Baby In Vain

support Molly
author TL date 25/05/16 venue Lille Vega, Copenhagen, DEN

Between the two of them, Baby In Vain and Molly probably have less than two hours worth of material released, yet both are already spoken of frequently as upcoming Danish talent worth keeping an eye on. So much so that Baby In Vain are already playing their first headlining show tonight in a sweltering hot and well-populated Lille Vega, despite having only just released their debut EP "For The Kids" (review here). Both bars are open tonight and the venue is decently filled even ahead of Molly, with the crowd seeming pretty diverse in appearance as if people of many ages and styles have decided to come out and have a live experience of what's currently hip.

Banner photo from Baby In Vain's Facebook by jonasbang.com

Molly

Watching Molly tonight, they are a bit more extrovert than last time we reviewed them, although that is still not a lot. Guitarist Malte Hill manages a smile and thanks us for coming out, seeming appreciative of the fact that there are quite a few people here, likely more than they play for most of the time. But other than that, the most he communicates is when he at one time engages a new effect pedal with a "Haha, I got me one of these now!". Otherwise, Molly just play, and as they do, you wonder who they're playing to. It seems most like in their heads they're back in the rehearsal room, having an awesome time by themselves playing songs they've created that reference punk, alt- and post-punk bands from decades past that most of the audience have probably never heard about.

And the way it looks, you get the feeling that this is a band that should already be whispered about in niche corners of the internet while travelling around and playing to excited interest in local punk scenes everywhere, like some kind of well-kept underground secret. Instead, they're playing to a fairly hip, mainstream looking audience tonight, who clap gratefully yet otherwise witness the show in cautious manner. What they play is fast and ringing with noisy nostalgia-filled chord progressions. Barely concerned with structure, the songs race straight to their refrains and onwards to crashing guitar noise fests, where Hill staggers around stage brandishing his instrument recklessly.

Photo from Molly's Facebook (credit: Oliver Bjerrehuus)

Bassist Tobias Elmsdal stands back calmly in comparison, sporting a small smile while drummer Mathias Sarsgaard manages to look exhausted and effortless at the same time, maintaining fast-paced yet unchanging beats that, even over the course of short songs, manage to become monotonous in a strangely hypnotic way which plays with your senses, confusing them about whether the music actually feels fast or drawn out. When things add up, you can see people around the room nodding, recognising that the band is onto something, but there are also stretches where this is not the case, and especially here you could wonder if it wouldn't be a slight improvement if it was possible to hear a word Hill sings through the noise. It might only have made a small difference considering the noticeable gap between the band's style and an audience like this, but it figures it would at least help Molly take roots with the various punk fans it feels like they should have already have more of a following among.

7

Baby In Vain

Twenty minutes later, the remaining crowd, that had lingered in the adjoining rooms during Molly's set, squeezes into the room as the lights dim. It makes Lille Vega rather packed, to the point where if it was any more full it would be a little bit uncomfortable. Baby In Vain then come on backed with what sounds like a Spanish children's song, sung over the infamous "Popcorn" melody, and while a keen eye might spot a bit of nervousness in their demeanour, they quickly seem a bit more at ease with the situation than Molly, probably due to having already played to a larger audience like this at gigs like the one they played at NorthSide Festival last year.

There's no bass to be seen on stage as drummer Benedicte Pierleoni becomes a lively silhouette behind her elevated kit, and guitarists/singers Lola Hammerich and Andrea Johansen start laying down the riffs. You don't miss it, however, as there seems to be plenty of low end in a song like "Muscles" for instance, which arrives early in the set, and already the young girls' minimalistic, classic heavy metal/stoner rock-inspired riffs are going over well with the audience. Their singing is not great, to be honest, certainly more attitude-filled than tuneful, yet that seems a compromise the guests tonight are satisfied with, and Lola Hammerich, in particular, makes things seem convincing with her sheer energy on stage. She looks like the kind of person who walks around in a daze most of her life, only to live up and feel entirely in the moment when she comes on stage, and as she wails and pulls her guitar around, she exudes the attitude of the band's sneering music quite visually, which gives the set a wholesome sense of authenticity.

Photo from Baby In Vain's Facebook (credit: jonasbang.com)

The young trio somehow stretches their limited material out over a full hour, which is arguably a tiny bit longer than it can bear, as especially the more understated songs that Johansen sings lead on get to dragging on a bit - The exception being the synth-including "The Urge", which somehow fits her singing style much better than her other songs. But the back and forth with the more screechy and rebellious tracks that Hammerich sings lead on makes for a good, frequent change of pace, meaning that boredom is never allowed to take root in the audience. Instead people seem to take the show in like they would any stoner-rock show being played by the long-bearded types you would normally expect to see playing such: People gradually give themselves up to the riffs, to the point where the later end of the set is characterised by grooving and respectfully headbanging shapes dotted all around the venue, with grown men yelling things like "Amazing!" and "One more song!" from all the way back at the bar.

Eventually, the band finishes up the regular set with "Martha's View" and then play their first ever encore, and it feels like most people will leave with a dominating sense of satisfaction. There were areas that could be improved, the singing being one as mentioned, as well as a somewhat awkward attempt at humorous banter along the way. But what Baby In Vain lack in vocal expertise and experience with showmanship, they make up for with the pure sense of excitement they exude on stage, for the music they have created. The pleasure they take in making their noise is plain for all to see, and with that three very young women somehow make a venue full of all types seem like they momentarily share a belief in rock & roll. And that more than anything is the visible indication of the potential that is getting more and more people to notice them.

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