A small slice of Swedish rock came to Manchester last Saturday. Hardcore Superstar fresh from an appearance at Hard Rock Hell United in Wales on Friday 13th brought their ‘When We Touch The Sky Tour 2015’ to Manchester Club Academy. With Bonafide and NitroDive as support. The problem with playing on a weekend when many of the usual suspects who would have gone to this gig is that they were still at HRH United. Despite that a small crowd, to begin with, gradually grew to a reasonable size as the night wore on.
NitroDive from Gothenburg were already playing when I arrived so I probably only caught five songs, which was probably at least half the set. Fronted by Albert Norberg, who reminded me of Danny Jones from Deadaudiosaints, with a black Mohawk, guyliner and toned, muscular tattooed arms. They were mid song and the next song they played was a Ramones cover, but I didn’t write down which song D’oh! It sounded good anyway! Albert asked ‘You guys having a fun time? Nice to see you on a Saturday night?’ and the next songs were their own Dead or Alive with some awesome screams, then ‘How about something a little faster?’ was the introduction to the penultimate song Sunday a good rocking number reminiscent of Add It Up by the Violent Femmes. The last song was dedicated to all the beautiful ladies in here, Woman and had a great fast beat and some piercing screams. Albert said he hoped to see us all in the futrue as they would definitely be coming back. I liked what I saw of NitroDive and had a quick chatted to the guys afterwards and bought the latest album, Re-Evolution. I hope they do come over here again soon and I get to see a full set.
Part Set List:
Dead or Alive
Albert Norberg – Guitars & Lead vocals
Robert Johnson – Bass & Vocals
Johan Gren – Drums & Vocals
NitroDive on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NitroDive
Bonafide from Malmö were the main support act tonight and I have seen them a few times before. I haven’t seen a bad gig yet so I was expecting a good show from Pontus Snibb, I love that name, and his fellow Swedes. Bonafide got their set off to a rocking start with Doing The Pretty followed by Hold Down the Fort. Pontus then said ‘Cheers Manchester. you’re listening to Bonafide. It’s great to be back. As we say in Swedish Skol’ well that’s what I think he said. He told us this show was part of their Denim Devil’s tour but the next song they were going to play was an old one Dirt Bound followed by Down. Bass player Martin, who always look uber glam had a on a stunning pair of black, bootcut jeans with silver and red stars and half moons embroidered onto them, also thanked everyone and said it was ‘Great to be back in Manchester’
Pontus announced they were going to play last single of the last album (Bombo reviewed here) Rock N’ Roll Skål a very catchy tune, reminscent of AC/DC with some great riffage, and half way through Pontus raised a drink ‘Cheers everybody’ and at the end said ‘Thank you so very much Rock N’ Roll Skål to you all. Here’s a song from our brand new album, 50/50‘ a fast rocking number with more great riffs.
I’d actually written down Fill Your Head with Rock for the next song but I soon realised it wasn’t, it was in fact the similar No Doubt About It. ‘Come on Manchester it’s a Saturday let’s see all your hands in the air’ got people clapping and Martin down in crowd, always a great flamboyant showman.
Their penultimate song Hard Livin’ Man with the chorus ‘I’m a bonafide hard livin’ man’ is a bit AC/DC meets Rose Tattoo, say Love Hungry Man meets Remedy and this one had Pontus out in the audience playing riffs to some fans. After plenty of cheers and whoops Pontus thanked everyone and announced ‘One more number, we have the new CD and t-shirts over there’ indicating the merch stand at back. ‘We’ll be drinking some beers after. Here’s a song you might have heard before Fill Your Head With Rock’ and this time I wrote the song down correctly. A bit of audience participation was encouraged ‘So ladies and gentleman would you like to sing along with us’ and people sang loudly ‘Fill you head with rock’ I can’t think of a better song they could have ended with, this one having been named as one of 2011’s best songs by Classic Rock Magazine. ‘Thank you all so much’ said Pontus before kissing his guitar and to a hefty round of applause the band gave us some bows then bowed out, a great set from Bonafide which had got the audience well and truly warmed up for Hardcore Superstar.
Doing the Pretty
Hold Down the Fort
Rock N’ Roll Skål
No Doubt About It
Hard Livin’ Man
Fill Your Head With Rock
Pontus Snibb: Vocals & Guitar
Anders Rosell: Guitar
Martin Ekelund: Bass
Niklas Matsson: Drums
Bonafide on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Bonafiderocks
Review October 2013: http://planetmosh.com/the-quireboys-club-academy-manchester-15th-october-2013/
Review February 2014: http://planetmosh.com/winterfest-warehouse-23-wakefield-1st-february-2014/
Review March 2014: http://planetmosh.com/bad-touchafterlifebonafide-cathouse-glasgow-30314/
Tonight’s head-liners Hardcore Superstar (HCSS), from Gothenburg, completed this triple billing of ‘hardcore’ Swedish ‘Superstars,’ Having seen them a couple of times before on the bigger stages of Download 2013 and The Ritz, Manchester supporting Buckcherry I was looking forward to seeing them on the smaller stage of Manchester Club Academy. Personally I prefer a small sweaty dive where you get up closer to the sweat and the action! It might well have been a Saturday but that was fine because We Don’t Celebrate Sundays was their opening song, Saturdays we may well celebrate and this song certainly did get the HCSS celebrations off to a rousing start, with Jocke in a black leather waistcoat and the customary braces hanging off his waistband, bouncing around and covering the stage.
Jocke paused for breath and to yell ‘Good Evening Manchester! Are You Ready? Are you fucking ready to meet me in The Cemetary!’ which is one from the new album ‘HCSS’ to be released next month and another energetic song. ‘Thank you. How are you guys doing? You alright? Here’s another new one for you!’ which was Off With Their Heads and afterwards I didn’t catch every word he said but something along the lines of being tired of doing interviews with boring journalists (I would have done a mad interview if I’d had the chance so wasn’t directed at me!) before launching into My Good Reputation with Adde twirling his sticks and Jocke jumped down into the photo pit to get up close and personal with the front row of the audience before bounding back on stage.
With no let up to his energetic performance, so far Jocke said ‘Oh it’s getting hot in here. Going to do a couple of new songs to introduce you to the new album’ first came Touch the Sky, the track which gave this tour it’s name, which reminded me Ozzy Osbourne’s No More Tears. Jocke was back in the pit close to the audience again and those who were lucky enough to ‘Touch the Jocke’ looked happy. ‘Thank you. Dreaming in a Casket. Put your fucking hands up’ ordered Jocke before the next one which was another high energy song which got plenty of heads banging.
‘Scream for me Manchester’ yelled Jocke who still at the front with the audience said to one guy ‘Hello Ian all the way from Glasgow. It’s like HCSS with friends tonight’ and it’s always good to see the personal touch from a band. A thank you always makes the fans feel appreciated. ‘Got another for you Wild Boys’ which is nothing like Duran Duran’s song of the same name it reminded me more of Faster Pussycat, maybe a hybrid of Slip of The Tongue and Poison Ivy with Jocke even demonstrating a bit of the high-pitched Taime Downe squeal and the audience joining in to sing the chorus ‘Wild boys will be wild’ a popular one which got plenty of cheers and whoops. Thank you very much said Jocke, another one. Feel free to stage dive in this one, this is Fly’ a mellower one from the new album with a Guns ‘N Roses vibe, with Jocke sounding pained and looking expressive, although I don’t really know what the song was about as I didn’t actually make a note of the lyrics and although it had been expressively offered, no one took up the offer of a bit of stage diving!
One of the crew brought a different guitar out for Vic and a bass drum beat and a shout of ‘Alright, Alright, Alright’ led into Last Call For Alcohol. Jocke requested ‘I wanna see those beautiful Manchester hands up in the air’ and the audience, of course, obliged, how could they refuse such a polite request. ‘Are you fucking ready? Say hello to the tallest tour manager on earth. Mr Rich _____’ (I didn’t catch his last name) who, certainly was very tall and, brought out shots for the band. This song has the same party vibe as We Don’t Celebrate Sundays’ and after that it was ‘Time for another new one’ Party Til I’m Gone with some energetic screaming riffs which had Jocke head-banging and bouncing around. The party was then over as HCSS were then gone from the stage! Now Manchester weren’t going to let HCSS go with some screams for more which brought Jocke back to scream ‘Scream for me Manchester! Gonna do another new one for you if you want?’ I don’t think he really needed to ask that question, of course we wanted more. He advised that the new album (HCSS) would be out on the 22nd April and the next track Don’t Mean Shit was a fast, furious song reminiscent of Faith No More’s From Out of Nowhere.
‘It’s getting warm in here’ said Jocke ‘We’re going to do another old one for you. I don’t need to introduce it, just listen and sing along’ and Moonshine came next and during the song Jocke yelled ‘Alright Manchester, make some fucking noise’ and he ended the song on a scream of ‘Yeah’ then asked ‘You know what’s about to happen don’t you? Alright I ask you this, are you ready to rock the house Manchester?’ and we came to the final song Above The Law with a more glam/sleaze sound reminding me of Reckless Love say Wild Touch. A roadie started dismantling the drum kit around Adde, who carried on playing looking bemused. Jocke was at front high fiving the audience and implored us ‘I need one last favour. I want you guys to lift the roof. Will you help me out? Scream for me Manchester’ a few screams led to ‘Alright you can do better’ and this got a much louder response and with some bows from the band Jocke’s final words ‘We are HCSS. We love Manchester. Thank you good night!’ and yes it had been a very good night. Hardcore Superstar did raise the roof with their high octane performance and all that was left was to not celebrate Sunday by having a lie-in and recovering from a Hardcore performance from the Swedish Superstars. Whilst the UK leg of the ‘When We Touch The Sky Tour 2015’ may be over the European leg starts today in France and heads through Germany, The Netherlands and Finland before ending on their home turf in Sweden if you can get to one of those shows, then do so, you won’t be disappointed!
We Don’t Celebrate Sundays
Off With Their Heads
My Good Reputation
Touch The Sky
Dreamin’ in a Casket
Last Call for Alcohol
Party ‘Til I’m Gone
Don’t Mean Shit
Above the Law
Jocke Berg – vocals
Vic Zino – guitar
Martin Sandvik – bass
Adde Andreasson – drums
Hardcore Superstar on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/OfficialHardcoreSuperstar
Review November 2013: http://planetmosh.com/buckcherry-hardcore-superstar-limelight-belfast-27-november-2013/