Whores & Thieves

support Gonzo Morales + The Wave Of Stone
author TAJ date 17/11/12 venue Pumpehuset, Copenhagen, DEN

Tonight is upcoming Danish rock'n'rollers Whores & Thieves’ first live show after their recent debut album was released and I am quite stoked to hear the new material outside of my speakers. Futhermore support Gonzo Morales have also been on a lot of people’s lips lately for winning the best rock prize at UMA (Underground Music Awards). When arriving at Pumpehuset I see to no surprise it's the smaller stage in the lower part of the venue which is lined up for later.

The Wave Of Stone

The Wave of Stone

When opening act The Wave of Stone enter the stage and starts playing, only around two dozen of people have showed up so far. Clearly the majority of this humble number is not familiar with the band and likely expects something similar to Whores & Thieves in terms of to sound. But as the first string is strummed The Wave of Stone quickly get into some swift paced rock'n'roll with some added energetic moves from the front man. Fortunately for them the unexpected speed of their song catches the crowd’s attention and by the end of the first song a few nodding heads are to be spotted amongst the crowd.

The following numbers played consist of fast parts (compared to the two other acts for tonight) alongside heavier sounding parts mixed in as well. This seems to be the formula for almost the rest of the 25 minute lasting set.

Once in a while some short guitar solo sneaks it's way in too and everything sounds quite tightly played though sometimes when the singer does not sing loud parts the vocals do seem to get drowned a bit. As the set progresses the movement on stage does almost disappears and the gap between the stage and the crowd remains.

Gonzo Morales

Gonzo Morales

When Gonzo Morales enter the stage the crowd now fills up almost half of the venue and the ring of people standing 3 meters from stage gains in thickness. Gonzo Morales' sound, as opposed to The Wave of Stone, appears to be milder in sound than Whores & Thieves. From first notice this band’s vocalist seems more experienced and hurls strong and clean vocals out, and now the sound is also adjusted to a level where the music does not overwhelm. The light show also has small mix-ups by bright, floor-levelled light spots behind the band which blitz in rhythm to the beat a few times for example. Starting out strongly Gonzo's members do a little more moving around the stage and the front man definitely does his part by doing passionate rock moves during most of the set. This results in more nodding heads, a lot of clapping between songs and even eventually slow dancing to be glanced amongst the watchers. Around halfway through the set slower songs are played with potential good sing along parts, but it appears even though the band won a prize recently at UMA, few tonight share familiarity with the songs and some retreat to darker corners of the room or leave to go outside. It's a shame as the bands plays really well.

Pushing the end of set the tempo steps a bit up again and encouragement between songs from Gonzo Morales’ front man manages to make people close in on the front of the stage during the last two songs. By this time it seems the band manage to raise a festive atmosphere at last.

Whores & Thieves

There’s now a festive atmosphere and a venue filled to almost three quarters of its capacity lined up already as the band members enter the still darkened stage to do last checks on their instruments. When second entrance is being made almost no time is wasted and groovy riffs from “Hollow Drive” fills the many expectant ears. This is undoubtedly what people have been waiting for and the nearest rows around the stage start waving and otherwise set in motion which continues throughout the whole set. Every band member is in motion as well, highlighted by front man Christian Bonde who himself is never to be spotted not moving both himself and his mic stand, except from during slower passages in songs where he seems to be engulfed in the songs and sings with closed eyes etc. The record being recorded in one take and with no alteration and the band having decent experience with live performance already is only clarified by the whole set being performed with almost identical sound and feel as heard on album. Yet this being live it's of course louder and minor traits are more intense. This means that people that have heard the recordings many times favouring small details are not disappointed by a minor detail being different in the live set. Whores & Thieves set does also strike me as more dynamic probably because of the song order, as the up tempo, more heavy and slower songs are spread out over the set maintaining interest amongst the crowd. When announcing only two songs are left to be played “For the Sake of my condition” starts and this is where the atmosphere peaks with both dancing, hands being thrown in the air, a few daring to sing along loudly and even a few cautious air guitar moves break out. Here the band is really well spirited and one might question if the stage planks beneath Christian Bonde has heated as he now moves around so much with both feet rarely on the floor simultaneously.

Whores & Thieves choose to leave no break to soothe the energy that has been build up and proceed with a fine passage into “The Definition of Sin” resulting a requesting shouting for extra songs being played. And after a shorter absence from stage they return exactly to do so, explaining they have no songs left in the bag but sees no shame in playing a good song twice with a confident and happy flicker in the eye. This closes an evening that definitely proves the band’s live potency. Occasionally stepping further back in the room during the set it appeared this otherwise proving performance was not enough to make people standing more than around three to four rows away let loose of themselves and the confirming nods of approval is about the wildest thing going on back here. Only between songs everyone is seen joining in for a common solid clapping which tells even the more reluctant showers of tonight probably did find it a good show.

8

Setlist:

  • 1. Hollow Drive
  • 2. Generation
  • 3. It's Getting Ugly
  • 4. Old Man's War
  • 5. Evelyn
  • 6. When You Undress
  • 7. Staring into the Sun
  • 8. Digging Holes
  • 9. Hordes & Thieves
  • 10. For the Sake of My Condition
  • 11. The Definition of Sin

Photos by Jakob Green.

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