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A wonderful, rocking young Norwegian band who opened for Cheap Trick at three shows in the UK in April 2002. They released just two albums ("Mass Distraction" and "vs Time") before breaking up in late 2005. Sadly their career never took off as they deserved, despite getting a lot of positive press in the UK and Europe between 2002-2004. I *really* liked this band, and it's almost criminal that they didn't get the big break their talent and energy deserved.

I was lucky enough to get to see them 11 times, in England, Scotland, in Hollywood CA and twice in their hometown of Oslo, including their incredible final show in Oct 2005. Below are photo's from a number of shows, which I hope you enjoy.

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Here's some photo's I took at Span's show at Fibbers in York, England on Sunday 22nd June 2003 (the show review that I posted to the Spanzone Yahoo group an hour or so after the show is below the pix).

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Just got back from a terrific show at Fibbers in York!

Span headlined a 4 artist bill at the small bar/venue in the historic city, and at least half of the modest crowd were along with one band or other. Span went on at 10pm and played a blinding 30 minute set, and were clearly a class (if not two) above everyone else on the bill!

The setlist was:-

Peaceful, Mental Surgery, Buckle Under Pressure, Don't Feel The Way They Do, Sea, On My Way Down, Found, Baby's Come Back, Papa

There were about 15-20 people at stage front through the show, most under 20 and were part of, or followers of a young local band. They really got rocking during On My Way Down, jumping and moshing and so on for the rest of the set, and at one point Jarle allowed himself to be body surfed and carried from stage front back into the bar... but those carrying him didn't spot the ceiling fan that was working pretty hard. Jarle averted danger by inches, his face literally passed only 2-3 inches under the fan. Having missed the fan , Jarle then spotted a beam in the ceiling! He managed to escape safely! He also came into the crowd to sing Papa, and at the end Joff allowed himself to be "body surf" held aloft.

I'm sure Span won over at least 3 dozen new followers tonight, they were certainly crowded by their new fans after the show for badges and autographed flyers. And they obliged every one of them.

A terrific, high energy show as usual. Surely Span's big break can't be far away... they certainly deserve it! The future is Norwegian! Oh, speaking of which, Joff and Jarle reclaimed York back for Norway, and claimed that the current occupants owe about a thousand years in back rent! :-) ...Vikings - Norwegian? Danish? Ah, whatever! 

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Here are some pictures and review from Hollywood, California on 12 July 2004

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Just landed back in Manchester 3 hours ago from my short weekend trip into Los Angeles. Went from around 90F and sunny in LA to wet and 60F at Manchester Airport! Welcome home to English summer! Anyway, the main thing you want to read is about the show, yes? The Troubador is a small club venue right on the edge of West Hollywood and Beverley Hills, on the busy Santa Monica Boulevard. I got there with a Californian friend mid-afternoon, as we wanted to scope out parking. And amazing timing, literally five minutes later the Span guys turned up to check out the place and make sure their rented equipment arrived etc. I heard from Kim that they'd cancelled their set on Saturday night because Jarle had lost his voice, but he should be fine for tonight. We left them to set up, and we came back later.

The venue was very intimate, with a nice sized stage but quite a small floor area for the crowd. Span soundchecked late, well after 6pm. As they were due to be the first band on stage (of a line up of 5-6 bands), they were last to soundcheck. They played some instrumental that I didn't
recognise, followed the the opening riffs of "On My Way Down". Then all of "Entitled" and half of "Stay As You Are". They sounded great and I'd never have guessed about Jarle's voice problems just two days earlier. Maybe the hot LA weather helped his voice recover?

They took to the stage at 7.33pm to a warm welcome from a small but enthusiastic crowd. They only had 30 minutes to play, but they produced a sizzling high energy set that was well received. "Stay As You Are" opened the set, followed by "Found" during which Jarle came down into the crowd! Then "Peaceful", "Don't Think The Way They Do", "Diamonds", "Outside" and climaxing with "Papa". The boys really performed well, Joff was stomping around and leaping ala Pete Townsend! Freddie was as solid as ever on drums in the hot, non-air conditioned venue, and Kim traded bass chords at times with Joff and Jarle. And Jarle was his usual "larger than life" frontman, coming down into the crowd again during "Papa". His vocals sounded as impressive as usual throughout the set. (Oh, on the original setlists Diamonds was listed second and Found was fifth, but those two songs were switched before the actual set.)

I think this was only Span's second show in the US (didn't they play at "South by Southwest" in Austin a couple of years ago when Wes was taken ill?), and I'm sure they'll be back soon. It was a shame they were on so early, as the LA crowd seem to turn up much later than 7.30 to see live
bands, but even at 8.10pm a couple of people asked me if Span had played yet. I guess my t-shirt with big, pink "SPAN" On it was a giveaway as to who I came to see, and nice that some people were interested in wanting to see Span but a shame they missed them. My friend and I stayed to see a little of the next band (and all woman power-punk trio from New York), but I'm afraid they couldn't touch Span either musically or visually, and the crowd was noticably smaller. Anyway, I hope enough people got to see Span and start spreading the word. I know that as a fan I'm biased, but they played their 7 song set as wll as I've ever seen them.

Anyway, hope this has been of interest. And if anything reads oddly, blame the tiredness as I didn't sleep overnight coming home. Its been a long travel day! But I thought you'd like to read about it asap!

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Finally, a review and some shots from their emotional, final show in Oslo on 28 October 2005

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I was up very early Thursday morning, around 4.15am though in truth I didn't sleep much before then. It was a long drive up to Glasgow Prestwick Airport (I left at 5.25am), it took a bit longer than I thought, but I got parked by 9.50am and to the terminal by 10.10am. Checked in OK and met good friend Mike Hayes and some of his family. The flight was OK, no frills but that was no big deal for a 90 minute flight, though we landed some 80 miles south of Oslo mid afternoon. We had to catch a bus/coach into Oslo which took the best part of two hours, but we made it by 5.30pm. I helped Mike and family with their luggage to their hotel, and walked the 400 yards to mine. Checked in OK, tiny room/shower/toilet, but it was fine for my needs... and most importantly, CHEAP for Oslo!

We met up a little later and ended up having an Indian meal, before taking a long walk up the main street (Karl Johans St) to the Royal Palace and back along some parallel streets. It was damp and cool, but not unpleasant. I went back to my hotel for another 90 minutes relax as did they, then I went back over there as Span's bass player Kim was going to stop by and see Mike & family. He arrived around 11.15pm and stayed an hour, nice to chat with him.

Friday was damp and grey, but OK. I took a long, long walk to find the Harley dealership in Oslo. I had a map of the city centre... and a map off the website for the locality of the "Lazy Boyz" dealership... I just didn't know how far the in between was! Well, I walked and walked and walked, through residential areas, and past small banks of snow from early in the week. It took me 90 minutes but I eventually made it, so I guess I walked 3-4 miles. Unfortunately their range of back t-shirt designs wasn't great, plus they were expensive. But yes, I did buy a couple. Another 90 minute walk back. Well, good exercise at least! A little later I got into soundcheck with Mike and family, and we were in for a good couple of hours or so. The band eventually played about 5 electric and 3-4 acoustic songs - they were going to play acoustic during the set, whilst seated on stools. Very cool, and a couple of songs I hadn't heard before.

We had to go out and get in line, but that was OK. We got let in around 9pm, and I chased up to the balcony to find the front table/seats reserved for family. So we went and stood to the left balcony (in CT terms, up on Rick's side) so still had a great stage view, albeit standing. Span came on at 10.30pm to a huge welcome from the sell out 1400 crowd, and played a 2 hour set of songs, including acoustic. It was weird, hearing a song and then getting the thought that I'll (probably) never hear them play it again... unless Jarle returns or whatever. But it was a great performance and all the cool songs of course! For the first electric half and acoustic, they had the Span cloth backdrop, but for the latter part of the set that dropped to reveal a wall of bright lights! The talking was all in Norwegian so we couldn;'t understand anything, particularly towards the end. After "Baby's Come Back", they left... and that was it. A little poignant... We eventually got into the aftershow... along with about 100 other people so really no chance to say more than hello to band members. Another late night to bed, about 2am, and I had to sleep with earplugs as the street my hotel was on had loud clubs open till very late, so I could hear a bass beat, even at 2am.

Saturday was both quieter and wetter. I had two long walks out, in the morning in the rain and in the afternoon when the rain had finally stopped. In between I stayed in, watched TV, read books. Met up with Mike early evening and we walked up to a pub beyond the Royal Palace, where the band and some other fans would meet up to drink and play pool. The beer was cheap... well, cheapER (than in the city centre), I ended up having 3! Ouch! It was a fun evening, the whole band plus their roadie Giggsy came, plus maybe 20-25 fans... mostly young women. I mostly chatted to Mike, though he's well known as a Span fan so occasionally people would come over to him to talk (he's an expert on Span as well as Cheap Trick!) Mike and I even played a game of pool against Joff and Giggsy... we lost, but only just. Anyway, Mike and I left about 10.40pm, walked back to town and bought MacDonalds on the way for supper!

Sunda saw me take a walk out early on (after breakfast) before heading out around 10.30am to walk to the central bus station for the airport bus. It was damp and misty, and mistier still on the 2 hour drive as we headed south out of Oslo. Got checked onto my flight, had to kill maybe 90 minutes before boarding, and flew back to Glasgow. When we broke through the cloud, it was the first sunshine I'd seen in 4 days! Landed at Glasgow about 3.50pm and the airport parking shuttle bus finally got me to my car about 4.20pm... where I found it wouldn't start. Plenty of juice, but wouldn't catch... it was very damp I think. The area seemed very damp indeed. So i had to call my breakdown service who got a local mechanic to me who got me started and I left at 5.15pm. With the clocks changing, it was now getting dark, so the mechanic helpfully suggested a longer, but easier route to reach the main motorway south. So I actually had to head towards Glasgow and across a little south of the city to reach the M74 and head south. Got home about 245 miles and a bit over 4 hours later, after 9.45pm, so it was a 12 hour journey from the hotel to home.

Anyway, a really fun trip which I wouldn't have missed for the world. The setlist? Oh...
intro - drone guitar (last track from vs Time), Stay As You Are, Buckle Under Pressure, I'm Nothing Without You, Better Believe It, Room For One, When She Stares, Crash & Burn, Cut Like Diamonds, Dive Motherf***er // (now acoustic) - Living On The Sun, Little Darling, Thunder Blues, Missing in Stereo, On My Way Down // (now back to electric) - Papa, The Outside, Mental Surgery, Entitled, Peaceful, Psycho Killer, When I Fall, Don't Think The Way They Do, Found, Babys Come Back


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