Photo via Instagram by Eva Gottschalk
Yesterday, while Grant Lee Phillips was laying down the mellow in Atlas, most of Aarhus’ youth and its Norwegian minorities had themselves a good ol’ fashioned teenage party “spreading the Kakk” at Train.
Danish Jærv warmed the crowd up for 30 minutes with some of the same songs that I’d seen her perform at Stakladen’s Newbees festival two weeks ago. However, this time, both her and her musicians seemed much more comfortable on stage than they did then. Her musical kinship to Florence Welch (of Florence & The Machine, red.) stood out much more than it had done on that night, where she’d come off more as part of the danish MØ-wave. And, thanks to the good work of Jærv’s own sound engineer, Kasper Nyhus, her nicely constructed Danish lyrics were actually audible too.
No doubt she won a few new fans during the performance for the slowly filling room. Train was the perfect kind of venue for her. Both because of the darker and grandiose atmosphere that suited the ambience in the songs, but also because of the room which quickly appears full to people on stage. This secured a much better flow of energy from the stage to the crowd and back, which both parties seemed to benefit from.
Train runs a tight ship. The only precise Train in Denmark – one is tempted to call it – Jærv began playing at 20:00 and already at 20:30 she left the stage again so the last preparations could be made for the main act of the night, KMF, or: Kakkmaddafakkas among friends, who came on at 21:01 and played a strong, almost ritualistic, concert for a solid 1 and a half hours.
Now, I know that only two days ago I criticized The Blues Pills for the exact same thing, but the thing is that there is a time and place – not to mention a band – for everything. Even for ritualistic shows. And these Norwegian boys are very a group for that sort of thing: You get what you expect – sometimes a bit more, but never any less
Through all of the rituals that they construct around their concerts to go along with their boyish charms and songs about holding hands, breaking up and finding a new girl, the band managed to have the full room jumping throughout the duration of their show. This was party with a capital P, and made no excuses for itself. That, my friends, is the recipe for a dedicated fanbase in the world of guitar pop.
When an English speaking friend asked me today “how did you find Kakkmaddafakkas?” My corny reply was: “Took a left at Tower of Power, went straight on until a-Ha, then turned towards The Arctic Monkeys and stopped right after Haddaway.” – Corny, alright, but true. The show was completely airtight and many times, drawing on all of the above, and while they were going at it on stage with jumps and sing along parts for the audience, my mate and I looked at each other smiling from the happy-go-lucky predictability of it all: Here comes the moment where he takes off his shirt, here comes the praise of the girls in the audience, here comes the drum break, now the part where they all go down on their knees, aaand Here’s the obligatory encore set up.
This was the tenth (10 !!) show in a row for the band, but you really couldn’t tell from their energy levels. Every last bit was delivered with deadpan accuracy and power, and completely in keep with the traditions of the genre. A cult following is slowly building around them – like that around fellow countrymen Kaizers Orchestra, or that of a certain little band in a Liverpudlian basement some years ago – the sort of following to whom the concerts are rituals more than they are performances. Sure, their albums might be a bit tedious with their upbeat Bell&Sebastian hue, but the music press should really wake up and smell their live shows.
They played their irony with postmodern perfection as they chose Baby Don’t Hurt Me as the last song of the night, and had it sung by their percussionist (I almost called him hypeman there for a second, but that they sort of all were). The band has been together for around ten years now, and the security in their music and the confidence they radiated really did wonders for the experience of Kakkmaddafakka as a real Band. Not just another radio group that’ll be gone in five years. There is still musical developments to come, I expect and hope for.
Frontman Axel Vindenes tried his Danish language on for size (with the usual bucket full of swearwords that Norwegians always throw in the mix to sound more Danish *ahem*) a few times, causing much amusement among the audience. And he kept making bold statements like: “Gaffa, please just give us 5 right away, and relax because this is a great audience!” – These boys know what they are and what they can do with it.
This ain’t Gaffa, but even though I felt ancient and worn when comparing myself to the energetic output of these guys, I’ll still follow their bidding and give them a fiver. They are among the best at what they do, and the fans – old and new – going to catch them in Vega, Cph. tonight, are probably in for the same party treat as we had yesterday.
On a day, where Grant Lee Phillips was laying down the mellow in Atlas, most of Aarhus’ youth and its Norwegian minorities had themselves a good ol’ fashioned teenage party “spreading the Kakk” at Train. This was the 10th show in a row for the band, but you really couldn’t tell from their energy levels. Every last bit was delivered with deadpan accuracy and power, and completely in keep with the traditions of the genre. Moreover, Train was the perfect kind of venue for Jærv, who delivered a strong performance. (4.5/6)