Pretty Maids

Amager Bio, Copenhagen - 2016

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

December 1st, Amager Bio, Copenhagen.
2016 marked our 5th anniversary reviewing Pretty Maids annual Christmas show (although, yes, we missed out on it in 2012, but still), and for the first time since that night in 2011, the show played on the first of December.
Also for the first time since then, Pretty Maids had Mike Tramp along as support (less than gripping once again). And we were back with at least half of the good company we had hung out with back then. Several reasons worthy of celebration, as you can see!

“Thank you so much Copenhagen! Thank you so much Amager Bio! It’s good to be back here for our annual Christmas get-together!”
- Ronnie Atkins (vocals)

Pretty Maids also had reason to celebrate this evening. Not only was Amager Bio sold out for the event, but the band also came armed with a new album, Kingmaker, and a new band-member. Earlier in the year, keyboardist Morten Sandager left the band, to play with his brother in Firesoul, and Pretty Maids found his replacement in Chris Laney from Sweden. Laney is an old dog in the game, and have played in, produced, and engineered a whole host of bands, among others Candlemass, Therion, and Crashdïet. At this site however, his magnum opus will always be his participation on the awesome Dreams In The Witch House – A Lovecraftian Rock Opera album, which he co-produced and co-wrote together with Mike Dalager and Anders Ringman.
Introductions aside, Laney proved to be a very good addition to Pretty Maids as well, especially since he not only played the keyboard, but also donned a guitar for many of the tracks, fattening the sound up substantially in this way.

As I mentioned, Pretty Maids had a new album in the bag, and this was our introduction to the band this evening, as they made a cold and quick entrance, skipping an intro track and going directly into the first song – When God Took A Day Off, the actual opener of the Kingmaker album. Following in quick succession was the title track of said album, and it wasn’t until after this, that the band dug deep into their history, and pulled out the classic Red, Hot And Heavy. Now the crowd was jumping on board as well, and even more so as it was followed by the relatively recent track Mother Of All Lies.
The band was into it from the beginning however, and especially bassist René Shades gave a very lively show, bounding back and forth across the stage, and even climbing the bass speakers on the side of the stage when he had the chance. Laney stayed behind the keyboard during the first song, but already in the second one, he had strapped on a guitar, and was out on the edge of the stage with the rest of them, looking completely at home in the Danish outfit.
Allan Tschicaja was the only one who seemed to take it easier than usual. Oh, his playing was as good as always, but we were almost halfway into the set before I saw him climb his drums and demand a good shoutout from the crowd.

Maybe this was because Ronnie Atkins took good care of this by himself. Sure, he wasn’t completely satisfied with the response for Yellow Rain, and demanded it to be done over again until we got it right, but when he later shouted “King”, and we replied “Maker”, he approvingly commented that we were close to getting it. With a big smile covering his face of course.
In general, the crowd gave the band a very good response. It wasn’t as wild as, say, the Copenhell crowd had been the previous year, but the average age was a whole lot higher here than it had been there, and the amount of shouts, applause, and whistling, spoke plenty of the audience’s enthusiasm.
It didn’t lessen when, after playing a highly cheered on snippet of Another Brick In The Wall Part 2, Ken Hammer used the short breaks he had in I.N.V.U. to shake hands with those in front of him, and hand out picks.
The enthusiasm surely didn’t lessen as we reached the end of the show either, even though the crowd had by this time thinned out ever so slightly. You see, Pretty Maids had one ace left up their sleeve, and the time to play it had come. So, as they announced their traditional closing anthem, the The Greedies cover A Merry Jingle, they also invited some guests to join them on stage – out came Mike Tramp, Søren Andersen (guitarist for Mike Tramp, and more), and Jesper Binzer, frontman and vocalist of famed Danish rock band D-A-D! Trust me, this hit home, and you could hear it!

“A thousand thanks, Amager Bio!”
- Atkins (vocals)

After this, and Monty Python’s Sit On My Face to round things off, another Christmas was ready to commence. This may not have been the strongest Christmas show ever played, not to my mind at least, but it was a damn good one, and I know no better tradition to keep up in the darkest of months. See you next year!


When God Took A Day Off
Red, Hot And Heavy
Mother Of All Lies
Heavens Little Devil
Face The World
Yellow Rain
Savage Heart
Another Brick In The Wall Part 2 (Pink Floyd cover, snippet)
Please Don’t Leave Me (John Sykes cover)
Fortuna Imperatrix Mundi (Carmina Burana) (Carl Orff song)
Back To Back
Future World
Little Drops Of Heaven
Love Games
A Merry Jingle (The Greedies cover, feat. Søren Andersen, Jesper Binzer, Mike Tramp)
Sit On My Face (Monty Python song)

Latest uploads: