Pretty Maids

Amager Bio, Copenhagen - 2011

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

December 1st, Amager Bio, Copenhagen.
After a less than gripping support by Mike Tramp & The Rock ’N’ Roll Circuz, it was time for the annual Christmas party extravaganza by Pretty Maids was finally about to take place.
We were in good company and had been warming up with Christmas beers all evening, so we were certainly in the right kind of holiday spirit when the old Danish heavy rock/metal band took the stage with a blast.

Pretty Maids started out heavily (after a long ambient sounding intro that is) with the title-track off their latest album, Pandemonium, which was closely followed by I.N.V.U. from the same album and Hell On High Heels from the -99 album Anything Worth Doing Is Worth Overdoing. So far, and for much of the night, Pretty Maids didn’t stray far from the setlist they had established at the last show we saw with these gentlemen, the show at Tivoli, Copenhagen at the start of the summer, but as it was a good collection of songs didn’t seem to upset anyone. My own knowledge of the bands history and discography is still lacking, so I was happy to be able to recognise and sing along to at least a few tracks here and there, but my own vocal-efforts were easily outdone by the rest of the crowd which had a much better grip on what was going on.
Yes, even though Mike Tramp earlier in the evening had marked the crowd as being old and laid back, it was hard to see those words fitting in the present situation. Yes, the audience had woken up to the first tones of real heaviness; by the second song everyone was in on clapping the beat with their hands, during Walk Away I saw two guys twirling around on the floor arm in arm, and with the surprisingly early arrival of their possibly most famous song, the John Sykes cover Please Don’t Leave Me, a loud and strong sing-along erupted from all the throats in the hall!
This was not the only popular cover of the evening though, to my great surprise (can’t say how many others knew about this, probably everyone...) Pretty Maids played a song in Danish, the old Gasolin’ song Det Bedste Til Mig Og Mine Venner, and it proved to be an extremely popular tune as well. And I suppose I shouldn’t forget the Smoke On The Water snippet during Red, Hot And Heavy while we’re at it, another well-chosen and well-liked little homage to the old heroes of the genre...

“You sing great, thanks a lot!”
- Ronnie Atkins (vocals)

Yes, the crowd was happy, and with good reason – Pretty Maids had put on their best performance suits for the evening. Well, not literally of course, but they were clearly having just as much fun up on the stage as we were having down on the floor.
The show was, among all the serious rock ‘n’ roll spirit, littered with fun little details, like when in Savage Heart Atkins called out; “Hey Charlotte, I love you!” to someone, I don’t know who (but she was probably called Charlotte), the constant falling to his knees on the edge of the stage by new bassist Rene Shades or the fact that drummer Allan Tschicaja never reached further than the stage monitors when he tried to throw his sticks out to the audience.
Not surprisingly the finale with Red, Hot And Heavy was also filled with fun and games on the bands side; I have already mentioned the Deep Purple jam during the solo, but I haven’t mentioned the fact that keyboardist Morten Sandager chased Shades around the stage, or that Atkins popped up behind Tschicaja and helped him out with the drums for a while.
And of course, this couldn’t be a real Christmas party without Christmas carols now could it, so as the final finale Pretty Maids played their very own take on the frosty traditions with their A Merry Jingle Christmas medley, a perfect way to finish of the evening before leaving.

It’s not a lie to say that Pretty Maids falls somewhat outside of my normal taste in music, hence my limited knowledge of them this far, but what I do like is a band which can perform on a live-stage, and that’s definitely something these gentlemen have proven time and again that they know full-well how to do.
This may have been my first Pretty Maids Christmas party, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it was not my last…


Hell On High Heels
Wake Up To The Real World
Walk Away
Destination Paradise
Please Don’t Leave Me (John Sykes cover)
It Comes At Night
Savage Heart
Yellow Rain
Back To Back
Det Bedste Til Mig Og Mine Venner (Gasolin’ cover)
Love Games
Future World
Little Drops Of Heaven
Red, Hot And Heavy
A Merry Jingle (The Greedies cover)

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