SPACE AND ROCK FESTIVAL
Rocksjon, Jonkoping, Sweden
14/15 August 1998
There are further notes and photos from this Festival at Evert Wysell's site.
The best Space Rock Festival ever put on, that no one came to.... The music at this event was really incredible but there were only 46 people to observe and document the event.. I believe that Carl Anderson and I were among perhaps 15 paying people and the rest were the members of the bands that played at the event. It was an incredible disappointment for the bands and especially Evert, who spent a lot of time and money to pull this event off and no one came.. Dietrich Pless and his wife drove 16 hours from Germany for the event, a british guy living in Trondheim (Norway), Andreas from Germany, and a few swedish rock fans had traveled from Stockholm, but that was about it for the paying fans...
The Rockjon was a beautiful place. A fenced off area right on a lake with bathroom and shower facilities as well as a little place selling drinks and some food. We were able to camp right on the grounds behind the main stage. We would have gone swimming but the weather was not that great, with a temperature of around 60F and raining on and off, mostly on.
MAN closed the show this first night, not including the hangout with the band after the show. I had never seen MAN live and neither had nearly anyone else in the audience. The last time they had played in Sweden was 1973! They were playing without their keyboard player (who lives in Denmark), so this limited the set they could (or would) play. The band opened up with The Ride and The View and that really got things started. The thing you noticed right away is that these guys can really play and there is a great interaction between each instrument. We had Martin Ace on bass, Mickey on guitar and vocals, Deke on guitar and Bob on drums. Next up was a killer version of C'mom lasting over 20 minutes. The slide opening by Micky was great and then the guitar kicks in and everyone is moving.. Excellent jam.... The band followed with by Do It and Many Are Called But Few Get Up. These were both great as well, with cruchy guitar riffs... They closed their set with a 20 mintute version of Spunk Rock with Nik Turner sitting in on sax. This was the first time Nik had jammed with the band since 1974! Everyone was talking about how great MAN was after the set and many headed into a small tent behing the main stage to party with the band. I had Deke sign his book, Rhino's, Wino's and Lunatics. He was a very nice guy. We spoke a bit about some of the things in his book and they Carl and I called it a night. If you have not read this book, you must. It is one of the best music biographies I have ever read.
MAN played early this day on the main stage and seemed a bit tired but still jammed nonetheless. The band played most of a song off 2 Ounces Of Plastic during the soundcheck (It is as it must be) but would not do it for the audience. The bands opened the set again with The Ride and the View and went into C'mom, which was 3 minutes shorter and the guitar solos not as hot as the night before. After Do it and Many are called but Few get Up, we got a great version of Bananas! This song has the great lyrics, "I like Bananas 'cause they ain't got no Bones, I like marijhuana because it gets me stoned". They followed Bananas with a short blues number.. Still a great set, but not quite as inspired as the first night. I was a bit disappointed that a band that has been playing together on and off for 30 years would not play a different set of music knowing that the audience of 40 was the same as the night before... Oh well...
Evert Wysell must be congratulated for the effort that was put forth to make this event happen. It is quite a blow that so few people showed up and that he lost a lot of money but one can never know why there were not 100's of people. Anyway, this was an incredible weekend of music and one that I enjoyed as much as any I have ever experienced. I met many incredible people (Evert, Henrik, Jens and the Spacious Mind, Deke, Kenneth and the MOOR, Janne and Dark Sun, Andreas, Juba and Pseudo Sun, and Soren from Darxtar). I did not mind that only 20 people came, like Martin Ace from MAN said. " It's very nice to be here amongst so few beautiful people. But don't forget, you are the ones that are here and everyone else is nowhere, man!".
A second opinion...
Set list Friday
- The Ride And The View
- Do it
- Many Are Called, But Few Get Up/The Storm
- Spunk Rock (Featuring Nik Turner on saxophone)
Set list Saturday
- Brother Arnold's Red And White Striped Tent (a short version at the soundcheck)
- The Ride And The View
- Do it
- Many Are Called, But Few Get Up/The Storm
Man did two gigs at the festival. One Friday night and one at late afternoon Saturday.
The line up for the gigs was:
- Micky Jones, guitar and vocals
- Deke Leonard, guitar and vocals
- Martin Ace, bass and vocals
- Bob Richards, drums.
Phil Ryan was not able to join the band, because of his wife's illness. We all hope that she will become well as soon as possible.
This was the first time since 1976 that Man played in Sweden. Deke thought that they played in Stockholm 1984 or 1985, but Micky was sure that they didn't. For me and my friend Soren Lundgren it was the first time to see the band live.
It was a small and fanatical audience, between 50 and 75 spectators. There where Man-fans from USA, Norway, Germany, Finland and of course from Sweden. Man did two fantastic gigs at the festival. I must say, these guys are nice and they treated the small audience with respect and love.
The most spectular on the Friday gig was that Nik Turner (ex Hawkwind) joined the band while they played Spunk Rock. Deke told me that he had done that before, back in 1974. The saxophone gave a different sound, unlike the usual Man-sound. I don't know if I like it, but it was fun to have seen and heard that constellation.
On Saturday, a rainy day, they played Brother Arnold's Red And White Striped Tent on the soundcheck. I have never heard that tune on a live recording. It sounded very bluesy and for a couple of seconds I thought it was an old Allman Bros. tune. But the guy from Norway and my friend Soren told me that it was an old tune that appeared on one of the first two albums, which I recognized then.
After listening to the new live CD which is recorded in Oberhausen, I can say that it sounds a little softer with Phil on keyboards, than without him.
The small audience created a family-feeling, which was very nice. No one did need alcohol or drugs to get high. We got high on music!
We all the swedish Man-fans hope that it won't take another 22 years for the band to come back to Sweden again.
I have chosen to reproduce these reviews just as I received them. If someone is prepared to write a review in a language which is not his own, I am not going to be so petty as to make nit-picking corrections. - TW.
In April 2000, I received the following note from Paul Ahlgren.
I just visited Tim's Man home page and saw a review of the concert in Jnkping almost two years ago, too bad I didn't know about it. I just want to do a small correction.
Man did play in Sweden in late 1983 or early 1984, it was just after they'd released the album called something like ???? the 13th. They played at Kolingsborg in Stockholm a 2 1/2 hour gig with some 35 people there to listen (you recognize the pattern now don't you :-)).
I was there and have the autographs to prove it ! :-)
What I liked about them was that they played such a long concert for such a small audience and that they took time to talk to me for some 30 minutes afterwards. (After all I was only 21 at the time...)
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