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Witch Cross • BC Sweet • Gonads • Christie

Witch Cross in Scandinavia – Part Two: At Muskelrock, Sweden

Screen shot 2013-06-07 at 22.10.56Photo: Sofia Jonsson/Festivalphoto.net

MR1Photo: Niklas Gustavsson

Straight after the show in Hillerød, Denmark, we raced to catch the ferry that would take us across the water to Helsingborg in Sweden, where we would sleep at Paul’s house before driving to Muskelrock the following day. We awoke to summer sunshine, much to my joy and amazement, and began cataloging and organizing our merch for the show. Merch plays a massive role in a band such as ours.

Lars proudly holding the new album!

Lars proudly holding the new album!

Paul 'models' our limited edition giant WITCH CROSS patch!

Paul ‘models’ our limited edition giant WITCH CROSS patch!

It’s a vital source of immediate income, necessary to keep the band on the road. With albums being pirated so freely on the net now, it’s even more important to bands as their recorded earnings dwindle.Speaking of albums, we’d received our first shipment of the new CD ‘Axe to Grind’ from our record company Hells Headbangers the day before, so we were stoked to be able to have it available to the fans a full month before its official release!

CIMG2767

The journey to the festival site took just under three hours, and during that time the weather changed from good to bad, and back again…

As we pulled off the main road into Tyrolen, threading our way between the tent town that had sprung up around it, the grey clouds threatened. Tyrolen, used to be some random Tyrolean-themed Entertainment park, situated near the Swedish village of Alvesta, west of the town of Vaxjo,and the guys that run Muskelrock bought the land, everything in it, and turned it into a successful and fun festival, now in its fifth year. The slightly shabby buildings and faded murals of its former glory provide the perfect backdrop to a Metal Festival.

Screen shot 2013-06-07 at 22.09.23Photo: Sofia Jonsson/Festivalphoto.net

The rain teased….depositing a light shower every now and then, but never making good on its threat of a full-on downpour, much to the delight of the festival-goers!  There was a superb array of bands on over the weekend. Two in particular stood out to me, but for entirely different reasons! Firstly, Barbarion, who seemed to hail from Australia, though I couldn’t be sure….they took to the stage like a herd of medieval superheroes…not the most svelte of bands, it bothered them not one bit, as we were treated to a magnificent stagewear display of studded leather braces, codpieces, togas, loin cloths, Centurion Helmets, Sporrans and Kilts. By the time they had the crowd singing “chop, chop, chop” and lamenting the demise of “Mildred, my favourite wife” I was pretty sure they weren’t taking themselves too seriously. Suffice to say, my jaw was on the floor for most of their set.

Barbarion: Better wrap up warm, lads!

Barbarion: Better wrap up warm, lads!

Secondly, there was Death Hawks. Hailing from Finland, these guys really surprised me. Guitarist Mike Koch and I had retired to the indoor venue for a drink and a bite to eat as these guys took the stage. What followed was some truly original music…superb grooves, almost ambient metal infused with the blues, just an absolute pleasure to let wash over you. I enjoyed these guys very much indeed.

Screen shot 2013-06-07 at 22.10.39Photo: Sofia Jonsson/Festivalphoto.net

Jan, myself and Paul relaxing post-gig

Jan, myself and Paul relaxing post-gig

Photo: Jonas Eklind

When we took the stage early on the Saturday Evening, the welcome from the crowd was overwhelming. I often write about how metal fans are the best in the world, but it bears repeating. I personally felt such a vibe off the crowd that night. They sang every word on the sings they knew, and cheered the ones they didn’t…”Demon in the Mirror” as a result of the promo video finding more and more favour with them as they become familiar with it. I was pretty spent after our exertions in Hillerød the night before, but fans like these lift you up. There is no alternative. Half-measures is not an option. You give them everything because they inspire you to, and they deserve nothing less.  Muskelrock, quite simply, Rocked!

Those amazing metal fans...

Those amazing metal fans…

Photo: Niklas Gustavsson

Kev Moore

June 10, 2013 - Posted by | Metal, Music, Rock, Thoughts, Touring, Witch Cross, Writing | , , , , , , , ,

6 Comments »

  1. Wow – sounds like a great event, Kev. Witch Cross made it ROCK!!

    The Barbarion photo really one to treasure! Bit of a contrast to your recent Leeds gig, I expect, too!

    Comment by David Mortimer | June 10, 2013

  2. yes Dave, just a bit! :-)

    Comment by kevmoore | June 10, 2013

  3. Fantastic recall of your Metal experiences, Kev! I’m delighted to hear about another Witch Cross success!! The photos are all superb!

    Man, wish I could have been there! That Barbarion band looks like they would probably beat the crap out of you if you didn’t cheer for them… LOL!!

    Comment by Metal Odyssey | June 11, 2013

  4. haha! damn right Stone, the lead singer was wandering around the festival ‘in character’ – I tried not to meet his gaze, in case he challenged me to a duel or something! :-)

    Comment by kevmoore | June 11, 2013

  5. LOL!! I’m laughing my butt off right now, Kev! Man, If I was there I would’ve avoided him too! It’s all messed up. LOL!! Unreal! LOL!!

    Comment by Metal Odyssey | June 11, 2013

  6. You’ve gotta love these festivals man, you meet such great characters! \m/\m/

    Comment by kevmoore | June 11, 2013


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