From the Archives: Vibracrunch – summer of grunge ’99 (by 21. September 1999)

Here at Crunchy Frog we have always regarded the Vibrafon label with the utmost respect. These are the guys that release Eggstone, The Mopeds, Dipper and many other great swedish bands. We got to know them personally when THAU for the first time went to Tambourine Studios to record their album ”Swish”. During the following years a mutual fondness and friendship (and drukenness during the famous Tambourine Parties) between the two labels has grown, and in many small ways we have been able to help each other out or we have asked each other for valuable advise. A lot of personal and musical friendships
between the danish and the swedish bands has developed as bands (via the KUBI booking agency) has teamed up for touring in Denmark – for instance: Tothe International + Dipper and Three Blind Mice + Learning From Las Vegas.

All this goodwill had to amount to something big – other than Vibrafon kindly adding the whole Crunchy catalogue to their Vibrashop e-mail-order webshop. And it surely did.

One fine summer day during the Malmö
Festival ’99 the two soul mate record labels Crunchy Frog and Vibrafon Records collaborated on a one day Grunge feast (haha, yes! Grunge is back, kids…) featuring bands from both labels. Here is how it went seen through the lenses of Rune Mielonen (bass player of Las Vegas) and Jessica Tolf Vulpius (from KUBI).

After a few semi-acoustic Malmö-acts, Learning From Las Vegas had the tough job of being the first real Grunge band to enter the stage in broad daylight. Against all these threatening odds they performed a truely beautiful show. Everybody laid back in the grass and enjoyed the weather and the high strung power-death-core punk of Las Vegas.

Superheroes brought their own fans from Denmark and gained even more during their sunny and jolly koncert. Once again the 35cm tall and only 12 year old singer Thomas, delivered a great performance of ”Jeg kan høre med mit øre” in a special Grunge-version that took everybody by surprise. Yes, the weather was fine, the music was sweet and the youth got drunk and it was SO New Wave the whole thing.

Lead singer Henrik from the Umeå Grunge-rock outfit Ray Wonder is a hard core south paw and plays his left handed guitar better than most would. Unfortunately the otherwise superb Wonder-gig was stopped for 5 minutes as he broke a string, and they didn’t have a back up spazz guitar for Henrik. So they played some bossa and everything was fine… ’cause everybody loves bossa.

All during the day our two labels tried to sell all our beloved merchandise
to the public. In this picture it seems like it is The Grunchy Booth – serviced by Per from Vegas – that has the most attention. Probably because of Per’s winning personality and great looks (no offense to Lina from Vibrafon servicing the other booth). In the front left we see the Vibrafon main man Martin Theander – also a very handsome man and a snappy dresser, too.

At dusk the insane boys from Düreforsög entered the stage. As usual they were dressed in bizare outfits that left nothing to the imagination – unless you’re Jean-Paul Gaultier. Their special brand of Grunge hit the primarily swedish audience like a sledge hammer. The rain started to fall, but everybody stayed. This picture shows old man Boriz gasping for air (get in shape, boy!), Nis B equally struggling with his guitar chords and his own hair do (get a freaking hair cut – and another roadie, too). In the background Andreas is as always dead calm under pressure.

First Floor Power hasn’t got a label yet, but they sure are great! They got it all: good songs, beautiful girls and a singer with a big moustache. Who could ask for more? Oh, yeah – a Grunge trombone, maybe, but they of course
thought of that already….

As night began to fall, the rain fell even harder. As Tothe International entered the stage the sky was clear, the crowd was nicely drunk and everything was juuuust fine. Then Harri ”Grunge” Kolari of Dipper joined the band (small photo) to do the finnish rap in ”Theme From Token Negro”. This was highly emblematic for the danish/swedish brotherhood but it somehow disturbed some kinda weather god, and soon it was pouring down. The larger photo is dedicated to THA Miko who played his last show with Tothe. Here he is playing a peculiar plastic toy making a weird plastic noise. We’ll miss that about you Miko. You always knew how to play something silly and make it sound even sillier (if that’s even a word…)

No! Although this is absolutely a Grunge picture, Dipper did not play any Mudhoney covers. As alwyas Dipper played the best koncert they ever played and singer Joachim fucked himself even more thoroughly up than ever before.  During ”Rattlesnakes” he jumped out from the stage and into a big pool of mud in front of the stage. During the rest of the show he was – as Per Sunding would say – ”All gahvered in shit!”

And the crowd loved it!!!

As the icing on the cake – and as an excellent symbol of the love and understanding of the swedes and the danes the danish/swedish garrage surf band The Tremolo Beer Gut played as the last band. In this band you find Per Sunding (from Eggstone) who is co-owner of Vibrafon and Jesper Reginal (THAU & Tothe) who is co-owner of Crunchy. Tremolo delivered a truly inebriated show before a pretty wet audience. The show featured two outstanding guest performances from Ander Reuss (from Naked) playing his Theremin and Patrick Bartosch (from Eggstone) playing  the organ. A fantastic end to a fantastic day. We gotta do this again.


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