BOMBUS SCALA, LONDON
If you were wondering what happened to the 00s wave of Swedish vintage rock, Gothenburg’s BoMBUs aren’t a particularly helpful answer. For all the grizzly texture of their riffs, their set remains stubbornly one-paced, only approaching a state of expansive urgency right at the death. They get an appreciative crowd, but if feels like an overflow of anticipation for the headliners. Of all the closely knit bands that made their mark in the early to mid-00s, from Witchcraft through to Horisont and Skånska Mord, it’s only GRaVeYaRD who’ve kept up the momentum, to the point where they’re now a cause célèbre, a portal for a more idealistic age. As with their Desertfest show at Koko earlier this year, tonight is rammed, the atmosphere celebratory and rapt. Sound gremlins might plague them, but can’t overcome the soulfulness of Joakim’s Nilsson’s ripped velvet voice, or the way songs like opener Walk On and Uncomfortably Numb bind a sense of a halcyon age to a very contemporary restlessness. It’s still the songs from
2011’s Hisingen Blues that get the biggest response, Ain’t Fit To Live Here becoming a clarion call before an a cappella The Siren hold time and hearts in its thrall.