Publ. 2004-11-01 at www.aftonbladet.se (Swedish newspaper
Mark Lanegan Band
Concert at Berns, Stockholm
Rating: 4 (out of 5)
--by Håkan Steen
Makes heavy metal rockers to dig soul ballads
It is not often that you see people with death metal
t-shirts digging to classic soul ballads, but when Mark Lanegan and his
five musicians take up the stage of Bern's golden concert hall, that is
exactly what happens.
Heavy and timeless
That the former Screaming Trees and Queens of the Stone Age member gets
the heavy metal rockers going on to Bobby "Blue" Bland's immortal "I'll
take care of you" is largely due to how Lanegan, in an unusually gifted
manner, manages to melt together most of what has historically been categorised
as blues into heavy, timeless rock darkness.
He already did it ten years ago, on the cult classic "Whisky for the holy
ghost", and he does it just as soulfully on the new album "Bubbelgum".
Nick Cave's darkness
Lanegan builds his music on everything from folk country and soul to Nick
Cave's European darkness and Cohen's modern waltzes.
The stage is bathing in semi-darkness and Lanegan himself is a shadowy
figure in the middle, who manically squeezes his mic stand while he, without
moving too many limbs, rattles [wheezes?] out his often very personal
songs with a cigarette voice as deep as it is inspiring respect.
In a song like "Hit the city" the atmosphere is to tense you hardly dare
to breathe, for fear of breaking the almost hypnotic mood.