Pretty Maids

Amager Bio, Copenhagen - 2014

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

Pretty Maids, December, Amager Bio.
Three things that have one thing in common. Do you know what it is?

“Are you getting into the Christmas spirit? Damn good!”
- Ronnie Atkins (vocals)

That’s right, the annual Christmas rock extravaganza featuring the pride of classic metal in Denmark, Pretty Maids, was drawing closer and closer as the Thin Lizzy song The Boys Are Back In Town announced the beginning of the main act.
At the end of the intro another, shorter intro opened up for the first song of the evening as the band-members rushed onto the stage to loud cheers from the quite possibly sold out hall. Future World was the song, and it set the tempo and atmosphere quite perfectly – this was going to be a hard rocking night, filled with warmth, spectacular performances, and lots of fun. You know, all that you would want from a Christmas concert!

I could say that the band looked excited about the show as always, but in fact they seemed more alive than they have done in the past if you ask me. Allan Tschicaja was often seen standing on top of his drum-stool, sometimes to get a better view and sometimes even while he was still playing, and in between these turns he had a lot of fun throwing his sticks in the air, making perfect catches every time as far as I could see. René ‘Shades’ Sehic was a powerhouse of a performer, constantly on the move, and in great contact with the audience as he shook hands, knuckle bounced, and handed out picks as the show went along. Morten Sandager was naturally a bit tied down to his instruments, but seemed to enjoy the concert nonetheless, while Ken Hammer, who usually acts equally tied down actually showed a lot of stamina and moved about quite a bit compared to what we have seen from him in the past. Atkins was of course the pro-frontman that we know him to be, having a great contact with the audience throughout and guiding the gig with a confident hand. Simply put, the band was professional and engaged, and performed with great strength and presence.
As if this wasn’t enough, Pretty Maids had decided that an update was in order not to have all of their Christmas shows look alike. Thus they had for parts of the set invited a guest guitarist in to play along with them, and this was no one else than Søren Andersen, a guy who has played live with everyone, and done studio work for even more! He’s the co-owner of Medley Studios in Copenhagen, and on this site you can see him in action with Oliver Weers and Mike Tramp. His presence helped kick things up a notch further, as if it was needed.

“Have you had some brews? (Yeah!) Have you had some schnapps? (Yeah!) Not too much, right?”
- Atkins (vocals)

Much like the popular band D-A-D, it was clear to see this evening that Pretty Maids is a band that have managed to blow their rock/metal borders to pieces, and have found their way even into the heart of the most common Danish families. In the crowd was seen a wide variety of ages, ranging from young kids to the near elderly, and from people wearing bloody black metal shirts to others looking like they were spending their office Christmas party here.
This of course meant that the audience wasn’t as wild as the common metal crowd can be on its own, but make no mistake – it did not mean that people weren’t equally engaged and entertained! What could not be seen by the lack of movement in the crowd, could instead be picked up by the sound of the loud cheers and applause that the band was showered in between every song, as well as the sing along bits that were strewn throughout the concert, not least in the classic cover song Please Don’t Leave Me, as well as the bands’ own songs Little Drops Of Heaven, I.N.V.U., and Red, Hot And Heavy. Oh, and not to forget about the two Christmas songs as well of course, In Santa’s Claws and A Merry Jingle! Only Yellow Rain was stopped (for fun) because the band wasn’t pleased with the “OH’s” and “AH’s” the crowd was supposed to provide.
While on the subject, the setlist also mirrored the wish for renewal in the concert as some songs had been up for a vote at their website prior to the concert – thus the oldies Jump The Gun and A Place In The Night had been voted in as songs the audience really wanted to hear played live, and not surprisingly the response was great for these. Even so, I felt the concert took a slight dive in intensity during the middle part due to a few too many mid- and slow-tempo songs being grouped together, but with such a strong start and finish it was hard not to love the whole thing.

I don’t know exactly how long the tradition of the Christmas show has stood, but it is clear that both band and audience is interested in keeping alive and fresh, so when Atkins finished the concert by inviting us back next year, I have no doubt that it will see another year. And another. And probably another after that. I know I wouldn’t mind being back again, and I invite anyone else interested in dropping by – a good time is assured!


The Boys Are Back In Town (Thin Lizzy song)
Future World
We Came To Rock
My Soul To Take
Mother of All Lies
Nuclear Boomerang
In Santa’s Claws (feat. Søren Andersen)
Bullet For You (feat. Søren Andersen)
A Place In The Night (feat. Søren Andersen)
Never Too Late (feat. Søren Andersen)
Nightmare In The Neighbourhood (feat. Søren Andersen)
Eye Of The Storm (feat. Søren Andersen)
Clay (feat. Søren Andersen)
Yellow Rain
Little Drops Of Heaven
Fortuna Imperatrix Mundi (Carmina Burana) (Carl Orff song)
Back To Back
Another Brick In The Wall Part 2 (Pink Floyd cover, snippet)
Please Don’t Leave Me (John Sykes cover)
Red, Hot And Heavy (feat. Søren Andersen)
A Merry Jingle (The Greedies cover, feat. Søren Andersen)
Sit On My Face (Monty Python song)

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