Annasaid

support Fathers Outcome
author TL date 03/10/14 venue Stengade, Copenhagen, DEN

There's an argument to be made that if you've heard and seen Foals and/or Two Door Cinema Club, then there's no reason to get excited for or even see the similar Aarhus band Annasaid. That argument is completely fucking retarded. I mean those are some pretty good bands right? Foals absolutely slay live right? So when we have a local band exploring their own nuances of a similar sound, and doing so quite well, why would you not check them out? Those were my thoughts before marking tonight in my calendar as an evening to head to Stengade to re-watch the quartet, because while I might have seen them recently on Pumpehuset's casual outdoor stage, theirs is music that I would prefer to watch with better sound in a more confined setting.

Sadly none of the Rockfreaks photographers were available on the night, hence no images this time around

Fathers Outcome

Before Annasaid however, Copenhagen locals Fathers Outcome have been booked to open the night proper, and things look good as they come on, with a decent group of people gathering to check them out. Bassist Jacob Askim in particular makes an impression, looking like he could've walked straight off the set of Almost Famous or The Boat That Rocked, sporting a vintage suit, long hair and some large glasses. The rest of the group look more like your typical casual Copenhagen dudes, as they launch into a retro-inspired set, where the relaxed yet trippy pace of a song like The Doors' "Riders On The Storm" meet with frequent poppy vocal harmonies that seem Beatles inspired. Frontman Jack Kilburn, on keys and vocals, sings in detached falsetto around 70 percent of the time, which on one hand makes the band stand out from my typical idea of a retro pop group like this, yet at the same time is almost annoyingly typical for the Danish indie scene, where singing in actual full voice can seem more the exception than the norm (See: Mew, When Saints Go Machine, Blaue Blume just to name a few).

As the band explores various tempos and nuances throughout the set, the harmonies go from a bit dodgy to pretty on point, and of the two guitarists, the electric stands out the most, for good and worse, at some points playing timely minimal chords and at another cranking out a nice bit of soloing, yet also falling back to some rather uninspired riffing in a particular song that requires him to take more than a supporting role. Stylistically, things range from the retro-inspired to more current indie nuances, with shoegazing indie-pop groups like Yuck or Yo La Tengo also potentially rummaging somewhere in the group's catalogue of influences. Perhaps it's from them then, that the band - excluding Askim who grooves happily on the right side - has learned to look completely disinterested both during and between songs. Kilburn offers platonic, one-syllable "thanks" between songs, but otherwise there seems to be a stubborn "let the tunes do the talking" mentality to the group. Overall the material seems to flash potential, diversity and personality, but the live show not so much, unless of course you hold the belief that nothing is actually supposed to happen when you see an indie band.

Annasaid

When Annasaid start their set after a short changeover, things are clearly of an entirely different nature as lights flash and an explosive soundscape is conjured immediately, mirrored by animated movement on stage. Often and accurately compared to Foals, the band plays a very energetic and mathy variety of rock, with abrupt drumming that feels like it pieces together puzzles gleaned from various genres of dance music, while the bass and the two guitars arrange notes in constantly engaging patters, with the effect pedals on the guitars also being brought to good use: At one point the sound might be completely bare, making it even more impressive to see how tightly the band plays those complex note patterns, and then suddenly it echoes with delay to set the immersive soundscape fans will know from the group's two albums.

Compared to the show seen at Pumpehuset's Byhave not too long ago, it's a pleasure to hear the band in a confined space with an appropriate sound system, with the songs enveloping the listener properly, and with the full, crispy sound of rustling guitar always at the edge of earfall, scratching the itch in your soul like live rock always should. Frontman Martin Sahlertz, on vocals and guitar, is his usual active and extroverted self, displaying effortlessly how a few well-chosen words can go a long way towards bridging any gap between artist and audience. His vocals have a peculiar style, like he has a medium-high voice but chooses to keep his notes mostly round, low and airy, but the melodies he sings are catchy nonetheless. His voice does get more rough around the edges, as do the harmonies, as the show goes on, which seems like a part of them responding to a rather modest audience attendance by almost playing angry, although you'd be keen to spot any traces of it under the friendly smiles between songs.

With the audience barely reaching thirty in number you could wonder if it wouldn't have been graceful of Fathers Outcome's friends to also support the headlining band, but really, with Annasaid turning in another admirable performance, they involuntarily become an example of how you can do everything right in terms of artistry and performance, yet your shows still risk feeling lacklustre overall, if you don't also either get someone to do clever promotion for you, or make the effort to do some yourself. Simply announcing and playing a show in Copenhagen is consistently proving to be less than enough, with the selection of events and the attention span of the Copenhageners being the way they are. So is it a good show? It's pretty awesome actually, a joy to see and listen to. But why aren't we a full floor of people dancing? Who makes that happen? The music alone seems increasingly like a naive answer in today's live scene.

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