“The longest song ever” – Why PATCHANKA didn’t work for me

By Tasja Nielsen
Pictures from Raahuset

Event: PATCHANKA concert
Venue: Raahuset, Onkel Dannys Plads, CPH
Date: 12 December '14

Generally, I really love Balkan music. I like the tempo and the danceable rhythms. I love how you can close your eyes and disappear to the plains of Eastern Europe. You can almost taste the homemade vodka when you listen to an accordion, and get an urge to say “nostrovia” to all the people around you. That's my version of Balkan music. Happy-go-lucky with a twist of hard liquor.

The band PATCHANKA has just recently won a Danish Music Award for “best live act” and I can understand why they did. The band rocked the stage. It seemed like the stage was way to small for all of them, but they managed not to step on one another’s toes during the show. Their lead singer was a very beautiful lady with an amazing voice. Truly looked like a gypsy-princess.

So why didn't PATCHANKA work for me? They had reggae, world music, balkan, latin, a lovely lady and a whole lot of energy. It seemed like a sure thing.

Well, I knew that the band had at least 10 years of experience together. Which means that they have at least 10 years of music and recordings to choose from. Of course, a band wants to keep the audience updated, and play the newer shit they've created. I get that.

But when you play a 1½-hour show, with the same drumbeat all along? I just get tired. I get tired and a bit irritated.

I've been a trance-head for a decade soon, so it's not that I DON'T get the beauty of an on-going bassline.

It just irritates me that there wasn't any variety in the tracks PATCHANKA had chosen for the night. That they did not prioritise diversity in their performance nor did they manage to create any further  “wow-effect” for me (I'm not hard to impress, so it says a lot).

The only “wow” I got, was when they played an old song for one of their hardcore fans, in honour of her birthday. That was great showmanship and she seemed to enjoy the special attention.

In spite of me, personally, not enjoying the concert. The audience loved it. They were dancing from beginning to end and there were smiles all around.

I haven't given up on Balkan music though. I just gave up on PATCHANKA.