Mr. Quimby's Beard and Mantric Muse - Stengade 30, København 4/20/02

From Aural Innovations #20 (July 2002)

Ah... some more space rock arrives in Denmark. This was going to be the first Mantric Muse show with new keyboard-guitar player, Mikael Krog. The van that was suppose to pick up MM was being used for something else and I had no way to reach the band out at their rehearsal room, so I went over and borrowed Mikael's car from his girlfriend, Tanya, and went out to tell them they had to rent a van and get paid back. We hung out and chatted while the band loaded up their gear. Ralph had called and Mr. Quimby's Beard's van's water pump died just as they got to town here. He was not sure what to do... This ended up working out ok and the van was fixed within 2 hours, amazingly enough. When we arrived at Stengade, Ralph was there and MQB were setting up. I chatted with the guys and Jim Laasko, the American who puts on the great Strange Daze Festivals. He came over to do the lights for this tour. He was having major problems with the electricity, his laser, his overheads,etc... MQB were one of the slowest bands I had ever seen set up before so we went back to Mikael's where Tanya had prepared food for everyone. We listened to Elektrum from Stengade '98 and had some nice food and some of Mikael and Tanya's friends showed up as well. Everyone was coming to the show. After 1 hour we went back and they still had not finished.

After 30 minutes, Mantic Muse finally got to set up and the sound was quite good. We went down and sat in the rehearsal room, just Mikael Krog, Michael, Magnus and Søren and I. They were to start playing in like 45 minutes. We had a beer and relaxed. I went upstairs when the doors opened and my friend Mads from Sweden had arrived and Frank from the Danish band Ecetera was there as well. MM started about 10:30 and it sounded cool. Magnus was really freed now and could mostly just play guitar. The sound was good. Mikael, his Alexis synth was a little high in the mix but other than that it was great. Magnus, his guitar seemed to get too low at the end of the show but no big deal. The space guitar of Magnus was amazing. The guy plays with so much feeling. Mantric muse are like a more laid back, spaced out Ozric Tentacles... no other way to describe it! Excellent stuff! All the guys in MQB watched the show and enjoyed it a lot.

Set List: DMU, Pholkreg, Wobbegong Wookie, Cinope, Deep Sea Cheops (45 minutes)

Mr Quimby's Beard was up next and quickly got ready after MM removed their equipment. I have no idea what all the songs they played were but it was an excellent space rock adventure. Mixture of Hawkwind, Pink Floyd and maybe a tiny bit of CAN! The bass player was excellent and really held the whole jamming flow together, the same way Mike Howlet of Gong does the job. Each song was like a 10 minute trip into space. Jim provided fantastic lights with alien images, mushroom, marijuana, planets, etc... The laser was quite cool but was crapping out on him. The band played about 100 minutes of fantastic space music. Funny, how a lot of the British people slag them as just a Hawkwind copy band. Sure, one of the lead guitar players is high HLL influenced and the way some of their guitar riffs are but they have their own unique traveling space sound. Hardy is mixed super high, unlike I have ever heard any synths before, so this gives the band a unique sound and they have long traveling jams. Great stuff... I can't wait to see them live again!

Reviewed by Scott Heller

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