ELEKTRUM - Studenterhuset, KÝbenhavn August 10, 2001
From Aural Innovations #17 (September 2001)
This show was announced pretty much at the last minute and my friend Ralph was to do the sound. Mikael Krog and I met up at the show. Mikael had seen the band when they passed through back in April. Elektrum had a new drummer back then (John) and he was much more integrated into the band now. My main complaint with Elektrum is they don't know how to write any new songs. I have been seeing the band since April 1998, more than 3 years now, and it is the same songs. They had two new songs on their 2000 tour, 'New Land' and 'Spliff', but these I believe were both written by the former drummer, Jeff King (who had played with Sweet). If you don't mind I would like to expand on this. I don't except the excuse they give each time about not having any time or that they never rehearse. They do a few tours each year in England and usually do two 2-week tours of Denmark. The musicians all live spread out over in Cornwall England and have no rehearsal space, so they only get together for gigs. I guess they never pick up their instrument when they are not playing. Would you not have an urge to play a new riff? Come up with something that sounds cool and moves you? Also, why not work on new tunes and jams at soundchecks or play off a new riff at a show. It is all instrumental music and the riffs are basically a small frame work for Claus's experimental guitar soloing. Just my thoughts.
Anyway, they opened with their standard 'E45'. I noticed that Claus had all new effects pedals and a guitar. He sounded great. Incredible cool spaced out guitar sound. He is a great player and I love to watch him play. It is awesome the way he weaves his guitar sound and solos around the heavy and steady bass and drum lines. Ian has certainly played around with some of his bass lines. Next up was their dub song called 'Plantin'. They had their friend Frank from the old Hurdy Gurdy days doing the psychedelic light show. This was great. He only does a few of their shows when they play in KÝbenhavn. 'Red Wear' was next and has this really killer bass line. The new drummer was excellent. They played another song and then closed the first set with 'The Sky Is The Limit'. Claus played some extremely beautiful heart felt guitar soloing on this song and it gets really heavy at the end. About a 41 minute set, a little short for them. During the intermission, they had a belly dancer come up and do 3 or 4 skits. This was quite entertaining.
The 2nd set opened with 'Jungle Juice'. It is interesting how their standard sets are very similar. 'E45' and 'Jungle Juice' are both longer more spaced out songs. 'Plantin' and 'Mandala', which was next, are both dub songs with drum solos. 'Red Wear' and 'Opus 9' both have a similar very hard driving bass line and sometimes a solo. Claus was playing extremely great guitar this night and the band playing very well also. Mikael and I were quite impressed. They had the belly dancer come out during 'Mandala' and also during the song where Ian plays the flute. They closed the set with 'Round The Mountain'. There was no encore this night. Great show. I spoke to the band after and in between and they are hoping to record a new CD during the fall here. When I met them in 2000, they said the same thing, so we will see next year. Great space rock band.
Reviewed by Scott Heller