The Sandmen

Engage Festival - 2021

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

Despite the fact that The Sandmen is an old Danish rock band, originating from 1985, I’ll admit that this was my first real encounter with them. Lunah knew them from way back when, and so they ended up being our first band at the Engage Festival in Copenhagen.
Because, you know what? It was time to go to a festival, even if it was only a one day event for us.

The Sandmen was actually the second band playing, where Hotel Hunger had opened the day. We only made it inside about halfway through their set though, and thus The Sandmen is the first band to enter the site.
The Sandmen play a nice, not completely soft rock that is probably agreeable to a lot of people, and they did have some traction with the audience. It wasn’t a big audience, but to be fair to the band, it wasn’t a big audience all day. That in itself was highly surprising to me, but that’s beside the point.
Not only was The Sandmen the second band playing, but it was their second time playing the Engage Festival, having also visited in 2019, and the festival itself was only on its fourth year in existence, and its second year in this location, as it had been on Refshaleøen (the same place that Copenhell takes place) the two first years.
Well, that was a bit of trivia for you, now let’s get back to the show.

Despite having a long time to play in, The Sandmen didn’t really engage the Engage audience (yes, pun intended); instead, they went straight from song to song, with little to no banter in between. I could have understood this if they only had a short time slot, but I think they had an hour and a half, or something in that vicinity, so why not use some of that time on connecting with your fans?
The songs were, as mentioned, easily digested rock tracks, in a mix of Danish and English. I didn’t know a single song they played before coming, and to be brutally honest, there wasn’t a single one of them that stood out to me, and that I would recognise after the show.
This might sound negative, which in a way I guess it is, but don’t get me completely wrong. Had The Sandmen been bad, I would have had something to write about. As it were, they weren’t all bad, but they just weren’t very good either - and above all else, they weren’t at all my cup of tea. Which is sad, because that half show of Hotel Hunger we caught had actually been a very positive surprise, and I was in a good mood for what The Sandmen might bring.
At least there was a good part of the crowd that was cheering the band on, and applauding them for their efforts, so my disinterest in the band wasn’t universal.

Setlist (incomplete):

Den Bedste Dag
Devil’s Way
White Trash Red Front

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