Kottak

KB, Malmö - 2011

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

Ever heard about Kottak before? No?
Ever heard about Scorpions before? Yes, I thought you would.

Ok, so I stole my own start from the other support-band this night, Fullforce, but you know what, the circumstances surrounding these two bands were so similar I couldn’t help myself.
Anyway, Kottak is the dirty rotten rock outfit of one James Kottak, more widely known as the now long-time drummer of Scorpions, but where as Scorpions focus on melody and sweet catchiness, Kottak’s own band is more of sleazy, downright wicked kick to the groin to anyone who stands in their way. Which of course completely rendered them as the odd man out at this event where they had the upcoming power metal outfit Fullforce before them, and power metal extraordinaire Edguy headlining the night.

Anyway, if I had been impressed by the amount of people who had shown up for Fullforce earlier, it was nothing compared to how sweaty things were getting when Kottak took the stage, and again as a contrast, there was nothing anonymously about them!
Since this outfit is a little further into its own career, with four albums out, they actually had one or two of their own fans at the show as well, and the familiarity was not to be mistaken as Mr. Kottak himself stopped up at one point and pointed to a woman in the crowd, shouting; ”Hey, you’re that friend of mine from Facebook!”
He also sent a big thanks to another Facebook friend called Becky who was somewhere in the crowd as well, thanking her for the Kottak banner she had made and sent to the band. This deserves a little background info; Kottak created a contest prior to the tour where fans were encouraged to send in their self-created Kottak banners, and the winner of each show would be awarded with a ticket and some other stuff. These banners would then be tied together, adding a new one for every show, and serve as the bands backdrop for the tour. Of course, this was the first show so there was only this one banner so far, and the stage setting didn’t allow for a backdrop, but the band did bring on stage and hold it up for all to see. Pretty cool idea actually.

Yes, this was the first show of the tour, but for some unknown reason James (let’s just call him that from now on to avoid confusion as to whether I mean the band or the man) went out and said it was the last show of the tour so everyone should go extra crazy. Maybe it was just his punky attitude which made steer in the opposite direction, who knows?
Attitude was at least something this band had, and they had plenty of it! In fact, I’m not completely sure they had anything but attitude to offer, but they were obviously hoping this would be enough. To begin with though, the entire show seemed very unfocused and chaotic. Well, not just to begin with actually, t was like this all the way through, you just got a little numb for it after a while...
I mean, James was constantly stealing the mic's of guitarist Stephanie Smith and bassist Nils Wandrey so he all three of them for himself, they were constantly tying their mic and instrument chords together as they moved around on the limited space they had on stage, and Smith looked like she needed to pee from the minute the show started by the way she jumped from leg to leg. If this wasn’t enough, James stood and spat water all over drummer Francis Ruiz during this guys solo – no wonder he up and left the stage afterwards so that James took over drumming duties for the next two songs, You’re Not Sorry and Do It Big, which were consequently sung by Smith instead (both songs are covers from her other band, Kleveland). Ok, so this last part was definitely planned, but you get the general idea I think...

It was kind of hard to tell what the reaction from the crowd was towards this band. As I mentioned, Kottak was genre-ways pretty far from the other two acts tonight, but on the other hand they were very much in tune with what is popular in Sweden at the moment...
One thing is for sure, and that is that they got a hell of a lot more response than Fullforce before them, and this is very likely due to the dynamic performance Kottak was displaying. Chaotic or not, there was always something going on here, from the things already mentioned to James visiting the security pit and literally hanging over the fence to get close to the fans. At one point he borrowed a cap from a guy in the crowd (he threw it back after a while), and at other times he just wanted us to sing for him.
Nearing the end of the show, James himself also pulled attention to which band he is more famous for, by posing the question to himself ”...which Scorpions song is my favourite?” to which he answered Holiday. Not surprisingly this song was the next one on the setlist, but after a familiar start, they decided to deliver it Kottak style instead, which meant more speed, more distortion and more screaming. It worked pretty well in this outfit as well, even though hardcore Scorpions fans would possibly put a death-warrant on him for doing this to the song.

The music of Kottak meant nothing to me, but on the other hand it was obvious that it came second, or maybe even third, in the rank of things here, where attitude reigned supreme.
I was also really turned off by the performance throughout most of the show, but it somehow did sneak in under my skin at some point and became acceptable. Maybe it was the numbness I mentioned earlier, but the show grew a little on me, and the ballsy attitude did win over the anonymity of Fullforce.

Setlist:

World War Love
Do You Want To Play
Money Changes Everything
Let’s Do It Tonite
Scream With Me
Ten Shots... To The Back Of The Head
Solo (Francis Ruiz)
You’re Not Sorry (Kleveland cover)
Do It Big (Kleveland cover)
Holiday (Scorpions cover)
Time To Say Good-Bye
Rock & Roll Forever

Kottak

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