Pretty Maids

Royal Arena, Copenhagen - 2017

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

When the mighty rock group Scorpions rolled into town with their flashy rock show, they chose a local rock group for their support. This local support was Pretty Maids.
I’m not going to lie, this was what excited us most about the evening. By far.

“We’re not going to talk too much, because we’d rather play some music for you!”
- Ronnie Atkins (vocals)

Interestingly, I’ve never seen Pretty Maids in the capacity of support band before, but it was soon clear that, apart from the shortened time on stage, they would do no differently than what they always do. Well, of course with the exception that the songs came in a much quicker succession than normally, a commendable strategy given they only had about an hour to play.
Since our last run-in with the band, Pretty Maids had acquired themselves a new drummer. Allan Tschicaja had decided to focus his time and attention elsewhere, and in stepped Allan Sørensen, whose most notable contributions to the metal community would be drumming for the Danish bands Royal Hunt and Cornerstone, the latter a sideproject of the former, which later evolved into its own band. It was a bit hard to see at first though, because both drummers sported near identical outfits, down to the bandana and all, and because of this, it wasn’t apparently visible at a distance it wasn’t the same guy. Well, he most important part was of course that he did the job well, and there are no complaints in the technical department when it comes to Sørensen. A bit more performance would be nice, but then again, we were spoiled in this aspect with Tschicaja, so there’s a lot to live up to.

The rest of the guys were all in on giving the large crowd a good time, however short it may be. Ken Hammer, who usually stays a bit to himself, was outward going and throwing picks into the crowd already during the intro music (something he kept up for the remainder of the show, mind you), and even though the security pit was wide, René Shades stuck his bass out as far as he could, so as to create a physical bridge between band and fan.
Chris Laney, the other relatively new addition to the band, proved once again to be strong in the art of posing, and donned the guitar as often as he played the keyboard. The former of which he had many, I was especially entertained by his “Nordic Connection” (f.y.i., this is a name I made up, not yet trademarked) Flying V, which in colour was a mix of a Swedish and Danish flag, showing the dual connections of the Swedish musician in the Danish band.
Ronnie Atkins may not have had too much time to speak in between the delivered songs, but that didn’t stop him from activating the crowd during them. Already in the second song of the set, Kingmaker, he demanded participation, in the form of rhythmical applause to support the song. Having thus made introductions, as it were, it was time to turn up the heat, as the band blasted out their biggest self-written hit as the next one. Yep, none other than Red, Hot And Heavy was up, and the audience joined in the singing of the chorus.

“I can’t hear that there are 10000 people in here!”
- Atkins (vocals)

Now, I don’t know how many in the audience tonight was here merely for Scorpions. Quite a few, I imagine.
Still, Pretty Maids is, and has been for the past 30 some years, quite a household name in the Danish rock/metal community, and beyond, so even though not everyone was familiar with each and every song the band played, I got the distinct impression that they at least knew the hits, and were ready and willing to participate in these.
Thus, the aforementioned Red, Hot And Heavy, and of course the John Sykes cover Please Don’t Leave Me, got good and massive response, respectively. The Another Brick In The Wall intro to I.N.V.U. was another instantly recognisable thing, and likewise got a good shoutout from the crowd.
We weren’t allowed to rest for the rest of the songs though, no way. When we didn’t bring the noise by ourselves, Atkins wasn’t late in demanding it from us. Thus, we got to play along on several vocal scales and other such games, so as to get us good and ready for the main act of the night (which came round much too quickly for my taste).

So, no, I may not have seen Pretty Maids in the capacity of support band before, but they proved this night ,that they were capable of performing quite up to their own high standards in this compressed form as well. And in a way, Pretty Maids weren’t just supporting Scorpions this night, they were also delivering a good pre-party to their own annual Christmas extravaganza show, which was to take place in Amager Bio in just over a week from this show. See you there - with bells on!


Mother Of All Lies
Red, Hot And Heavy
Another Brick In The Wall Part 2 (Pink Floyd cover, snippet)
Bull’s Eye
Please Don’t Leave Me (John Sykes cover)
Future World

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