The first band entered the stage. It’s a three piece called Diagnosis 666 from Bergen who have never played Oslo before. They wore white coats splattered with red and I think the point was to look like doctors who have just left bloodied bodies in the operating theatre. However the first thing that sprung to mind was three butchers on their way back from work at the abattoir. They played some quite good punk music that they’d written themselves, but as one song led to the next I found myself getting bored. They played well, but their set was too predictable and the songs too alike.
There was a 15 minute break and I was amazed at how many people had found their way in to this hidden cellar to see the show. Riots took to the stage to cheers from the crowd. They played a tight set and kept us entertained for the duration. The response was good and the crowd appreciative. I especially like the fact that they have a female bassist, who is not only very pretty to look at, but a competent bass player. She wore baggy jeans, t-shirt and did her job whilst trying not to play on sex or make herself the centre of attention. Riots are a good act to catch and highly recommended. The room was now quite full and I saw many well known faces from the music business in Oslo. One guy was wearing a metal studded coat and Charlie asked me to get a photo of him as he thought he looked very punk and cool. Turned out he was from New Zealand and thrilled to catch Charlie in Oslo. He told me he’d caught the UK Subs in Europe somewhere a few weeks earlier on his walkabout.
Charlie Harper entered the stage to applause, by a crowd that had now filled the venue. He’s wearing jeans and a jumper, no fancy stage wear here. I reflect on how good he looks for his age. They went straight in to ‘Squat 96’ and the fans sang along, and then over in to ‘Bitter And Twisted’ followed by ‘Left For Dead’. Some elated fans started a mosh pit of poggoing front stage and crashing into each other. Charlie certainly knows what he is doing, and his voice was clean and clear, delivering each song with the typical flair he’s known for. ‘Down on the Farm’ was a particularly memorable song and had people on their feet dancing and singing along to the music. The encores followed and ‘Crash Course’ had the crowd shouting the lyrics. Charlie Harper is still going strong and I will definitely go and see him and/or Riots again. I think it’s safe to say that a very good night was had by all who went, but then came the tricky bit of negotiating my way out of the venue without bumping my head, or tripping on scaffolding and falling over, but I made it safely home J
SET LIST:Squat 96
Review by Teddie Dahlin
Photos by Harry Nordskog