24.06.2023 @ Konzertfabrik Z7 Pratteln, Switzerland
Sometimes you wonder whether old age has caught up and your eyesight is getting weaker, or if it’s the camera making everything blurry. It’s definitely not the alcohol level, since I’ve been without it for years. Fortunately, it’s not the eyes – it turns out that my lens is once again on its last leg and delays the release. Because of the slow camera lens, unfortunately, I caught only a few pictures of the Butcher Babies and their wild stage act – I hope I’m forgiven.
We get to hear a concentrated dose of power tonight, although the band combination is debatable. Who on earth had the idea to put Monster Magnet together with Saint Agnes and the Butcher Babies???? Why??? Well….Booker….Event organizers….whether they even know what kind of band they are booking is sometimes the question.
But the evening starts with someone I’m very excited about: Seraina Telli; former Burning Witches frontwoman and for some time solo on the road. Unfortunately I have never managed to see the Swiss girl live on stage. And I am positively surprised, Seraina has a very likeable demeanor and besides her skills on the guitar, she also masters the vocals excellently. Due to the early start, there aren’t that many people present for her concert, but she takes it with humor and can also laugh at herself when she fluffs something. She presents a new track “Song for the Girls”, released on June 16, which is supposed to encourage girls to just believe in themselves. The new album is coming soon, so best to pre-order now. A great woman who really has something to offer with a string of solid good songs. It should turn out that Seraina is by far the best act this evening, of which I would very much like to see and hear more.
The most annoying thing at concerts are probably the changeovers, on this evening always extra extensive. But we finally get to the point when Saint Agnes finally start to play. Oh those poor, angry English street kids, who don’t know how to give voice to their rage, except with music. That’s all right, but with lyrics that only repeat one sentence 50 times, the message should be more than clearly communicated – so please embellish the whole thing a bit with more words or just leave it. Saint Agnes with frontwoman Kitty play this garage rock that should probably stay in a garage. Not that they play badly or can’t sing, but my god, these repetitions can really get on your nerves. And I guess I’m slowly turning into an oldtimer who stands in front of the stage thinking, “Oh kids, don’t give the finger like that!” tzttz… But really, you can express your anger at society a classy way, too, can’t you? Nevertheless, Kitty and her guys create a good atmosphere.
Again the long stage set rebuilding ….1,2….1,2 ….Soundcheck and nobody can count further than 2. But then finally The Raven Age are on, another British act and finally using more words in lyrics. Whoo-hoo, you can only be thrilled. The songs are musically quite chaotic from time to time, the vocal lines similar quite often, but still the guys have talent, create great atmosphere and you enjoy listening to them. Like all bands this evening, the guys struggle with massive sound problems, which must be incredibly troublesome not only for them – a dull hum can be heard again and again. I haven’t seen the guys live in a while, but am still amazed by their music and stage presence. It’s a pity that you don’t hear more from them and that they don’t come to Z7 for a headliner tour.
And again this change…a bit faster this time… And now hold on to your men, the Butcher Babies are in town. If even women cannot take their eyes of those two girls, then there is indeed something going on. I generally hold the opinion that everyone should be the way he/she wants to be, no matter what the others say. Nevertheless, I’m glad that those two are no longer as half-naked as in their images before, at least not today. A great show on stage all the time, there is always something going on and no standing still. I have to admit, it’s my first time watching the Butcher Babies live and I have nothing to complain about the show, but vocally? Please, please, they can’t really do it that well and with a lot of echo effect, anyone can growl. It’s more of a party act than a serious metal band for me, because this is just about atmosphere and not about skill. Heidi and Carla are two party girls and kicking off a party, they do that really well, but singing – that’s what they can’t do. For me it’s enough watching their show once for a whole lifetime.
After another time-consuming break, Monster Magnet are finally on stage. So, if you have never been to a Monster Magnet gig, like me, and you know the videos of this band, then you might imagine that Dave Wyndorf takes some effort in terms of styling for a stage appearance. But that’s not the case: Just shirt and sloppy jeans – that’s it. Unfortunately the sound is really badly adjusted, you can hardly hear his voice. The first three songs in the photo pit are just a dull guitar droning, that’s all you hear. Further back it gets a little better and outside the door you get the best sound quality. This is where I listen to a few more songs, until it’s just too much and I leave the concert early.
Despite numerous festivals and concerts in the area, the Monster Magnet gig had an impressive crowd. What surprised me a little, because it is really not the easiest band to warm up to, with their space rock. According to the setlist, all the hits were played and I think the atmosphere was very good for a Saturday night.