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MUSIC

Denmark’s ten must-see concerts in August

With the lazy holiday month of July behind us, August promises a number of good musical experiences and festivals to round off the summer.

Denmark's ten must-see concerts in August
Beth Hart is among the performances to look forward to in August. Photo: Bamble Kommune/Flickr

Heading into late summer, gone are the roaring, chaotic festivals of June and the sedate vibe of July. August is not the wildest of months for Danish festivals, but it does feature lesser-known ones and an opportunity to well and truly enjoy some great music in the sun before the the cold autumn rains herald the end to yet another all-too-brief Danish summer.

Here's some of what to look forward to:

 

Beth Hart

Amager Bio, 3 August at 8pm

Beth Hart's powerful vocals echo in one's ears days after attending one of her fantastic live performances. Now in her early 40's, the multiple Grammy nominee returns to an established and ever-expanding fanbase here in Denmark. 

 

YoungBlood Brass Band

Lille Vega, 4 August at 9pm

The Local's pick of the month, YoungBlood Brass Band are yet another export from the music Mecca of New Orleans. Pioneers of the genre of riot brass – a feisty combination of hip-hop inspired instrumentals with swathes of funk and percussive panache – YoungBlood Brass Band are sure to provide a whole evening's worth of great entertainment. 

 

Rob Zombie

Store Vega, 5 August at 8pm

As the name suggests, the music of Rob Zombie is not for the faint of heart. Zombie's live shows entail a video game-like immersion into a universe of drama, horror and raw metal that has helped the band make a solid name for itself over the years.

 

STRØM Festival: The Party Cruise

MS BJØRNSHOLM, 8 August at 6pm

Now a permanent fixture on the festival calendar, Copenhagen's STRØM Festival is less intense (and less-known) than many of the major music festivals in the city. However, the experiences it offers are truly unique. One of the highlights of this year's event will be a boat cruise organised by the record label WAA Industry. Kenton Slash Demon, Kasper Marott og Kristian Kjôller will be doing the honours on board, providing soothing electronic music for the occasion.

 

STRØM Festival: Copenhagen Metro

The Metro Line, 11 August, check STRØM festival's webpage for exact time

Staying in the vein of unique STRØM experiences, this particular one takes the form of a metro ride with live deejays. The music tends to straddle the borderline between weird and experimentally cool, so don't expect something like your typical festival experience (there will be other normal commutters on board too, some of whom won't be too enthused), but do expect an experience that you'll rarely get anywhere else in the world.  

 

Vince Staples

(Moved from the 20th of June) Lille Vega, August 12 at 8pm

Staples' original show penned for the 20th of June failed to materialize. We featured him in our June listings however, so here he is again. Several years after carving out a name for himself with a series of recordings for the established Odd Future crew, Long Beach rapper Vince Staples has evolved to become one of the most exciting names in rap music today. His upbringing, run-ins with authorities and prior near-misses are frequently the subject of his lyrics, many of which take a poetic stab at some of the inequalities of life.

 

König

Ideal Bar, August 20 at 9pm

Ahead of a debut album release this autumn, Danish R&B duo  König still don't have much material to help us gauge what they're all about. The little they do have, however, is enough to suggest that this a band with quite a bit of potential; soft vocals in the R&B tradition combined with sharp electronic influences.

 

Derrick May

Culture Box, August 21 at 9pm

Derrick May is known as one of the Belleville three. Along with Kevin Saunderson and Juan Atkins, May was one of the pioneers of the Detroit techno genre that emerged from the industrial backdrop of the motor city and spread across the world ever since.  In a dance music landscape dominated by the age of selfies and pseudo superstar deejays, this show promises to be a trip back in time.

 

Fort Minor

Pumpehuset, August 26 at 8pm 

Growing up, Linkin Park was one of the bands I was most inspired by. Linkin Park fans, rejoice, as pianist and rapper Mark Shinoda will be bringing his solo project, Fort Minor, to the grunge confines of Copenhagen's Pumpehuset.  Less rock-inclined than the sounds of Linkin Park, Fort Minor wanders down a more percussive and often gloomier path.

 

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Jurassic 5

Store  Vega, August 29 at 8pm

One of the seminal bands in the history of hip-hop, Jurassic 5 returns to Denmark for their third outing here, following their previous shows at Vega and Northside, respectively. Theirs is a breed of hip-hop that, by comparison to the development of the genre today, remains a class apart. It's vintage musicianship that is true to its roots, and they are anything but Jurassic.

 

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MUSIC

The Danish death metal band that became reality TV stars

The Aarhus band Baest is poised for an international breakthrough thanks to a recent documentary and an injection of taxpayer money.

The Danish death metal band that became reality TV stars
Baest is Sebastian Adildsten, Svend Karlsson, Lasse Revsbech, Mattias Melchiorsen and Simon Olsen. Photo: Nikolaj Bransholm
Death metal is a genre defined by growling vocals, blistering distorted guitars and blast beats. The sound is typically accompanied by dark imagery that borders on the downright evil. In a music world dominated by sugary pop and hip-hop, it’s about as far away from the mainstream one can get. 
 
But a young Danish death metal band is upending all of that. The Aarhus-based Baest found its way into the homes of ordinary Danes nationwide thanks to a documentary series on public television that chronicled their attempt to make music their full-time gig.
 
The series, ‘Den Satans Familie’, follows the young band as they leave Aarhus and embark on their first real European tour. It paints an intimate picture of the five members’ relationships, both with each other and the families they left behind while on the road. Baest only formed in 2015, so the documentary captures how members Sebastian Abildsten (drums), Svend Karlsson (guitar), Mattias Melchiorsen (bass), Simon Olsen (vocals) and Lasse Revsbech (guitar) in some ways still seem to be working out how to co-exist, something that's not always easy when crammed inside a small tour van. 
 
The DR3 series meant that these young, long-haired, heavily-tattooed metal dudes were suddenly reaching a much larger audience, including many who were not necessarily fans of their sound but couldn’t help but be drawn in by their personalities and their raw struggle to make it in the music business. 
 
 
But getting featured in a reality TV show wasn’t the only boost for Baest. The band was named 'best new Danish act' by highly-respected music magazine Gaffa, which also declared their debut album Danse Macabre the best metal or hard rock album of 2018.
 
Baest was also granted 250,000 kroner from the Danish Arts Foundation, a state-run fund for supporting Danish arts abroad. The financial boost is likely to come in handy as the young Aarhusians prepare to hit the road again in support of their upcoming second album, Venenum, which is due on September 13. 
 
Following the band’s standout performance at Copenhell, the annual heavy metal festival in Copenhagen, I caught up with guitarist Lasse Revsbech to talk about the band’s whirlwind success. 
 
First of all, I really enjoyed your performance at Copenhell. What was that like for you? 
 
“We’ve never played a crowd that big before, it was amazing. We’ve been building up over the past few years in Denmark, so to see where it’s gotten to now makes it all worth it. At Copenhell, we shared the stage with some fucking true legends. Sometimes I have to pinch myself to make sure I’m not dreaming. It’s insane.”
 
How do you describe Baest?
 
“Baest is an intense band, with high energy and raw power but with an enormous smile.”
 
How did the reality show come about? 
 
“Our manager was in a dialogue with [public broadcaster] DR and they decided to send a crew to cover one of our gigs at VoxHall in Aarhus. We told them we were on the verge of going on this tour and everyone just thought it would be fun to do it.”
 
The metal world can often seem overly concerned about image and authenticity and in the documentary you come across as this group of really nice, down-to-earth guys. Did you have any concerns about how this might affect your image? 
 
“We were definitely nervous about the metal community’s reaction and how things would be edited and presented but fortunately we really think that DR hit the nail on the head. There’s been such a great response. A lot of true metalheads and touring musicians have told us that it painted such an honest picture of the music industry. A lot of metal bands have a hard time with this concept of selling out but we’ve not been told once – not yet, at least – they were are sell-outs.”
 
You also received a grant from the Danish Arts Foundation. Isn’t it a bit crazy that public money is going to a death metal band? 
 
“Haha, it makes you happy to pay your taxes! It’s so Danish! But really, it’s all about people supporting people and it’s something I think other countries should do.” 
 
What are you hoping to achieve with the release of your new album? 
 
“First and foremost, we’re hoping it allows us to tour more. This autumn, we’ll be heading out for our biggest European tour thus far, as main support for an Entombed AD & Aborted co-headling tour. Entombed are one of the pioneers of death metal, so it’s insane to go on tour with those guys. 
 
“Even if the new album doesn’t make us explode, we hope it will get us one step closer to that. We’re a band that likes to dream big, so we want to play on the biggest stages all around the world. Hopefully, this is a step in the right direction.” 
 
 
Baest’s tour in support of Entombed AD and Aborted kicks off on October 18 in London and will take them to 28 cities throughout Europe, including a November 1 stop at Vega in Copenhagen. Venenum will hit stores and streaming services on September 13 and lead single ‘As Above So Below’ is out now. The four-part documentary on Baest is available to stream here.
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