Sunday, 11 May 2014

Spiders at The Borderline London May 06th

Spiders at London Borderline - Photo by Steve Worrall
Swedish melodic rock band Spiders finally made their long-awaited return to the U.K. last week, something I have been looking forward to very much ever since first seeing them back in December 2012 as support to Graveyard. I was so impressed with the band's stunning live show and I don't think I have ever seen an opening act get such a great reaction from a crowd, especially a London one. This time round, the only slight disappointment was that the band were here as a support act again, this time to Canadian band Blood Ceremony on their lengthy European tour. I was really hoping the band might have been venturing out as headliners especially since the many glowing reviews of their faultless debut album "Flash Point", but at least a support slot such as this should introduce them to an even bigger International audience.

Ann-Sofie of Spiders - Photo by Steve Worrall
The band hit the stage of The Borderline, Ann-Sofie resplendent in a shining gold cape and sequined top, a blaze of colour and energy and they blast off with a new song "Mad Dog". In fact the band take the somewhat brave step of following up with another unreleased song "Control", well it would be brave if the new songs weren't any good, but no need to worry, they are both excellent and fit in seamlessly with their more familiar numbers. Guitarist John Hoyles peers out from behind a straggly fringe, and with his inventive Bluesy riffing, steeped in late Sixties and early Seventies Rock, I'm reminded of Led Zeppelin. Spiders have that little bit of soul to them, there's a groove that's missing from many of their contemporaries. I discussed this side of their music with bassist Matteo Gambacorta last time they were in London and I was a bit disappointed to see that Matteo could not make this tour as he is a great bass player. Luckily his replacement, Olle proved a more than able stand-in, and complete with black Rickenbacker, he did an excellent job. 

Bassist Olle - Photo by Steve Worrall
His rhythm section partner Ricard Harryson is not a visually flamboyant drummer, he keeps a low profile with his trucker's cap pulled down low, but there's no doubting his immensely powerful and effective playing. A great version of the powerful "Loss & Trouble" leads into the title track of their forthcoming second album, "Shake Electric" which has a crunching guitar intro from John. It's another perfectly formed melodic masterpiece with a stunning harmonica break from Ann-Sofie, and I can really imagine this making a great new single in the build up to the new album.

Spiders (L/R) John, Ann-Sofie, Ricard & Olle - Photo by Steve Worrall
John plays a nice meandering riff before the mighty Motorhead-heavy "Hang Man" slams into the crowd with superb drumming from Ricard. "Nothing Like You" with it's inventive twists and turns gives way to the thunderous intro to the excellent "Rules of The Game", one of my favourite Spiders tracks. Another new song entitled "Only Your Skin" follows and it becomes clear that the next album is shaping up to be very promising indeed. "Above The Sky" slows the pace a bit and allows Ann-Sofie to show off her considerable skills on the harmonica, it's a great song that reminds me of late Sixties Jefferson Airplane and it highlights the diversity that makes Spiders stand out for me.

John and Ann-Sofie of Spiders - Photo by Steve Worrall
"Love Me" sees Ann-Sofie bashing a tambourine, shaking her hair and the crowd respond and start clapping along. She really is a great focal point for the band with a natural charisma and a ready smile, not to mention one of the best female voices around at the moment. "Fraction" is a great slice of flash Runaways Rock 'n' Roll and is a perfect way to bring the set to a close and the band leave the stage to rapturous applause and calls for more but that's the end to an excellent set, it's all over unfortunately. Let's hope we don't have to wait too long for the Spiders' return.

Spiders at The Borderline - Photo by Steve Worrall

John Hoyles of Spiders - Photo by Steve Worrall
I met up with Spiders vocalist Ann-Sofie and guitarist John before their set and we chat about the Gothenburg music scene, the first 7" singles they ever bought, touring Europe in a camper van and of course the new album. It turns out that earlier that afternoon they had been in advanced discussions with Universal Music about releasing their next album "Shake Electric" so, if all works out well hopefully that Spiders headlining tour might not be too far away..! 

Spiders at The Borderline - Photo by Steve Worrall
You can hear our chat in a future episode of Retrosonic Podcast, so please keep a check on the Soundcloud page or sign-up, register, like and follow the various Retro Man Blog social media sites such as Facebook or Twitter for news on when that will be available. You can listen to my previous chat with Ann-Sofie in our Retrosonic special on the Swedish music scene and hear a selection of great Spiders tracks too. Please note this is an archive episode from 2012.

You can read our report on Spiders first U.K. show featuring exclusive Paul Slattery photos here and some excellent photos by Josefine Larsson of the band at Sweden Rock Festival here. For more photos of the Borderline show please head on over to the Retro Man Blog Facebook page and hit "Like" for access to the exclusive photo album...

John & Ann-Sofie - Photo by Steve Worrall
With many thanks to John and Ann-Sofie, Ricard, Olle and Peter from the excellent Crusher Records.

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