What do you get when you mix four parts Swedish with one part British? The answer is a heady cocktail of AOR, sleaze, funk and melody.
The groundbreaking Smokehead Rocks tour has been packing them in across the country and with five bands for the price of one (well, one big band, at least) it’s little wonder.
First up were Sencelled – a Swedish four-piece rock band from a suburb just north of Stockholm. Their music is melody-driven rock (not that far from AOR) with a twist of the power pop and a touch of Green Day of the 90s.
It’s music from the heart – about love, suburban life and the urge to get out and make something of yourself. Powerful and emotionally sung by Erik Holmberg with brilliant guitar playing from Fredrik Askenstrom, this is a band to watch. They went down a storm in Nottingham.
But there’s no doubt Dynazty were the best band of the night. The band boast a great sleaze rock n raunchy sound with great harmonies. And Dynazty’s dynamic lead vocalist Nils Molin is an excellent frontman with outstanding vocal range.
Boasting a sound reminiscent of Guns n’ Roses – you could hear that influence throughout the performance – the band has, nevertheless, crafted its own identity. Molin joined as an unknown singer and what a find! Watch out for these guys – they are going to be massive one day.
Tainted Nation were the only UK band on this tour and in Nottingham their lead vocalist Pete Newdeck appeared to be struggling with a sore throat. Not that you would have known – he carried on regardless and delivered an outstanding performance in the circumstances.
The band has only recently formed with its current line up of Newdeck (vocals) Mark Cross (Drums) Ian Nash (guitar) and Pantus Egberg (bass) and it seems they’ll soon be a colourful force to be reckoned with.
Next up were Miss Behaviour – a true melodic rock band clearly influenced by Foreigner, Europe and Journey.
Formed in the autumn 2003 – but with the new addition of lead vocalist Sebastian Roos who joined six years later – the Swedes are one step away from greatness.
But it’s hard to out your finger on just what’s lacking at a Miss Behaviour show. The band sound good and their frontman is fantastic but the rest of the guys just seem to stand by and play without ever attempting to interact with either the audience or their lead vocalist.
Perhaps it’s this that is preventing Miss Behaviour from reaching the next level. Image isn’t everything but in this game it counts for so much. One man can’t do it all by himself.
Finally Electric Boys turned up the volume (literally) and launched into their funky retro hard rock sound. Renowned for their gaudy, pyschedelic look and distinctive sound, Conny Bloom and the boys didn’t disappoint.
The Nottingham crowd was clearly turned on by a performance which seamlessly mixed old songs, including the classic Mary In The Mystery World, with new tracks from the acclaimed And Them Boys Done Swang. Throw in the DJing of CrashDiet frontman Simon Cruz and the East Midlands was treated to a truly unique night of high octane rock.