Live Review: Pelican Beach + Support: Duncan Woods – HeadQuarters – 05.10.2016
Photo by: Mia Vestergaard Andersen
This Wednesday night, people didn’t really give a shit about whether it was a ’school’ night or not – some were already a little light headed and tipsy when I got there just before Duncan Woods entered the stage. The room was filled with smiling faces and buzzing convos from the bar to every sofa packed corner.
There was a pretty nice turnout for an eight o’clock session, and the audience seemed very eager for the first artist to enter: A couple of Duncan Woods fans had already taken up space on the floor right in front of the stage, beer in their hands and excited expressions on their faces.
Duncan Woods started the show with a smile, a casual open shirt with t-shirt outfit, and a polite introduction of The Sazzamone Cocktail Band, with whom he shared the stage.
Now, this guy didn’t look like much to be honest, and I’d only heard a couple of songs at home before I got there, so I didn’t really know what to expect. But the second he opened his mouth, charming pop melodies, anecdotes and jokes flew out and induced loud laughs in the crowd. Great! This guy’s got some balls and personality! Even when he explained that he wrote his next song when Robbie Williams committed suicide, he still managed to twist the mood of the song to something jolly.
Duncan Woods took pride in mixing Danish, Aussie English and a bit German when he spoke to his audience: “Vielen tak for coming out tonight” and “I even wrote a song in Dansk. Den handler om my “Lille hundehvalp”, and it had people laughing and nodding to each other in approval of his charming and funny being. He mixed slow acoustic songs with more upbeat melodies incorporating small lyrical “rap” pieces with a quick flow. I kinda liked it!
This actually had me thinking of Ed Sheeran a couple of times, especially during “The Early Bird” and “Waiting for Sunday”. The style reminded me a little bit of the way he also builds up a song with upbeat guitar play and peaks it with quick lyrical rap features.
He finished with a huge applause from the audience, who was definitely warm enough to get Pelican Beach on stage. Duncan Woods pulled off a great show, mostly because of his charming songs and stage being, but he didn’t manage to prevent the people in the bar from talking. And that’s just a circumstantial matter, I know, but still annoying for the ears of the attentive listeners.
After the break, people were already competing for the best spot in front of the glowing stage lights. They had refilled their beers, had a smoke break, and stood there talking to their friends, staring at the empty stage.
Then Pelican Beach calmly entered the foggy and pink lit stage, and started playing without a word. “Why am I so happy” the lead singer and second vocalist sang at the top of their lungs. I was really impressed by how good they sounded together. It was a nicely flowing melody formed by keys and guitar, and the entire song was really catchy. They had the crowd wooing from the beginning.
I had to fight a bit, to get up front to snap a couple of pictures, partly becasue of the tightly packed crowd and partly because Pelican Beach suddenly yelled “Come on, come closer, closer, closer!” They obviously enjoyed the intimate atmosphere created by the short distance to their beer drinking and dancing audience.
The first couple of tracks were upbeat and heavy on drums and bass, whereas the second half of the concert were a bit calmer. As they played “Crash Course”, a slow track with soft keys in the back ground and wavy, beachy one string guitar play, people started swaying from side to side. The guitar gave it an invitingly happy summer vibe, and the whistling vitalised the chorus and made the entire song even lighter and daintier – like a little boy skipping down the street, with his pocket money on his way to go buy himself an ice cream.
The audience was still wooing as Pelican Beach presented the next song. They just made it this Sunday and spent 12 hours in a tiny room to finish it. They named it “Under the Impression”. This and their last track had very soul-like and jazzy feel to it. And even though I was still mesmerised by the vocalists and the sporadically funky keys, I was getting a little bit bored with this style.
I actually wanted the entire concert to be exactly like the first 4 tracks. But I guess, I’m just into more upbeat stuff when it comes to live music. The crowd went cheering for more in the end. However, the band already gave us all they had, so we had to settle for a bow and lots of thanks from the band instead.
I was very content, but also a little disappointed by the last bit. But on the other hand, it must be difficult to create tracks that are equally likable to everyone.
This goes to show, that going out to concerts on a Wednesday night, with bands you don't really know all to well, can be a really, really good experience. (4.5/6)