Saturday, 14 February 2015

Sweden - Umea

The most important venue in Umeå right now is probably Verket, where anyone can organize shows for free if they want to and the venue provides a basic backline and such. It's all ages and if you're 18 or older you can BYOB. There are shows there every weekend and sometimes weekdays also! The bands that play there are very diverse, ranging from hardcore/punk, metal, acoustic singer/songwriter stuff, pop, hip-hop and everything inbetween. So it's not a strictly punk venue although it was founded upon the punk/DIY mentality which it still runs by today. This has brought all the different genres closer to each other as the lineup at shows often consists of bands from mixed genres, it's probably like this in other cities also, I don't know, I just think it's great because you still have your all-out hardcore punk/pop/metal/whatever shows! So in short: Verket is incredibly important to keeping the underground music scene alive in Umeå.

Charlie is a classic punk/hardcore venue in town but there hasn't been many shows there as of late or I must have missed them so I haven't been there personally and now the venue has to close because of some reconstruction thing. However, there will be one last gig with a lot of local punk/hardcore bands so I'll make sure to be there then. If anyone reading this happens to be in Umeå the 7th of February, go there!

A new venue in Umeå that is very interesting is Kulturhuset located in some old roundhouse. I don't know the exact history behind it but I think it all started last summer when, in their own words "This started because some people saw an empty place, gathered together and wanted to fill it with life. Spontaneous, improvised and beautiful. Want to help? Come by and get involved!" This all looked incredibly promising and everyone was excited for the outcome. People from all over town got together to help with all the construction and decoration work needed and then things got started. There were bands playing, art showings, film showings and all different kinds of cultural stuff! This was supposed to continue indefinitely, kind of like a festival without an end. However, eventually politicians and people with money and suits and whatever had to intervene and now the future is unclear for Kulturhuset, but I remain hopeful! Nonetheless, big ups to the people involved in bringing this project to life!!

Then there are places like Guitars, which is a club so that means 18+. For the most part they have DJs but every now and then bands plays there, mostly more established local bands or established bands visiting town. 

There's also Hamnmagasinet, which kind of is a youth center, located next to the local skatepark. Not too many shows are put up there which is a damn shame because the sound system is pretty gnarly. I guess it's because they have a no-alcohol policy that people refrain from visiting/organizing shows there. 

Let's move on to promoters. So, for hardcore we have 090 Hardcore who does a great job putting up hardcore shows and they are also responsible for 090 Hardcorefest which is a two-day festival planned to be held annually. The first 090 Hardcorefest was held in late September last year and it was so much fun with local bands and bands from all over the country on the lineup. It was just amazing. 

Another promoter is Umeå DIY, putting up shows for bands regardless of genre!
Although as I said earlier regarding Verket, anyone can put up shows there so most shows are organized by people engaged in and commited to underground music! 

Okay, so I'm gonna try and put together a list of bands that are currently active in Umeå. Keep in mind that hardcore is far from the only thriving undeground music scene in Umeå but because this is a hardcore blog I will only mention hardcore punk bands. (sorry, other kinds of music) Here we go!

Lesra hardcore/metal 

Trots: hardcore/punk

Kira hardcore/doom/emo/post

Eaten Raw hardcore/punk/crust

Grid grind core

The T-55's hardcore/punk

Desolation State Riot post-metal/sludge/hardcore

The State The Sea Left Me In post/emo/melodic hardcore

Fukushima hardcore/punk

Bad Nerve hardcore/punk

Dick Tracy hardcore/punk

Kidnapped hardcore

Nedslagsplats hardcore/punk/crust

Erased hardcore (formerly known as Tough Luck) soundcloud 

System Annihilated progressive metalcore

Perkulator hardcore/punk/crust

Skörbjugg hardcore/punk 

Latest Fashion hardcore/punk

Misantropic hardcore/punk/crust

Noll Tolerans hardcore 

The list came out a little longer than expected but I hope that's about it. If I've forgotten anyone, sorry, I tried my best!

If you want to play in Umeå get in touch with local musicians/bands and they will help you or try contacting 090 Hardcore or Umeå DIY, I'm sure they will help you!

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