Red Warszawa

Copenhell - 2018

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

You know how they say, that comedy needs to be played seriously for it to be funny? No one has proven this more than Red Warszawa. In recent years, they’ve been pulled more and more into their own bizarre universe, and the sillier an approach they’ve taken, the more distant they have felt, and the colder I have become to them.
This culminated at last year’s Copenhell, to a degree that I wasn’t even sure I would bother seeing them again this year. Luckily for the band, they weren’t paired with anyone else, since they were now playing the warm-up day, and I was in a good mood after a stellar Neurosis concert. So, here we go again.

“Yeah, yeah, Henning. You’re not supposed to just stand there and drink, you’re supposed to play some guitar as well.”
- Matthias ‘My Tight Ass’ Pedersen (bass)

The first thing I noticed was that the band, or at least ‘Lækre’ Jens Mondrup, the band’s vocalist and natural frontman, had updated his warrior costume to something both lighter in tone and in weight - he was almost shimmering on the stage. He also opened the show by announcing this to be a cover show.
Well now, that’s surprising. What could this be, and where would we end up? My curiosity was piqued.
True to his word, the band opened their show with Kim Wilde’s classic track Kids In America, and from there on out, Red Warszawa were rocking out one superhit after the other. Modern stuff like Poker Face stood side by side with older songs like Does Your Mother Know. International hits like Moonlight Shadow stood shoulder to shoulder with Danish tracks like Ensom.
And of course there was a Eurovision segment - I mean, why wouldn’t there be? Here we got Germany’s hilarious contribution to the 1979 show, Genghis Khan, sung in original German no less(!), and Denmark’s equally hilarious contribution to that same year, Disco Tango, obviously done in Danish.

“When you play Red Warszawa, you must have a Red Warszawa outfit on.”
- Lækre Jens (vocals)

Red Warszawa didn’t just load their cannons with covers though, they brought some of their own material as well. They had arranged the two things into different sets, with a pause in between, and as it turned out, a change of uniforms as well. Apparently though, the change-over wasn’t quite long enough for Lækre Jens to get into his new (old) armour, and thus he had the band’s male vodka slave (I have no idea who this guy was, and have never seen him before) run after him, trying desperately to connect the buckles that should hold the whole thing together, while the impatient, and quite possibly intoxicated, vocalist danced and walked around while singing.
The Red Warszawa set was shorter than the cover set, and quite possibly shorter than the band had anticipated (I guess they simply ran out of time), where Lækre Jens promised two more songs at the end, but only played Æggemad before leaving, with a promise of getting drunk in the Biergarten for the rest of the festival. It didn’t bother me much though, as the cover section of the set was certainly the more interesting of the two. Not that their own material was lacking anything, except for more classics perhaps, but that was well-known territory for the band, and the covers weren’t.

“The one who’s the least drunk has lost!”
- Lækre Jens (vocals)

As you’d expect, the ground in front of the Pandæmonium stage was filled with drunken, festive Danes, who were all looking forward to these national clowns - the Polish punk league. Some came armed with leeks, although this didn’t go overboard like it has in the recent past - thankfully!
More came armed with simply a good mood, and a readiness to take part in whatever craziness the band felt like dishing out this time around. Moisture was needed to get through though, and everyone was ready to sing along when the band instigated a chant of “Husk at drikke vand, husk at drikke vand, husk at drikke vand, ellers dør I!” (transl. remember to drink water, or you’ll die)
I know at least one who (probably) didn’t have a problem with not having enough to drink though, and that’d be the person that ended up on the receiving end when Lækre Jens threw an unopened box of box-wine out into the crowd, and managed to hit someone square in the head with it. Lækre Jens quickly said; “Does your head hurt? Well, it ain’t my fault!”, and I truly believe that the person in the crowd felt the same. And why not? A lot of free alcohol had literally just rained down from the sky.

For my own part, I felt happy, entertained, and most of all - surprised like all hell!
Red Warszawa had pulled themselves together, created a show that was thought through, clearly seriously worked at, and delivered it in style! Red Warszawa style, sure, but damnit it worked. As disastrous as last year’s show had been, this year’s show truly showed what a bit of work and dedication could perform - Red Warszawa’s still got it. Now, let us hope they remember to hold on to it.


Cover set
Kids In America (Kim Wilde cover)
Poker Face (Lady Gaga cover)
Boys (Summertime Love) (Sabrina cover)
Like A Virgin (Madonna cover)
Does Your Mother Know (ABBA cover)
Kan Henning Vise Røv
Krig Og Fred (Shu*bi*dua cover)
Ensom (Medina cover)
Moonlight Shadow (Mike Oldfield cover)
Genghis Khan (Dschinghis Khan cover)
Disco Tango (Tommy Seebach cover)
Video, Video (Brixx cover)
Jeg Er Så Glad For Min Cykel (Povl Kjøller cover)
Princess Of The Dawn (Accept cover)

Red Warszawa set
Tror Du Det Er For Sjov Jeg Drikker

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