Eclectic Moniker brings summer to November

***** (5 stars out of 6); November 15 at Lille Vega

On a particularly cold November night, The Eclectic Moniker promised and delivered heartwarming rhythmic calypso and summer nostalgia. 


The Copenhagen-based act are known for their vibrant and energetic live shows consisting of Trinidadian Calypso vibes eloquently combined with clever indie pop. A seven-man strong multi-instrumentalist collective, The Eclectic Moniker play soulful music with arpeggios galore, soothing tenor vocals and overwhelmingly danceable rhythms.


As the band entered the stage in total darkness, the eager audience screamed with excitement as the opening anthem ‘Typewriter Tip Tip Tip’ shook the foundations of Lille Vega. Originally a Bollywood film song, The Eclectics’ version takes on a darker and more electronic vibe, clearly expressing the band’s experimental edge. The number was played in total darkness, with the only  illumination on the audience.


After the well-executed, and slightly melancholic, rock number 'From All of Us', The Eclectic Moniker instantly switched gears into their famous Caribbean-inspired compositions. The rapid guitar rhythms cued the eclectic and epic 'A Million Balloons' and audience members responded by throwing colourful balloons in the air. The balloon parade was followed by the crowd pleaser ‘Two Soldiers’.   


Lead vocalist Frederik Vedersø, a man with an intense charisma and an even more impressive beard, plays a mean guitar, and sings in a soothing tenor voice. His singing precision was clearly expressed in the number 'Polaroids' which echoed influences of both Paul Simon and Phil Collins. 


One of the highlights of the evening was the number 'Easter Island' off their self titled debut album. The crowd got even more heated, finally reaching the state of euphoria that Calypso music entails. Other standouts included the number 'Going to Paris', during which the crowd was treated to copious amounts of rhythmical improvisation, and a refreshing interlude of dual calypso guitar.


There was an array of surprises, including a visit from the drummer of Kashmir.  At one point there were a whole eleven musicians on Lille Vega’s small stage. 


One could not help but be smitten by the way these childhood friends radiated happiness and affection throughout the venue. Rarely do you see a band with such an intense playing desire, and adoration for each other (hugs and kisses were not uncommon on the stage). The Eclectic Moniker delivered a love feast, a Trinidadian bacchanalia, where the audience was reminded that the summer will yet return once again. The concert could have been a little longer though. With seven musicians, one could expect that energy to culminate in a more lengthy performance, rather than the hour and 20 minutes the audience was treated to.

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