Ozric Tentacles Weekend:
Loppen, Christiania, Denmark September 7, 2001
Rytmeposten, Odense, Denmark September 8, 2001
From Aural Innovations #17 (September 2001)
What a weekend! It had been more than 7 years since I last met up with the band. I arrived at Loppen around 7 and found the band sitting around the tables eating their dinner. After a brief introduction I was remembered from the past and we had a great time. We ate some food, they smoked a lot, (Kenny (an old seaweed friend from the UK who has lived in Chrisitania since 1976) Jumpin' John, Seaweed and Ed and I) toured Christiania and visited some people that Seaweed had hung out with when he lived in Christiania 10 years ago for a month or two. It was a trip indeed as the band was amazed at the massive open air hash-marijuana market. I chatted with Zia for a while when I returned to Loppen and the band were all in high spirits after a day in Christiania. A lot of my friends and my wife all came out for the gig and there were nearly 300 paid people, which was great. The club smelled like weed, like I had never smelled before and the band was so totally into it as were the crowd.
They opened with a short jam and right into 'O-1' and Ed let the guitar rip a bit. Next up was 'Vita Voom'. 'Pixel Dream' is where the show started to fly into space. New drummer Stu was sitting right in the middle of the projection screen and the club was nice and dark so it was very cool and he kicked total ass this night. What a great drummer. 'Pixel Dream' was amazing. Ed played some awesome outer space lead guitar and Seaweed was totally mad. 'Pyramidion' was next and totally awesome. The band had added a new little dub jam to the end. I think the guitar riff is one of the best Ed has come up with in a long time. I had never heard the Ozrics sound so good. 'Myriapod' was next and Ed ripped on the guitar. The ending jam was very cool. 'Snakepit' was next and this was very cool to see just Ed and Seaweed and John on the flutes go into Indian space. Next Ed picked up the acoustic and we really flew with the Saucers. This was totally amazing stuff. A new piece was next that was just called 'Space Jam'. After that Ed picked up his guitar to take us to 'Erpland'. The crowd was going totally wild and were really into the show. The band was very appreciative. 'Aramanu' was next and pretty spaced. They went into 'Sunscape' and a cool added jam at the end. 'Sploosh' was totally mad, with Ed and Seaweed experimenting and making lots of weird sounds and it was so heavy.
The band was called back for two encores. The first had a long spacey intro and you were not sure what it would turn into and then Ed hit the keyboard sequence for 'White Rhino Tea'! The crowd loved it. Again, quite a long spaced out middle section. 'The Throbbe' ended the show and was 11 minutes of complete electronic madness. It had the most intense ending with Stu and Zia just increasing the pace. phew... that was it. The band was super happy and Seaweed congratulated Christiania on it's 30th Birthday, which was happening on the 20th of Sept.
I spoke to the band after the show and it was the best show they can remember in recent times. They were totally blown away by the crowd and the way they were enticed to experiment and play. I said good night and see you tomorrow.
Magnus (from Mantric Muse) and I caught the train to Odense at 13:30 and we arrived at about 15:00. The club is just 3 minutes walk straight up the street. We walked in and were told the band were up in the dressing room. We cruised up there and Seaweed, Ed and Zia were just finishing eating and all rolling joints. I asked Ed if this was a good time for an interview and it was, so we chatted for about 35 minutes, starting with Become the Other and working our way through all the CDs. Ed need to check something about his equipment and left so we stopped the interview. Unfortunately, we never got to the last few questions, but we had a long off the record chat with Seaweed about different synthesizers and his style of playing, etc.. He even let us hand out on stage and he showed us all his gear and Magnus a few tricks on the OSCar, as Magnus owns one as well. Later on, I had a chat with John as he was putting up all his flutes. He told me some stories and where they all come from, etc.. Nice guy. Magnus and I hung out and talked with the crew and checked out the soundcheck, which was pretty normal, no complete songs but one kind of cool funky jam with Ed on the acoustic.
The show started at about 10:45 and it was the same basic set as at Loppen but played in a bit of different manner. There were only about 75 people and everyone was sitting at tables, so this was totally different than 200 people gathered closely around the stage like at Loppen. There was also a lot of light at the back of the room so the visuals were nearly useless as they were so dim you could hardly make them out. What I could see though, a lot of it was totally different from at Loppen. They opened with a cool opening jam into 'O-1'. Ed was really playing hot guitar tonight. Even though they did not get much feedback from the quiet audience, they played a superb tight (CD like set). The energy level was not quite the same but the level of playing on some songs was even better. Some of the stand out parts of the set for me were 'Pixel Dream', 'Pyramidion' and 'Myriapod'. These were all just absolutely incredible.
The sound system at Rytmeposten was fantastic and the band had a bigger more defined "high fi" sound here. It was incredible the way the synths panned around and the bottom ended pounded. Haggis is a great soundman. I am now beginning to believe that John is mixed the way he is on purpose. He is suppose to just barely be heard most of the time. 'Saucers' and the 'Space Jam' were cool and a bit tighter but they certainly are trying some different things every night. Ed ripped it up on 'Erpland' and John and Seaweed spaced us out during 'Aramanu'. 'Sunscape' has a shorter jam on the end than at Loppen and the dub groove of Zia and Stu not quite as tight. 'Sploosh' ended the set and was not as experimental but very excellent.
When the band came out for the encore you could tell they were not really into it. The spacey intro to 'White Rhino Tea' was much shorter and they just played the tune and left, not really into it. No 'Throbbe' for us tonight. We were in a hurry to catch the train back to Copenhagen so I only had a minute to talk to the band after the show and I thanked them for a great weekend and overheard them talking about how they just could not get into the show tonight after such an incredible show the night before and such low energy from the audience. They seem to require a boost from the audience to take them up to that higher plane we know as Erpland. We were there and beyond on Friday but not Saturday night. What a weekend.
Reviewed by Scott Heller