Saturday nights are made for loud rock music in your favourite bar or club. This was an evening which ticked every box. Back at The Patriot, the Home of Rock in the Welsh Valleys, and it’s a bustling crowd. Bolstered by some visiting Chapters, the Patriot MC is out in force, adding to the excitement and overall colour. The beer is flowing, the chatter is good, and as always, the warm welcome that is promised envelopes all. It’s no wonder I’m here virtually every weekend. On the bill tonight, we have an eclectic mix of bands with a continental flavour provided by the headliners, Danish quintet Statement.
The Patriot, Crumlin – 18 March 2023
Words and Photography: Paul Hutchings
Statement are riding high on the back of their latest release, Dreams From Darkness, released about six months ago. They chose a selection of songs from that album and spliced them through the setlist amongst other tracks from their three other records.
The opening song, Don’t You Hide, is the ideal introduction, a high-tempo song that gets the place jumping. It’s one of the many anthems that the band have in their arsenal. Thick riffs, powerful drumming, and the strong melodic vocals of Jannick Brochdorf are all integral to Statement, and they bring it in full from the opening bars.
Reaper is another from the new album to get the blood pumping, fists in the air and heads nodding around the room. Statement are slick, with lead guitarist Neils Alex Larsen peeling out solo after solo. Martin Poulsen’s low end combines neatly with the drumming of Daniel Nielsen and the rhythm guitar work of Lars Ulrik Le Fevre. They may be relatively unknown in the UK, but Statement’s popularity is growing, and there are a fair few in the audience who know the words to the band’s music.
They’ve got a slightly compromised delivery on stage, possibly due to the language, and so they are more reliant on their music rather than interaction with the fans, and they are also following the best set I’ve ever seen by Blind River.
It’s rare that a headliner is up against it from the start, but this was one of those occasions. Statement can’t quite match the sheer vibrancy of the Guildford loons, but they stick to what they know best – high-quality hard rock with plenty of melody. An early drum solo may be slightly ill-advised, taking the temperature down a little after a very solid opening, but they build again with the ballad Fade Away slowly reigniting the fires.
A solid cover of California Dreaming gets everyone singing as the band move into the home straight. By the time they hit Darkness In Your Eyes, drawn from 2019’s Force of Life, they’ve pulled any doubters back in line and finish with the high-octane track to cap a solid performance in style.
You can read the Blind River and Beth Blade and the Beautiful Disasters report here.