Live at Vulkan Arena in Oslo, Norway on November 5th 2015
Photos by Marie Solheim
Embarking on a rapid upward trajectory following their sophomore album Blood Lust, British psychedelic urchins Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats have been regular visitors in Oslo. Upon every return, the band seems to play for bigger crowds, and their stint as openers for Black Sabbath probably hasn’t hurt their renown throughout Europe. Since their last Norwegian appearance, the Deadbeats have released their fourth record, the murder-fixated The Night Creeper, to critical acclaim. Although the show at the sizable Vulkan arena isn’t officially sold out, it seems close to reaching its 600-person capacity.
Hard rocking openers Spiders are also familiar faces in Oslo, and were last seen supporting Blood Ceremony at a somewhat smaller stage. On the road promoting their groovy new album Shake Electric, frontwoman Ann-Sofie Hoyles looks quite excited to be back in Norway’s capital. Seemingly just arriving from blowing up a glitter-factory, the Gothenburg-band know how to kick a lot of ass with their punchy hard rock. New cuts such as “Mad Dog” and “Shake Electric” are paired with older material, all performed with an overabundance of good vibes and a rock star attitude.
In addition to pulling off one hell of a vocal performance while chewing bubblegum, Hoyles also plays maracas, the harmonica, and even joins in on guitar for the back half of the set. They get a nice party going during their 45 minutes of stage time, and close the festivities with a new number from their fresh EP Why Don’t You. Relentlessly catchy and a ridiculously fun live band, these guys have mastered the art of the rock and roll performance.
Having gotten a proper warm-up courtesy of Spiders, the bright lights are dimmed and the building is filled with low but excited murmurs. With a new album under their belt, Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats have taken the opportunity to change things up a bit. This time they’ve bought stage props and a revamped setlist, adding a touch of Jack the Ripper’s Whitechapel to the Vulkan stage. Pumping up the audience with a series of horror-soundtracks, the Deadbeats finally take the stage with “Waiting For Blood” from The Night Creeper. Having had a couple of months to get acquainted with the album, the fan-response is equally enthusiastic when “Mind Crawler” and “Murder Nights” follow, only simmering down a bit when the band goes back to their debut Volume 1.
Whether it’s due to the impressive turnout, or just confidence in the new material, the Uncle himself seems unusually happy to be here, his gloomy visage occasionally slipping, revealing a sly grin. In any case, their dedication pays off. The sound is crystal clear, the bass is suitably monolithic, and the vocals retain their trademark eerie charm. Perhaps most importantly, The Night Creeper proves to be another rock-solid addition to the band’s already mountainous live-catalogue. Closing the set with the upbeat “Melody Lane” and bone-rattling favorite “Withered Hand Of Evil”, tonight’s performance is another successful notch in Uncle Acid’s ever-expanding belt of achievements.