Larica

support Bendix + Sucio Sueño
author PP date 12/03/16 venue Bolsjefabrikken, Copenhagen, DEN

Over the past few months, Copenhagen-based Balkan/swing orchestra Larica have played a number of farewell shows that each were, at least for the undersigned, understood as their last ever gigs. It turns out they had one more festive appearance hidden up their sleeve, a free goodbye show at the DIY venue Bolsjefabrikken, which certainly wins the prize for being the most ghetto venue Copenhagen has to offer. Basically equivalent to a squat, the murky interiors are found opposite the graffiti-painted walls of Mayhem, and the place and location, in general, come across as re-living the Ungdomshuset glory days from the 90s. With space for at least a few hundred concertgoers, the factory-style hall is the perfect venue for punk culture to thrive in a truly underground setting, which is also reflected in the venue's cash-only policy at the bar and an extremely cheap beverage offering overall.

Unfortunately, due to other obligations, we only had time to quickly hop in and hop out of the venue for the duration of Larica's set, so there are no reviews of the support bands, but in retrospect the Balkan techno of Bendix nor the Latin-inspired soul of Sucio Sueño would've felt particularly relevant for our readers anyway.

Larica

Larica

Tonight, the place has been decorated particularly for Larica's farewell show. Two giant white sheets have been hung up on both sides of the venue, functioning as screens for some extremely cool visualizations that we'll talk about in a minute. On stage, the band look just about ready to go, and the crowd - by a rough estimate counting between 200 and 300 people - is packed close to the stage. Unsurprisingly, the moment the band kick off with "Det Kaotiske Orkester" highlight "Copyleft", a leftist ska/swing/punk track that's pro-piracy, the venue erupts into a dance fest that doesn't cease until the end of the set. The saxophonists are adding swing to the music, the singer is dancing characteristically, and there are surprisingly many sing-alongs throughout the concert. "Jihad", for instance, sees a huge response to its antisemitism passages, and many other "Det Kaotiske Orkester" tracks have audience chanting along in an energizing fashion.

Larica

In the meantime, the white sheets I mentioned earlier aren't just used for projecting Larica's logo on them, as we find out shortly after their set begins. What starts as pictures and other visualizations quickly transforms into live video filmed from behind the crowd, projected through all sorts of filters ranging from negative to posterized to standard video. Seeing the packed crowd dancing live on screen just adds to the cozy and chilled out vibe that surrounds the venue in the first place.

"Please welcome Claes on trumpet", vocalist Kristian Nielsen proclaims, before another set of tight, trumpet-driven party songs are aired. At this point, we're primarily hearing songs off "Det Kaotiske Orkester", and rightly so, given that the record is Larica's best work to date. A few oldies make it into the one-hour set, of course, but tonight it's as clear as ever what the audience favorites are. There's a massive amount of people dancing and the venue is encompassed in a crazed party atmosphere of ecstatic positivity.

Larica

Nielsen throws gasoline on the fire by shouting "I've never tried crowd surfing, but I'd like to try it for this one". The crowd roars, and in no time he is flying above our hands, making a long run towards the mixer desk before being thrown back on stage. Next up, the "Ta' det af!" call/response parts of "Sved Og Champagne" are recited by the crowd in a thunderous fashion, resulting in the sort of back-chilling crowd dynamic you only see at the very best shows out there. That's about as good of a time for encore as any, so the band exit the stage but return quickly with their classic "Det Kaotiske Orkester" and its "Vi sætter ild til byens fester" ("We light the parties of the city on fire") sections. That's been their trademark for years as the band have charmed crowds across Copenhagen venues through their unique mix of punk, balkan folk music, swing, and ska, but tonight that statement is truer than ever before: hundreds of people partying and dancing their hearts out, producing an awesome farewell party for a band that will surely be missed in the underground music scene.

Photos by: Lasse Bartholin - http://lassebartholin.com

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