Moving Mountains

support The Beardy Durfs
author AP date 14/06/12 venue KB18, Copenhagen, DEN

My apologies for the tardiness of this gig review; Copenhell and the mandatory recovery have prevented me from getting it to you earlier. Anyhow, it reveals my critical observations of Moving Mountains, a criminally underrated and evidently very hipster (since there are all of 25 people at KB18 to see them) ensemble of musicians practicing in the post-hardcore and progressive rock domain, as well as the evening's local support choice the Beardy Durfs. Originally it was intended that Eglisé would grace us with their presence and sludgy hardcore as well, but given their drummer's sudden illness, they were not able to show up.

The Beardy Durfs

With modified pedals, homemade amplifiers, damaged guitars and drums originating from the DDR, the Copenhagen based Beardy Durfs pretty much epitomize the term garage rock. Although the band comprises only two members - a guitarist and drummer - the amount of noise generated by them is at times as difficult to comprehend as the stylistic direction which they are hoping to pursue, with songs ranging from fuzzy garage rock à la the White Stripes, through fast-paced punk in the vein of Ramones, to cacophonic noise much like My Bloody Valentine. As such, the performance that unfolds before our eyes is both baffling and exhilirating: immense explosions of bass, originating in part from an old electric guitar duck-taped to the drummer's bass drum, intertwine seamlessly with the guitarist's urgent string punishment and bewildering expression to ensure that while the Beardy Durfs are hardly the most accessible of bands, with a little patience and attention to detail their show has the capacity to turn out quite intriguing. I wouldn't go so far as to claim that theirs is a show worth praising to the skies, but considering the limitations imposed on them by featuring just two members the end result is extremely entertaining.

Moving Mountains

When Moving Mountains take the stage, the number of musicians doubles in comparison to the Beardy Durfs, which enables them to have a much more energetic and visually interesting presence. When more people failed to show up in the break between the two bands, I must admit I had some concerns for how motivated Moving Mountains would be considering the distance they had traveled to play for us tonight, but as soon as "My Life is Like a Chase Dream" winds to its ending, such worries are quickly and permanently swept aside. Moving Mountains are positively happy to be able to share their music with us, a select few diehard fans and devout concert goers from Copenhagen and, it seems, Malmö, and they aren't shy to tell us so, let alone show us so.

For those unacquainted with the band: theirs is the sort of music also played by City of Ships, Sights & Sounds and, to some extent, Thrice. What that basically translates to is a rich and textured, often epic soundscape with plenty of lulls and crescendos, and vocals alternating between fierce screaming and powerful strained singing. It's an ambitious formula, and one which does not always live up to its potential in the live setting, but here, in the empty hall-like confines of KB18, the music actually soars into colossal dimensions. It is of course a bonus for the band that what little audience they have seems genuinely stoked to be watching them, and so even though the conditions are subpar to say the least, Moving Mountains play a set that is neither too short nor too long to a tightly knit cluster of people with charisma and enthusiasm. There isn't too much chatter in between; instead, songs like the brilliant "Lights & Shapes" and "With One's Heart in One's Mouth" speak for themselves, and provide a fine warm-up to the weekend's Copenhell and Joie De Vivre shenanigans.

Setlist:

  • My Life is Like a Chase Dream
  • Where Two Bodies Lie
  • Lights & Shapes
  • The Cascade
  • Tired Tiger
  • Always Only for Me
  • Alleviate
  • Armslength
  • Ode We Will Bury Ourselves
  • Cover The Roots, Lower The Stems
  • With One's Heart in One's Mouth

Photos copyright of Rasmus Ejlersen

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