ROCK’N’LOL 2012 – Day 2 – Søfteland

ROCK’N’LOL 2012 – Day 2 – Søfteland


Family Day

Datatock, after more than 800 concerts and an international career, are still playing on their own turf and shaked Rock’n’Lol two times this year: One concert for the kids and another one as headliner later that night. When the little girls mostly enjoyed themselves on a stripped down Samsaya, who played only with a DJ, boys got their share with the guys in red tracksuits. Saxophone, percussions, jumps, white Steinbergers and Fa-Fa-Fa. The band delivered the usual drill, communicated with its public and ended up in the middle of the young crowd. Most kids dropped a jaw when bassist Thomas Larsen did a the fantastic trick of casting a drumstick on the floor, making it bounce and fly only to get snatched  by his rightful user like if the whole thing was totally normal.


I didn’t see much of Abstractium, being the band having the tough job to start the day in front of almost no one. They played in an empty tent. They are very young and play some kind of post-grunge / pop metal, with a singer reminding me sometimes of Chris Cornell.

Samsaya played again, this time with a keyboardist/percussionist and a drummer, giving more backbone and volume to her music. She’s still singing about superheroes, despite the fact that most of the few aficionados this time are old enough to drink beer.

I was planning to skip The Beauty but decided to give it a try – no regrets. The band is fresh and just got together. They’re the smooth part from King Calling and Major Parkinson, and play emotion-filled, though somehow bouncy pop rock. If I got that well this was their first real live performance. They did well, and took with them a giant rabbit. Literally. People and myself enjoyed the set and they were, with Sitrussyre, probably the best "soft" bands of this year’s festival.

(AUDREY HORNE – Photo: Stig Pallesen)

Audrey Horne is definitely the rock band of those two days. Everything was there: performance, sound, presence and rock’n’roll. Last time I saw them was last year at Hellfest, and they were unlucky enough to open the battlefield in the middle of the day for some early birds. Even thought the gig was great, it was not the best conditions to see the band for the first time. Seeing them again was like starting from scratch. They’re home and people are here for them. And well, it’s moving a lot on stage. They have what El Caco hasn’t: they enjoy themselves and show it. Perfectly chosen setlist, not the time to get bored and a devoted frontman running around and taking a walk down the stage. Definitely a band to see !

When No Diggity is played in the tent stage, I’m confused. When two gorgeous women come on stage dressed like they are going clubbing, I’m starting wondering what the fuck is happening and grab my program to double check if I read it all wrong about Deathcrush. After a slow start, I still don’t get it. And there it goes. The ladies, backed up by a male drummer, play noise music with clean vocals – and guess what – yes, they like hip-hop and this is sweating from all pores of their lyrics and drum grooves. The guitarist is really into it, and hypnotized most of us out there. You could read "WTF?" on people faces. Le Monde wrote recently "Two outrageously sexy tigresses with guitars – the coolest band around at this point in time." Maybe not the coolest, but definitely super cool, and definitely an UFO at Rock’n’Lol. Considering the genre, it’s not the type of concert you stumble upon, and adding a noise band to the line up was a really good idea.

(KVELERTAK – Photo: Stig Pallesen)

One day in early 2008, during the Piggtråd Festival at Hulen in Bergen, the name Kvelertak was down on the lineup. I shamelessly ignored them, and decided not to give a damn. During Hole in the Sky 2009, I was working at Verftet, and didn’t go to Garage. Then I decided to give it a try. And I got, like most people, addicted. Most of the times they played in Bergen after that, I was in Paris. And when I was in Paris, they played in Bergen. I had almost lost hope some months ago when I learned they would probably not play in Bergen in the near future. And then, they came to Søfteland. It’s like when you couldn’t see Immortal live when you were a kid because they threw the towel, but they do their live come back the year you move to Norway: Fucking good. And I was not the only one waiting. If most of the people were obviously waiting for Datarock, Kvelertak managed to carpet-bomb the area so nobody would leave. If the setlist was not a surprise, considering the discography, seeing Kvelertak is like being bulldozed by hits, chainsawed three times at once, strangled with bass guitar strings and feeling: this is what is missing in rock music today. A gig you enjoy from A til Å, something new, fresh, good all the way, straight in the face and not only good background entertaining. There is nothing like Kvelertak, and this is why it’s so good.