel (their latest video released earlier this week see here) another power ballad which Dale sang with feeling. My Blood with a strong bass-line showcased Dale’s vocals which are similar to those of Bruce Dickinson.

Dale then informed us that the next song was an old favourite of theirs and they were going to require some help. ‘It’s a clapper let’s see some hands up’ how could we refuse for Blown Away with some impressive riffs from Charles. After Catch Me If You Can Dale gave a toast to Maverick and The Poodles and introduced the band members and then himself as ‘My name’s Dale. I’ll see you in the kebab shop’ and I’m not sure what happened but Charles got the blame and Dale quipped ‘No kebabs for Charles’ before they restarted the last song Accidents Happen, Even Here with some Avenged Sevenfold Beast And The Harlot style riffage. Dale’s last words ‘Thank you. Come and see us at the merch stand. Enjoy The Poodles!’ I dont’ know whether or not Place Vendome are still together but, although I still picked up similarities to Iron Maiden and Avenged Sevenfold, I also thought COP UK were similar in sound to Place Vendome who interestingly are, or were as the case may be, fronted by former Helloween vocalist Michael Kiske and COP UK are going on tour with Helloween and Rage early next year. They are even running a competition to give fans the chance to spend a day with them on tour, see the video on their Facebook page for details of how to enter if you’re brave enough! I had a quick chat with Dale after the show see here.

COP UK

Set List:

Body & Soul
Think I Can Save You
Kiss of an Angel
My Blood
Blown Away
Catch Me If You Can
Accidents Happen Even Here

Band Members:

Dale – Vocals
Charles- Guitar
Andy – Guitar
Kev – Drums
Scott – Bass

Links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/COPUK

Website: http://www.copuk.com/

The Poodles

At last the four Varmkorv (Swedish for hot dog) took to the stage. Jakob respelendent in tight red leather pants and a matching hooded jacket, chains and aviator shades initially reminded me of Axl Rose (as Little Red Riding Hood!) but, like a chameleon, he also reminded me of other well known frontmen as the show went on, which we’ll come to! Opening with the catchy Before I Die followed by Caroline my first thought was that they were like a glammy ELO. During cathcy song Shut Up Jakob held the mic out to David from Maverick mid song, who sang a few lyrics.

Jakob asked how we were doing and said last time they played Camden it was at the Electric Ballroom but this was better. Then came Flesh and Blood, the first song from their Sweet Trade album, which included the lyrics ‘I love you, I hate you’ this one kind of reminded me of Black Sabbath’s Evil Woman. Jakob was throwing his mic stand around and at one point had it up on his shoulders which I’d also noticed Michael Monroe doing a couple of weeks ago. Although by this point I’d decided he was more of a hairy Olli Herman lookalike than we was an Axl! He stripped off his jacket to reveal a red white and blue, The Who t-shirt and dashed off stage leaving Henrik and Johan playing a few chords before he came back with a towel announcing ‘Its getting awfully hot!’ to which Henrik replied ‘It’s getting cosy’ and he agreed.

The Poodles

Jakob then introduced us to the band, drummer Christian Lundqvist, guitarist Henrik Bergqvist and the best thing to have happened to them recently, new bass player Johan Flodqvist. With his dark hair and little goatee I was glad he’d happened to them too! Johan then took lead vocals for Cuts Like a Knife with Jakob also singing along in places. After the next song Jakob said ‘Thank you very much that was Everything from our brand new album’ and some stools were brought onto the stage for an acoustic medley. Jakob said they were going to do a few songs in one and asked ‘Is that Ok?’ and no-one seemed to say it wasn’t. I noticed a sea of phones recording, so you can probably find some footage on YouTube. Jakob said one of the songs in the medley was about hope, for the ones who ran out of it. The Jakob ran out it it! Not hope, I mean he just went off stage leaving the others to do a bit of a solo on each of their respective instruments and he came back in a different outfit. Customised black jeans, waistcoat, blue embellished jacket and black bowler hat now looking more Kid Rock.

The Poodles

With a new outfit Jakob said ‘Let’s do a new song’ then he was looking around and asked ‘Shouldn’t I have a set list’ and not finding one he took Christian’s instead, who said ‘You always take everything of mine so you can take mine but I want your hat’ and they played Crack In The Wall with a strong bass line and a beat reminiscent of Suzie Smiled by Tygers of Pan Tang. Then came Metal Will Stand Tall which reminded me of Reckless Love say Back To Paradise. Then Christian got his wish as Jakob threw his hat back to him and he deflty caught it on his drumstick, but didn’t put it on! Jakob then took his jacket off and threw that back too.  After Like Tomorrow we were taken back to 2006 ‘Where it all started’ for Night of Passion and Jakob told us they would be at the merch stand signing posters etc after, He also said something about tits and ass which I didn’t quite catch but I think he meant they would sign them! This was a popluar song with everyone clapping and singing, Jakob didn’t have to sing for a while as the audience took over, and knew the song singing it word (if not note) perfect! A bit of mic swinging and twirling got plenty of cheers and with a salute and thumbs up Jakob went off stage followed by the rest of the band who gave the same thumbs up salute. After shouts for more the band came back on and Jakob had changed again, although only his t-shirt this time, for an Elvis one. I noticed him posing for a picture for an audience member. Keep the the audience happy and you’re half way there! We got two encore songs Echoes from The Past and pirate song Seven Seas. Jakob’s last words ‘We are The Poodles from Stockholm, Sweden!’ they took a bow and that was it.

The Poodles were very entertaining, and great fun, my overall thoughts were that they were like the Reckless Love for the middle aged woman, although you can appeciate a bit of Reckless Love at any age and the audience seemed to comprise of more middle aged men them women! The man boobs and hairy asses they would get to sign! ;) After the show I retired to The Worlds End a great rock pub just above The Underworld and I sincerely hope The Poodles come back to the UK for a more extensive tour otherwise I just might have to travel the ‘Seven Seas’ to ‘The Worlds End’ to see them again!

The Poodles

Set List

Before I Die
Caroline
House of Cards
Shut Up
I Rule The Night
Flesh and Blood
Cuts Like a Knife
Line of Fire
Everything
Acoustic Medley (Crying, One Out of Ten, Leaving The Past To Pass)
Crack In The Wall
Metal Will Stand Tall
Like No Tomorrow
Night of Passion
Encore
Echoes From The Past
Seven Seas

The Poodles

Band Members:

Jakob Samuel – Vocals
Christian Lundqvist – Drums
Johan Flodqvist – Bass
Henrik Bergqvist – Guitar

Links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thepoodles

Website: http://www.poodles.se/

About Louise Swift

I first went to a gig in 1981, Gillan at Leeds University. I've been a regular gig goer ever since. I haven't kept count of how many gigs I've been to over the intervening years, but it's a lot! My favourite bands are AC/DC then, in no particular order, Anti-Nowhere League, Slaughter and the Dogs, Towers of London and Dirt Box Disco. I tend to like Glam/Punk and rude offensive lyrics, not sure what that says about me but as Animal would say 'So What!' The question was recently put to me - did I write for any online publications? My reply - No, but I'd like to! Planetmosh was suggested and I found myself offering to review Aces High Festival. Easy peasy I thought! Well not quite, if a jobs worth doing it's worth doing well! I had sixteen bands to research. I found I actually enjoyed that and it kept me too busy to be making lunatic comments on Facebook! ;) Then I felt a bit inadequately qualified. I mean, who am I to comment on others, when my musical expertise extends to being able to play a mean Greensleeves on the recorder and a passable Annie's song on the flute! Haven't picked up either instrument for years! What I do have, however, is over 30 years of experience as a gig goer, so I can comment on what I like and what I don't! It's only my opinion and, if I don't like a band it doesn't mean they are bad, just not to my own liking. I admire anyone who has the guts to get up on that stage and have a go!
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