Live : IN SOLITUDE w/BEASTMILK & VENUS SLEEPS… (Voodoo Lounge, Dublin – 17/10/2014) Posted: 11/11/2014 by John O'Brien
Whatever it is about the dark clouds hanging over head on this Friday evening it just seems to add to the nights festivities. First up was DANIEL BAY, a solo artist with just his acoustic guitar in front of an already gathering crowd that were privileged to witness an amazing performer. It’s rare to see someone at a metal show having the courage to stand up for three songs and pour their heart into what time they were given. A brilliant songwriter who managed to captivate you into listening to every word and chord he was playing. Yet somehow with his performance you get the sense that these songs were written with a full line-up mind.
As pre-Siege Of Limerick warm-ups go, I don’t think VENUS SLEEPS could have asked for a better one. This four-piece band have only been gigging properly for a little over a year now but they sound like they’ve been together for much longer than that. These guys are amazing live with a fantastic psychedalic 70’s sound. Copies of their demo have almost completely sold out and with an expanding fan base and the imminent release of their upcoming debut album, VENUS SLEEPS will no doubt be a name on the tips of many tongues soon enough… and rightly so. ‘Dawn Of Nova’ with it’s 70’s guitar tone and eerie vocals gets an airing tonight and you can tell it’s a fan favourite straight off and is sure to be in the bands set list for years to come too.
The air grows thick with anticipation for one of Finland’s latest export….. BEASTMILK. Taking to the stage like demons possessed and whipping the already frenzied crowd into a state of Euphoric heaven. Harking back to the sound of darkwave, post-punk 80’s bands but with a much more darker sinister edge to their sound. It was easy to hear why BEASTMILK were considered one of the top debut bands for 2013. Kvohst sounding like Ian Curtis from Joy Division had the crowd hanging on every word. ‘Fear Your Mind’ has the crowd singing and soon ‘Death Reflects Us’ has everyone jumping and pumping the air while Goatspeed, Olsson and Arino are throwing themselves around the stage. As support acts go BEASTMILK are amazing live and a pure joy to behold.
With the stage bathed in an eerie red IN SOLITUDE take the stage and straight away unleash their sound of destruction on those in attendance. The setlist is pleasing to both new and old fans and it’s hard to imagine that they are still young enough that they have yet to reach their peak. ‘Sister’ gets it debut tonight on Irish soil and it is a joy to hear a band not being afraid to move forward while still keeping their dark roots intact. The band themselves seemed to enjoy every moment up on stage and it spilled out into the crowd as they responded passionately yet again. As the night draws to close, Lillies are flung around the stage and it’s easy to see that IN SOLITUDE love what they do. As good as they already are there’s is still so much potential in this band, so here’s hoping they’ll be around for many a more years to come and and return to treat us here in Ireland to another performance such as this again.
Interview with IN SOLITUDE’s Pelle Åhman…
Before IN SOLITUDE took to the stage in the Voodoo Lounge, I had the chance to sit down with Pelle and talk to him about the tour and the recent album ‘Sister’.
Wes: Thanks for taking the time out to talk to us. And welcome to Ireland. How are you finding it apart from the weather?
Pelle: Thank you so much. Yeah! It’s great to be here. I find the weather very tranquil and the best weather yet. It’s very warm still despite it looking so cold. We also got a chance to visit the church around the corner (Christchurch) and we also got to see the crypts which was cool.
Wes: Your latest release ‘Sister’ has been hailed by many as their choice for album of the year for last year and has also been voted number four in Rolling Stone’s magazine top 20 metal albums of the year. Were the band surprised at how well it was received?
Pelle: We were first and foremost very happy just to make the album. It meant something very special to us about that time for the five of us. We were sort of in a bubble making it and we kind of forgot that it was going to be reviewed and released. We were glad that it got a lot of good reviews but it also received a few bad ones too from a few of our older fans who didn’t seem to appreciate the direction it went in.
Wes: Did that come to you as a shock, that fans didn’t like it compared to the first two albums?
Pelle:I think a lot of the early die hard orthodox fans were disappointed by the second album too. But then again it sometimes happens that way.
Wes: I suppose you can’t please everyone. Do you see it as a progression going forward music wise?
Pelle: As making music goes you have to move forward and make music that’s relevant to you as a musician.
Wes:Have you any plans for the next album yet or any ideas for it even?
Pelle: We have some loose ideas for it. But it’s more musical ones and very early stages of the songs. It’s not really to the stage of album yet but it’s more ideas at this moment.
Wes: You are half way through the tour so far. How are you finding it?
Pelle: Really good…Surprisingly good! There’s been no days off and it’s very intense. But we are into it now and we have a daily rhythm now. We haven’t done a headline tour since 2010, so it was hard to know what to expect.
Wes: No days off…?!? Did you plan it that way?
Pelle: A day off can feel like a week before the next gig and it’s like hard to find that rhythm again after a day off. In the past when we were in the States we would go to another town on our days off and explore nature or whatever. A tour is like a vacation so we tend to see as much as possible during our off time. But I like playing every day. It’s a good way to be focused.
Wes: Do you find it then that the momentum from the previous nights show would carry over to the show from having no days off?
Pelle: Yeah! More or less. Sometimes when you are playing you reach a transcendent place and the next night can be hard cause you are trying to reach the same place and end up feeling exhausted after it. So while we might not think we had a good show in our heads, it mightn’t appear that way.
Wes: Do you find yourselves feeding off the fans energy when that happens?
Pelle; Definitely. The energy on this tour is a great surprise. We don’t get to see the crowd till we walk on stage as we are in rooms behind and it’s just as important as the band.
Wes: Did it come as a shock to you with the response you have gotten so far?
Pelle: Yeah very much so. We played festivals with a few headline shows here and there. We are very happy to see a proper fan base all over which we had no expectations of at all. So we are very happy that we can do a show in front of fans.
Wes: Is it hard to adapt from playing in front of 100 people to 5,000 people at a small festival?
Pelle: It’s hard to know when a night is going to be special. Playing a festival is similar to that of a club but it’s sometimes harder to reach the people on the outskirts of the festival. But the things I like about clubs is that it’s more enclosed and a lost hour you share in a room with people away from the world.
Wes: Do you find it more intense playing in club where the fans are literally touching distance away?
Pelle: Yeah! Especially when it’s dark and loud. I like it like that, some festivals are like that too though.
Wes: After the tour is over, is it hard to adapt back to normality?
Pelle: Definitely! I heard of people recording the sound of the bus to help them sleep after a tour. You get so use to spending a month on a tour bus it’s kinda hard to adapt back after living out of a small bag.
Wes: Any plans after the tour ends?
Pelle: Yes, I’m going to this log cabin in the north of Sweden and it’s good to escape and relax. It’s going to be very quiet. I like to go to polar opposite after touring.
Review / Interview by Wes Morrissey
Photos by Fran Geoghegan
( https://www.facebook.com/frangeogheganphotography ) …………………………………………..……………………………
IN SOLITUDE – https://www.facebook.com/
BEASTMILK – https://www.facebook.com/
VENUS SLEEPS – https://www.facebook.com/
DANIEL BAY – https://www.youtube.com/