Under Byen arrived early at Szene, the venue of their Vienna show, and have already made themselves comfortable by noon. It almost looks like they live there. Their white vintage tourbus with the “Under Byen” sign on the windshield is parked at the front door, the members of the eight-piece-band from Denmark are hanging out in the numerous rooms of the Szene backstage area and some of them sit in the garden on this mild October day. The scene is too idyllic to resist, so we quickly convert the backyard of the Szene club from a chill out place into the location for the videos of “Hjertebarn” from their first album “Kyst” and the 2002-song “Mission”. Under Byen put a lot of effort in the session, laying cables and carrying out much of their gear from the stage – amongst them a big trash can – before lining up in a semi circle, surrounded by all kinds of litter in the backyard. Under Byen’s approach to rock music is a very unconventional one. Rarely using a guitar, they create complex and atmospheric soundscapes which often include a jazzy touch but still don’t lack the pop appeal.
Szene Wien is a venue for concerts in the mainly industrial area of Simmering. Despite being a little bit off the map in Vienna the Szene is quite popular among lovers of every variety of alternative music – and because of its cosy, slightly savaged courtyard. In the past the concert hall with a capacity of about 500 people was home to several shows that marked the live debut of then unknown but later acclaimed bands in Austria. Nowadays there is a little focus on world music but you can still spot some alternative shows on the monthly programme. Just when everything was set up for the 25th anniversary of the Szene – which was a cinema for porn movies before – the venue hit the newspaper headlines in May 2008. The management of city-run Szene was said to be not efficient enough and found itself replaced without further ado. As the new management runs an among Szene visitors less beloved metal venue in Vienna as well there are fears that the Szene might change its advanced alternative programming to a more mainstream one.