Crime and the City Solution @ Beta – June 1st 2022
Crime and the City Solution @ Beta – June 1st 2022

Live Review: Crime and the City Solution @ Posten and Beta – May 31st and June 1st 2022

Crime and the City Solution is a band with a long and storied history, first started by singer-songwriter Simon Bonney in Australia in 1977. The band has gone through a number of incarnations over the years with Bonney at its center, and during this time he has drawn to himself a number luminaries of the post-punk scene, including Mick Harvey (The Birthday Party, The Bad Seeds), Rowland S. Howard (The Birthday Party), Epic Soundtracks (Swell Maps), Alexander Hacke (Einsturzende Neubauten), David Eugene Edwards (Wovenhand), and others. Bonney and company released their most recent album, American Twilight, in 2013, but then went silent following a short run of tour dates. They remained this way for nearly a decade, but Bonney has resurfaced this year with an all new line-up of the band (the only holdover from previous incarnations being his wife, Bronwyn Bonney) for an extensive, worldwide “History of Crime” tour. We caught the first two dates of the tour, both in Denmark, at Posten in Odense and at Beta in Copenhagen.

In line with the tour’s name, the setlist spanned the entire range of the band’s recorded career. From “Six Bells Chime” from their debut album Room of Lights (1986) up through “Goddess” from American Twilight, the band played tracks representing all five albums in their catalog. Opening with “On Every Train (Grain Will Bear Grain)” in Odense and “All Must Be Love” in Copenhagen, both from their second record Shine (1988), the band launched into a set which followed a natural flow of the songs rather than strict chronological order (the change in the setlist from one night to the next being an obvious adjustment to improve this).

What could easily have ended up being little more than a nostalgia trip was made fresh and vital by the musicians that Bonney has assembled. While lacking in the big names of the years past (probably to its benefit, truth be told), the new incarnation of the band featured a set of adept players who brought their own sensibilities and skills to the songs. Multi-instrumentalist Georgio Valentino, drummer Chris Hughes, bassist Fred Lynn, and guitarist Donald Baldie (along with Simon and Bronwyn, of course) make up as strong a line-up as the band has ever had, and together brought the band’s back catalog to life.

Both nights were opened by Copenhagen-based no-wave band Leizure, who played a blistering set obviously influenced by bands like The Birthday Party, Sonic Youth, and Swans, with the interplay of singer Zakarias Sanderson and saxophonist Arshia Kadkhodaei as a highlight. Their album Primal Hymns is available now, and they will be one to watch in the future.

Crime and the City Solution has been hinting at North American shows in the fall, though no specific dates have been announced yet, and at the possibility of new recordings. In addition, Mute Records has announced a full reissue campaign of the band’s albums to take place next year. It’s been a long time coming, but it seems that it’s finally a good time to be a Crime and the City Solution fan again.

Crime and the City Solution setlists

Night 1 – Odense

On Every Train (Grain Will Bear Grain)
All Must Be Love
Keepsake
I Have the Gun
The Bride Ship
Free World
Goddess
Six Bells Chime
Steal to the Sea
The Last Dictator II
The Last Dictator IV

American Twilight

     

Night 2 – Copenhagen

All Must Be Love
Keepsake
I Have the Gun
The Bride Ship
Free World
Goddess
Six Bells Chime
Steal to the Sea
On Every Train (Grain Will Bear Grain)
The Last Dictator II
The Last Dictator IV

American Twilight

PHOTOS © MATT CONDON

Crime and the City Solution – Night 1 – Posten in Odense, Denmark

Crime and the City Solution – Night 2 – Beta in Copenhagen, Denmark

Leizure – Night 1 – Posten in Odense, Denmark

Leizure – Night 2 – Beta in Copenhagen, Denmark

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