North Fall

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author HES date 21/04/16 venue Huset, Copenhagen, DEN

I randomly ran into some of the members of North Fall in a bar a couple of months ago. The bassist and I were introduced by friends and somehow the release of their album came up. I noted it down in my calendar out of politeness as you do. But as I went home from the bar that night I decided to put on a few tracks from the band’s former album - finding it to my liking and this is basically the story of how I ended up at the release party for their album "Tie The Ends Tying Me". However, this isn’t your normal album release party, as it is a part of a new series of concerts arranged by Huset and the agency Wonderwhy called "Inspired By", inviting upcoming artists to play sets that are also including the music of their inspiration. North Fall’s Anders Belling has chosen Bright Eyes for the evening.

All photos courtesy of Philip BH

North Fall

The band has decided to pretty much use this opportunity to play through all of the songs of the newly released album, also in the same order it seems. The first track "Hovin" is a lot like the version on the album, only including Belling himself on guitar, Mads Rosenkrands Jepsen on bass and Lasse Eskildsen on an additional guitar. But already as we reach the second track of the album "Calligraphy" it is clear, that the raw sound of live equipment is very suiting for the otherwise very well-mixed, well-adjusted and controlled tracks of the album. Especially Mads Færch’s drum work has more space in the live setting, making the sound more edgy and rhythmic - at some points even explosive. Unfortunately, the sound tonight is a long way from perfect, especially Bellings vocals are the victims of this as the microphone both feeds regularly and distorts on the higher notes.

North Fall

Through the first 3-4 songs the band has arranged fluid transitions between tracks, leaving very little space for the audience to even give applause. The interaction with the audience, in general, is kept at a minimum and the audience seems timid as well as they form the characteristic half-circle about a meter and a half from the stage. However, as Belling actually decides to interact with his audience, it is with great success: It is clear that Belling is an awkward performer, but this awkwardness turns out to be absolutely endearing as his way of interacting with his audience, actually makes you wish for him to sometimes brave filling out the empty silence with words instead of carefully controlled transitions of ambient noise.

Halfway through the set it is time for the "Inspired By" feature of the night, as the band has been bid to play a couple of songs by their inspiration. It is at this point that Belling also decides to go all in on the audience interaction. The rendition of both "Easy/Lucky/Free" and "Train Under Water" are great, especially on the last track where the synth by Jón Eliassen provides us with some super sweet locomotive sounding tunes, and lastly, Belling does a believable rendition of Bright Eyes only ever "hit" "First Day Of My Life".

North Fall

The set continues on into the exploration of the newly released LP with the songs from the end of the track list, here especially "Teeth" and "To An Ice Age" make an impression. The set ends in an encore consisting of an older track, awkwardly requested by the host from Wonderwhy, tying an awkward knot on an awkward night, however, that is not necessarily a bad quality. It is clear that most of the band members are very controlling about the expression, sometimes leaving them a little detached from their audience as they plug in different pedals and turn different buttons. If I’d have to give one piece of advice it would be to maybe let their hair down a little and possibly interact a little more with their audience. Otherwise the night gives an impression of a talented band that creates euphonious acoustic images.

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