Having been promised pre-drinks and canapés from 7, I was a bit disappointed upon heading upstairs to find a fairly empty bar with no food in sight. I asked the barman, but to no avail – he had been relying on the canapés for his dinner and was just as disappointed as I was! I suppose I can blame this lack of sustenance partly, although not entirely, for the fact that I proceeded to get really quite drunk, although this did give me enough dutch courage to approach the bands after the show, and I left the venue with setlists, cds and an email address – whose email address, however, I really have no idea.
Photobucket
Leaves took to the stage first to an already busy crowd. They had a sound all of their own, characterised by wonderful vocal harmonies and some amazing ebow work by the lead guitarist. This was especially apparent during ‘Aeronaught’, a track with a simple drum beat and stirring melody, made magnificently atmospheric by skilled use of the ebow. The crowd were a little lacklustre this early on but warmed up throughout the set and responded favourably to ‘All The Streets Are Gold’, an uplifting and catchy track which will be on their new album.
Photobucket
Simon Says No! had a more upbeat crowd behind them and proceeded to up the tempo, and with it, the atmosphere. Described by JaJaJa as ‘Norweigan fuzz rockers’, Simon Says No! played heartfelt, melody-led tracks that really started to get people in the mood. ‘Sleeping Heart’ – the hit song on EP Ahoi De Angst – went down very well, and ‘Shiver’, also on the EP, had fantastic breathy vocals and a tune that really sticks in the mind. During their final song, ‘Dark Design’, the singer had a clear Tom Waits vibe about him (although honesty compels me to say that he didn’t entirely pull it off).
Photobucket
It was final band Sudden Weather Change that really got people moving, with their passionate brand of dynamic indie-rock. Playing many of the songs from their album Stop! Hand Grenades in the name of Crib Death. ‘Nderstand? (which has to be one of the best album names I’ve heard in a while), the band stormed through their set with exuberance. Their sound was characterised by heavy guitars, pounding drums and lyrics that were often shouted (but not screamed – a key distinction) rather than sung. ‘Beatlemania’ was wonderfully upbeat, and their final song, ‘Pray Mode’ seemed to be well known by the audience, many of whom were singing along. I have to say that none of the acts were entirely what I was expecting from a showcase of Nordic music, but maybe the point of this evening was to make it known that not all Scandinavian bands are like Sigur Ros or Bjork. The band selection had obviously been done with care, as their sounds really complemented each other. Each of the bands had an energy about them that allowed them to really connect with the crowd, and I think I’d have been hard pushed to find someone there who couldn’t say that they really enjoyed the evening. Setlists: Leaves Aeronaut Dragonflies I Go Down The Harbour All The Streets Are Gold Spy Simon Says No! Rush LIL Parra Lirkus Shiver Sleeping Heart Dark Design Sudden Weather Change Kajaks The Thin Liner 1.6. Facilitate Access Beatlemania Matrix Metanite Pray Mode Photography by the wonderful Chris Mathews Anything to add?Sound off in our Fourum!