5.15, Lotus, Abramis Bramis
Malmö Festivalen, Malmö, Sweden 8/18/99
(with Brian Robertson of Thin Lizzy!)
From Aural Innovations #8 (October 1999)
I was really looking forward to this concert. I had interviewed Mika from 5.15 back in March (See issue # 6 of AI) but did not get to see the band play in Helsinki. It took me a few minutes to find the place once the Ferry had landed. The Festival is a large free event that covers all the walking street areas in downtown Malmö. They have like 10 different music stages with live music from 6:30 until 11 at night from August 10-20th. They only have one rock stage and most of the music all week was not that interesting. I met up with Patrik and Robert at about 6 and the weather was great, sunny and very nice, but this was to change. Abramis Bramis, are a new Kyuss-like band from Sweden that sings in Swedish. Their soundman was really bad and he never really got it right the whole show. They started off with a spacey song but it was all bass, drums and low vocals and nearly no guitar. The guitar was raised but never to a really good level, at least for me. I was really impressed with the bass player. He looked just like John McCoy from the old Gillan band but much younger. He was very good. The guitar player was the weak link in the band and he hardly ever played any guitar solos. The singer has a good voice and it was interesting to note that he was missing his right hand and had a clamp hand. The highlight of their set was a cover by November. The band will have a CD out on the Record Heaven label later this year, perhaps this will be better than they came across live.
Next up was the band Lotus. I really liked their CD Fruitage so I was really looking forward to hearing them. I had heard they were quite good at the Karlshamm Festival back in June. They played a lot of new songs that I did not know what they were and then they played a few songs like Fruitful and Beautiful and Green Power from the first CD. They were selling the new CD-EP with Brian Roberston as well as a 7" of Mesmerization Eclipse by Captain Beyond. I did not buy either of them. After about 8 songs, Brian Robertson joined the band and they played It's Only Money, Massacre, Don't Believe a Word. They all sounded really excellent, especially the great It's Only Money song from 1974! Robertson could for sure still play the guitar. Lotus was really excellent. I highly recommend this band. They have a great 70's hard rock sound with really solid songs and guitar playing.
Set List: ?, Tangerine, Green Power, Passion, Fruitful and Beautiful, Lost and Astray?, Visions, Robertson joins the band for Granny?, It's Only Money, Don't Believe a Word, Massacre
I had a nice chat with Mika and Pate from 5.15. I was really psyched and you could tell that Mika was as well. By this time, about 9:20, a good crowd was gathering and it had become cold and cloudy and rain was to come soon. Ugh. The band opened up with Spaceship Dark Sun and their soundman was excellent and it only took one song before the sound was perfect. Mika is a really incredible frontman, telling stories, speaking in Swedish and English and a bit of crazy Finnish as well. The band were all having a great time as well. They were much heavier than I thought they would be. Next up was Holes in My Memory. Great song. They played a few cover songs as like Pinball Wizard and Cab Driver. These guys are a great live band, tight but loose enough to give Mika room to play with the crowd and get them going. He had them in the palm of his hand by the end!!
Brian Robertson came out at about one hour and played with the band. The band is so tight, the way they move from originals to covers songs so seamlessly. The first song with Robertson was Waterfall (2nd Coming). Robertson, pretty much fucked up the guitar parts but he did play some nice guitar. They played a great cover of Over the Borderline by Thin Lizzy. This was really excellent. The other Lizzy songs played were Rosalie and Are You Ready. They also played a cool blues number and the encore song was Rocky Mountain Way by Joe Walsh.
The full set list was:
Intro Jam, Starship Dark Sun, I Don't Remember, Holes in My Memory, Grasshopper's Holiday, Pinball Wizard, Wayward Son, Innocence is no Excuse, Cab Driver, Waterfall (2nd Coming), Do it Until You Drop (Frankie Miller cover), Blues Ball (w/Robertson singing), Over the Borderline, Dancing with Mrs. Fischer, Still in Love with You, Are You Ready, Rosalie, Rocky Mountain Way.
Reviewed by Scott Heller