It was a bit of a return to an old haunting ground on Friday night. After having been to the Camden Underworld for four nights during a week I visited London in April of 2000 to see up and coming bands such as My Vitriol, Snow Patrol, Animalhouse and Swedenís Motorhomes, and I was back Friday night for a return engagement from those aforementioned Motorhomes. Seeing as they had released my favorite album of 2000 after I saw them that April and had dropped another since, I was intrigued to see and hear what there were up to in September of 2003.
The quintet had suffered 40% turnover since I last laid eyes upon them, as guitarist Daniel Skaar left the band after the release of the brilliant debut Songs For Me (& My Baby) and drummer and principal songwriter Peder Claesson took leave after the completion of their sophomore body of work, The Long Distance Runner. In their places on Friday evening were keyboard player Henrik Carlsson and drummer Niklas Korssell and the band kicked off their 40-minute show with two brand new tracks, one of which had a distinctly ë60s vibe. Much of the sheen and wash of Songs material had been replaced by a return to basics style of songwriting. The third song was an alternate version of the first albumís ìInto The Night,î with the guitar line replaced by a new keyboard riff. Frontman Mattias Edlund is as pretty as ever, but his short cropped up ëdo has been replaced by shoulder-length locks, even further drawing physical comparisons to Gavin Rossdale of Bush. Edlundís skyscrapring vocals were as pure as ever, as well, sending ìInto The Nightî into the rafters of the club. Further new songs were aired and a stripped down rendition ofî For Whom It May Concernî off of Songs was rocked. Then it was the best period of the night: the Swedes ripped into my favorite Motorhomes song, bar none, 2000ís amazing ìItís Alright,î which still had the ability to send chills up my spine. Following this was the finest track from their sophomore album, ìThe Manî and after that, then played another new, uptempo number that kept the heads bobbing and some extra enthusiastic crowd members dancing. And like that the gig was over, but not before instilling the crowd with the confidence of promising new material and renewed faith in the strength of old favorites. The shimmering Motorhomes of old may now be deceased, but a more classic pop-aligned Motorhomes has seamlessly taken their place. Big ups to Tomas Jernberg for arranging my entry to this wonderful evening out.