Ill Wicker

Lygtens Kro, Copenhagen - 2016

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

Now, this is not your regular cup of tea at our humble place. Ill Wicker, a Swedish sextet from Gothenburg, playing in their own words psych-folk. Not too far off, I would most closely compare them to the ‘Sixties folk revival scene, spearheaded by bands like Steeleye Span, Fairport Convention, and The Pentangle, but with less electricity, and a bit of middle Eastern spice added for extra flavour.

So, this is obviously not metal, so why are we reviewing their show here?
Well, first of all, Lunah shot this band on their visit to the Heavy Days In Doomtown festival in 2015, and they liked the photo so much it ended up in their latest album, Untamed.
Second of all, shut up! It’s our site, and we decide what goes on it. If it does something for us, we may just put it in here, and yes, Ill Wicker does something for us. Well, their music does, if you’re being precise about it. Now, it was time to find out if there was something there in a live setting as well.

“Welcome. I hope you enjoy your stay.”
- Thea Åslund (violin)

So, Ill Wicker was playing at Lygtens Kro, a place despite our many years of living in Copenhagen, we had up till now never visited, or for that sake heard about. It turned out it was a small pub in the north district of town, with a small yard containing a few tables, benches, and chairs. It was here, outside, that a bit of gear had been rigged up, and the band was going to play. Supporting them was a local talent called Tidebound, who played an acoustic doomy, moody set, making me think this was what Leonard Cohen would sound like, if he wrote songs together with Saturnus.
Compared to this, Ill Wicker ended up sounding very playful and light-hearted indeed, but there’s nothing wrong with that.
Performance ways, it was an interesting experience as well. I’ve never before seen a concert where the frontman and main vocalist, in this case Emil Ridderstolpe, sat on a chair the whole time, while everyone else, except percussionist Ebba Wigren of course, stood up. Sure, he was rocking out as well, getting some decent headbanging in during the speedier sections, but still it had a different feeling than what we’re used to. As did the whole event, to tell the truth.

One thing that was especially pleasing, was that the local sound technician managed to balance all of the instruments surprisingly well, despite not being as well rigged as a conventional concert hall. Heck, it sounded better than many concert halls I’ve visited. The only minor drawback, was that the vocals were a tiny bit low in the mix, making it hard not to hear, but at times understand what was being said. It could also be that Ridderstolpe didn’t push through as much as he could. It was noticeable at least, the few times he spoke between songs, that he spoke in a low, almost embarrassed mumble. Not that he had anything to be embarrassed about, the Danish audience was obviously enjoying the show, applauding and hooting along the way.
In fact, the show was so enjoyable, that people were stopping in the street outside to have a listen, and when Ill Wicker had played all the songs they were to play, the audience managed to convince them that one more would be just the thing the doctor ordered. Not sure what kind of doctor it was, but it was a good idea nonetheless.

“This is such a nice place, Lygtens Kro is the best!”
- Emil Ridderstolpe (vocals/guitar)

If one complaint should be brought out, it would be that the performance was a little bit introvert. The band members didn’t talk much, nor did they seek to create a connection with the crowd. They did their thing, and they let the rest be up to the music. I’m not saying the music, and general atmosphere couldn’t handle it, I’ve already mentioned that they were called back for an unplanned encore, but it would have been nice to have a little bit more personal interaction from the band. If for nothing else, they could have named a few, or all, of their songs, which isn’t a bad idea in any case, when trying to break in a new crowd, which I assume this was, at least in part.
Still, this was a minor detail on the major scheme of things, and all in all I found Ill Wicker’s concert to be moving, atmospheric, and very pleasant. There certainly was something here in a live setting as well.


Darkling Woods
The Charm On Your Chest
Min Levnads Afton / Twelve Men
Earth Child
The Trials Of Madame Dillner
Silent Impulse

Ill Wicker

All Ill Wicker reviews:

Latest uploads: