Far Away From Fiji

support The Divers
author HES date 21/02/13 venue Ideal Bar, Copenhagen, DEN

I arrive at Vega’s Ideal Bar around half an hour before the show is about to start. The place is not even half-full. I must admit that I fear for the band. It’s their release and for these kind of shows you can usually expect the support of family and friends. So I sit down and have myself the free beer that came with the ticket (nice touch, boys). 5 minutes before the show is about to start a minor tsunami of people enter Ideal Bar – and I think to myself that “now we’re talking”.

Lead singer Benjamin Kongsted

The Divers

The crowd may be finally there, but they seem a bit timid to start with. Frontman/lead singer Benjamin Kongsted, with his excentric appearance, get’s them involved as well as one can – but people still stand 1½ meters from the stage for the first couple of numbers. I have never heard of The Divers before the concert and I have no time to check them out pre-show, but once Kongsted takes command of the stage I regret not having listened to them. Less than a year old, this is actually the band’s first gig – ever. Kongsted is a regular in the Danish music scene, being a DJ of many years at Vega. This luckily lends him a lot of showmanship skills through-out the show.

The sound of this band is very surprising to me – reminiscent of late 70’s/early 80’s synth-rock. Kongsted’s voice is low and spoken-word-ish, chanting, almost in the style of David Bowie but accompanied by waves and waves of beautiful, ambient synth. In general the sound is very good today and you can almost feel Vega's dedication to making this a good experience for the band.

The tones of the song “Time Drives” remind me a bit of Top Gun love-making soundtrack “Take My Breath Away”. But the main sound is definitely inspired by something along the lines of Simple Minds – maybe even Depeche Mode. It’s an updated version of the era but also very much the same. The Divers are not the biggest name of the poster, but they end up being the main topic of conversations afterwards – with people trying to pinpoint their sound/era/inspiration. My feeling is that the band gained their first true fans tonight.

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Lead singer Rasmus Zedlitz

Far Away from Fiji

Finally people start stepping up to the stage. I shoulder my way to the front. A projection of soft and light childhood-style recording of children playing in a garden is lighting up the stage as frontman Rasmus Zedlitz sings the first lines of “Hesitate”. The band has ventured into the whole wave of analogue recording and different distort/echo-effects to achieve their very beautiful nostalgic sound. The crowd is quiet but attentive. We almost sway to the tones and dose off into oblivion.

Zedlitz has a quite deep, but boyish voice. His lines are playful but melancholic and the band plays as a well-oiled machine on stage. Lights and sound reach a higher level at this show than most – it’s obvious that drummer Jeppe Kolstrup is a video-artist. But it also feels like the band have tried to cater to the fact that their music is introverted and quiet. Not that this is a bad thing – but it can become a horribly boring show or hard to get into because it’s so personal. This way we feel like we’re there with the band as they play – not just watching. There’s been cared for this, and that gives the boys extra credit in my book.

Halfway through the show the lead singer of another Danish underground band, Cat Caught Lark joins the guys on stage and adds beautiful falsetto-style backing vocals as the band plays their last couple of songs. Overall the ambient/wave-ish style of their new and previous records translates a whole lot better to a live-setting than I expected and now I’m already excited to see what the future will bring for these guys.

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