They certainly provide a bizarre contrast to the combustible, guitar- driven, pseudo-psychedelic Swedish act Soundtrack Of Our Lives. I would have gladly given up my enviable position under the air-conditioning to find out what the two band's backstage small talk consisted of.
This hulking six-man band from Gothenburg are every inch a "rock" band - all flouncy hair, eyeliner and tight trousers. Advocates of epic guitar solos, lofty lyrics and irrepressible posturing, Soundtrack are single- handedly trying to bring about a Seventies prog revival. And I'm sure Emerson, Lake and Palmer didn't have nearly as much fun.
Rumours prevailed after Soundtrack's support slot with Kula Shaker last year that Paul Winterhart, Kula Shaker's drummer felt compelled to ask Soundtrack's drummer for lessons. Sure enough, Winterhart is lurking at the back of the gig, banging his head with the best of them.
Dressed in floor-length robes, vocalist Ebbert Lundberg materialises from a cloud of dry ice like a giant, beer-bellied seraph, arms aloft in mock adulation, as he launches into the bizarrely titled "Chromosome Layer". The rest of the band are similarly ostentatious although absurdly incongruous. An archetypal Soho pin-up complete with Action Man grin, Martin Hederos entices a gaggle of glowing girls and cavorting boys in front of his keyboard while guitarist Ian Perrson's trailing blond tresses and black fingernails draw an assemblage of shaggy headbangers. Mattias Barjed is a dead ringer for Take That's Mark Owen (though in possession of considerably more verve) and his performance culminates in true rock- god style when he plays his guitar with his backside.
London crowds are notoriously difficult to please and this lot were clearly disconcerted by the ribald band of Swedes, but by the encore they were baying for more. Soundtrack's brand of psychedelic rock may sound dated at times, but they must be congratulated for the sheer effrontery of their performance.
Fiona SturgesReuse content