haze of cigarette smoke and bad language I watch Jesper,
the lead singer. He looks more like a living corpse than the front figure of a
rock band. He is running a fever and his bowels are eating him from the inside.
Still, he is there, waiting for the time to play, shooting sick laughs and dark
jokes in every direction.
Next to me in the couch Steffen the guitarist looks just as sick. His nerves
prevent him from consuming anything but beer and gummy bears. During my one hour
stay in the backstage bunker he runs to the toilet to scream cries for mercy
into the giant white floor phone four times. Every time he returns he looks a bit more
ready to rock.
I’m embedded with Free Pariah – a rather vibrant quartet that traverses normal
genre categorization – and the situation around me is pretty much the
quintessence of rock’n’roll. Beer, smokes, dirty humor and last minute
preparations. The concert is less than half an hour away, and the band is
discussing the set list.
”Where should we put the T-Rex-song?”, seems to be the big question.
The manager, Ib, leans over and tell me in a
low, excited voice: ”They finished that song the day before yesterday – it
The time is almost upon us, but Lasse and Oscar
– drums and bass respectively – is the epitome of zen, in stark contrast to the
sickly green singer and the maniacally twisting guitarist. Lasse and
Oscar are talking trade with the off duty sound wizard who invited me here. The
favorite subject seems to be a gig Free Pariah did in a derelict warehouse at
the harbour – it had no toilets, no seats and no heat. The current location – a
refurbished mail-depot made club scene – is pure rock star luxury in comparison.
Out in the corridor a beer tab protrudes directly from the wall, for everyone
with a backstage pass to exploit. While I do exactly that, the divine smell of
roasted duck makes me wonder if anyone would actually need to compose a rider.
”Time” says the stage manager, who seems to be tranquility incarnated, when you
add the fact that the other band of the evening was almost two hours late. They
finished their sound test seconds before the doors were opened.
The local hard-core of rockabilly fans comprises half
of the audience. Other than that the crowd is just as diverse as the band we are
about to be blown away by.
Free Pariah appear from the wings of the stage in a somewhat clumsy and very un-star-like
way. They grab their instruments while looking everywhere but out into the room.
Someone does the 1-2-3-4-count and BAM! They are transformed into rock gods!
Every member of the band disappears from the real world and enters some ethereal plane
of flowing, tangible music. The four of them becomes one. Free Pariah is now a
machine, pumping out some of the most catchy rock’n’roll tunes Denmark has had
to offer for a long time!
Think rockabilly, with some heavy blues influences. Then add The Doors, Led
Zeppelin and Danzig to the mix. Yes.
Rockabilly/Blues/Heavy/Acid/Deathpunk all in
one. If I had not repeatedly been visiting their myspace profile,
I’m not sure I would have been able to absorb it
all. It is simply rock’n’roll, yet intricate with mysterious, unpredictable
breaks, extremely emotional delta blues chords. Jesper –
even though he was sick as hell, has the voice of all my favorite fallen angels:
a doomsayers roar with notes of Jim Morrison, Glenn Danzig and
But… Though musically adept and inspired, Free Pariah are not very good at
controlling much else than there own instruments. The time between songs is a
puddle of muddy mumbling, lack of discipline and internal debates with the backs
against the audience. They even interrupt each-other during
the presentation of the next song. Rock’n’roll leave room for some confusion and
every band has stories to tell about the time when the bass
player forgot his bass, or the pyrotechnics fired off-beat and set fire
to the lead singer. These stories make up part of the legend of rock. But this
night was a circus!
The interchanging of brilliant music and travestied intermezzos continued throughout the
concert, until the very last song. Suddenly the showmanship was there, and the
audience responded in kind. According to Lasse,
Free Pariah like having their fans on stage, and about ten people went up there,
rocking along with the band. The concert soon erupted into a sort of controlled
anarchy, and ended as seemingly well-organized as it started in chaos.
Free Pariah has fostered a strange idea about a tour of the top of the world – geographically that
is. Nothing is official yet, but if you live in Greenland, Canada or Alaska,
keep an eye out for these guys. The music far outweighs the lack of
01. Hurryman Blues pt. 1
02. Hurryman Blues pt. 2
04. Candyman Countryclub
05. Can't get it Up
06. Purple King
08. F#se Cruise
09. Stupid is as Stupid Does
11. Don Garcia
< Pictures from the Show