The major music news in Copenhagen this weekend was rock band 3 Doors Down’s performance at Store Vega on Saturday. While English quintet Noah and the Whale are far less known than their American counterparts, what they pulled off at Lille Vega last night was nothing short of special. The cheery indie band stepped onstage with a steely determination in their eyes, opening the proceedings with the catchy 'Give a Little Love' off their debut album Peaceful, the World Lays Me Down, released in 2008.
Noah and The Whale are, in Craig David’s words, “slicker than your average”, in that they are a cut above the classic 'two men and a guitar' rock cliché that tends to accompany many revered acts of the modern day. Their varied instrumentation includes keys and an unmistakable violin input, which announced its presence from the word ‘go’ and punctuated many of the show's peak points.
With the foundation for a solid show laid by the end of the first track, Noah and The Whale played the cautiously optimistic 'Tonight's the Kind of Night,' which veered more towards the cheery dimensions associated with the band. One song later and they had ventured into the more melancholic, contemplative territory that also demarcates them as a band, playing the emphatic 'Blue Skies' track from their 2009 album The First Days of Spring. Lead singer Charlie Fink showcased his vocal prowess with this particular tune, drifting off in a coarse, candid rendition that was simultaneously captivating and astute.
From then on, the quintet stuck to the jovial side of things as they slowly but surely built up a steady momentum that climaxed towards the end of the show and naturally enough got people's feet swaying. Things ended rather appropriately with a bland albeit effectual performance of the self-explanatory L.I.F.E.G.O.E.S.O.N, which paved the way for a solemn encore.
All in all, Noah and The Well were solid and consistent last night, performing with a coolheaded wit that showed their maturity as a band. However, from time to time it did feel as if they could have injected a bit more enthusiasm and drive into the show. This notwithstanding, their music, some of which is inspired by writer Charles Bukowski, is even more remarkable when performed live – the bold, emphatic lyrics that characterise much it gain a heightened definition and a more pronounced meaning.