Slottsskogen goes Progressive- Göteborg, Sweden 8/12/06 (Band of Joy, First band from Outer Space, Beardfish, Circus Maximus, The Tangent)

From Aural Innovations #34 (August 2006)

What a really fun and rainy day it was. It was quite an adventure getting to the venue with Johnny from Transubstans Records as they were having some street festival and a marathon in Göteborg so a lot of streets were blocked off and we could not follow the directions that we had and got lost a few times. Anyway, we arrived just in time for First Band from Outer Space to set up to soundcheck and as I was going to play with them, it was perfect. All seemed to go well and Band of Joy were playing a 70's style hard rock on a small stage by the lake. I was really busy helping Johnny set up the CD stand, soundcheck, talking to people that I knew, etc. I really did not hear them much. We took a walk out in the beautiful park for 10 minutes before we were to play (Johan, Frippe and I with some of their friends). When we were walking into the venue area, we heard the band being announced on stage and all the other guys were there already. We ran and got up there and got down to business, spacing the people out. It was a cool set of about an hour. Time just flew by and we were very spaced out but quite a cool set. I had a lot of sound monitor problems to start but then it was fine. It was damn loud up there. It was a good mix of stuff from the first CD and the new one and one older demo track (Spacenight Flight), which I like very much. The prog crowd was maybe not into it that much but the heavy Hawkwind types loved us. It was all filmed on 5 cameras with soundboard audio. Hope it is cool. We cleared off the stage quite fast and Beardfish were up. I only heard the first song and some of the last tracks. They had a really amazing bass player and were very good players. It was hard to judge as I only heard a few of their songs and one was great and the other not so interesting. They say in their bio info they are influenced by Yes, Gentle Giant, and King Crimson, but I thought their music was not that heavy.

The Norwegian Circus Maximus was next and again, I was busy helping Johnny, talking with people I knew, doing an interview with a local journalist who I know from my friend Anders A. Anyway, a lot of people really liked this progressive metal band. I did not like the high pitched singing at all. I just can't appreciate it the way I might have 20 years ago. It was something like Metallica meets Queensryche. Great players again and people really liked them.

The Tangent from England was next and Johnny wanted to pack up and drive back to Malmö before it got too late, so I heard them while we were packing and saying goodbye to everyone. I had reviewed a CD by the band, Parallel or Ninety Degrees from England a few years ago (great and very original stuff) and this group has several of the same members but play progressive rock. From what I heard, these guys were doing some cool jamming at times and had some great songs. Singing was not for me but great players again.

Overall, a great fun day and nice people and a good time. Besides running an hour late, it was an amazing event and the organizers were truly cool and great people to work and talk with. Very professional in this loose setting of things for a free festival. CLICK HERE to see pictures of all the bands.

Scott Heller

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