What do Motörhead and Saxon have in common with the Quireboys apart from being from Britain? Well, all three of them are – or have been – a Sweden Rock house band. Sort of. For some reason it seems like those bands are always playing at the festival. Saxon didn’t this year and neither did Motörhead – for obvious reasons – but the Quireboys did and I’m not the one to complain about that. I have seen the band on many occasions and they have never let me down one bit because they’re just a brilliant live act and their music is perfect festival material. I mean, c’mon, who doesn’t feel like partying when the Quireboys starts to groove? I certainly do and by the look of it, so did everyone else in the big crowd this evening. From the opening track “Too Much Of A Good Thing” to the closing “Sex Party” it was the pedal to the metal rock ‘n’ roll all the way through. Not even slow blues tunes or ballads could stop this party. Hell, the ballad “I Don’t Love You Anymore” with the crowd singing at full throttle is one of the highlights of the show. But of course, it’s the classics that goes down the best – “Misled”, “Sweet Mary Ann”, “Hey You”, “There She Goes Again” and “7 O’Clock” – are tunes that could make a paralyzed get up and dance. Also, a newie half-ballad like “Mona Lisa Smiled” went down like a storm and the underrated “Tramps And Thieves” did too. The only downside, if I can call it that, was the covers from their latest snore White Trash Blues. I would have preferred more songs from the underrated second album Bittersweet And Twisted and the awesome “Beautiful Curse” song any day of the week. But that’s really trivial seen as a whole – the Quireboys rocked us good and hard and I will be a happy camper every time they’re booked to this festival.
It’s been a long time since Hardcore Superstar released a new record. It was a while when they were pretty much everywhere and I was actually getting a bit tired of them but this time they felt like a really good booking – and to let them headline the first day at the festival was a very good choice since they have been away from the stage for some time now. Hardcore Superstar have always been a killer live band – energetic, rough and ass-kicking and as it turned out, that was the case this night as well. Opening with “Kick On The Upperclass”, the band proved that no prisoners would be taken this night and that we were in for a serious beating. “My Good Reputation”, “Dreamin’ In A Casket” and “Sadistic Girls” only brought the fuel-injected energy up and even a song like “Touch The Sky” from their last, disappointing album HCSS, worked extremely well and the crowd was with them completely. The members themselves are all hardcore ass-kickers on stage – except maybe for cool and collected bass player Martin Sandvik – with singer Jocke Berg running round like a wounded bear, guitarist Vic Zino’s endless headbanging and drummer Adde who’s like a Tommy Lee with double ADHD and rocket fuel in his veins. New single “Have Mercy On Me” worked like a charm and sounded like a classic already and the closing with “Moonshine”, “We Don’t Celebrate Sundays” and “Above The Law” were just magnificent. I have just one question – why hasn’t Hardcore Superstar come a longer way than to headline the first day (which is really just a half-day) on Sweden Stage after all this time in the business? Shouldn’t they be bigger than that by now? Because as a live act, they sure is headline material, in my book. This night the owned us all and the road to bigger stages must be around the corner any time now.