Witch Cross in Scandinavia – Part Two: At Muskelrock, Sweden
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
June 10, 2013 - Posted by kevmoore | Metal, Music, Rock, Thoughts, Touring, Witch Cross, Writing | Axe to Grind, Festival, Heavy metal, Hells headbangers, Kev Moore, Muskelrock, Rock, Sweden, Witch Cross
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(Born: 20th May,1958, Chesterfield, England) is a Bass Player and Lead Vocalist. Formerly with Tubeless Hearts, he played with English Pop band Christie from 1990 to 2003, and featured in Graham Oliver’s Saxon on two European tours, before other commitments resulted in John Ward taking over vocal duties for the resulting Oliver/Dawson Saxon CD releases. Nevertheless, he appeared on Graham Oliver’s solo album End of an Era returning the favour after Oliver had appeared on Tubeless Hearts Three CD. READ MORE….
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