Two Door Cinema Club

support Annasaid
author TL date 06/05/13 venue Amager Bio, Copenhagen, DEN

It's a Monday evening and I find myself hanging out in Amager Bio with a couple of photographers discussing the differences between the 60 and the 70 model of some camera or other, looking out across a venue half-filled with mostly young women, all of us waiting for the Two Door Cinema Club show to begin. And things are pretty much perfect. Or well, almost pretty much perfect: I really like Amager Bio for its physical properties (easy access to drinks, wide stage, sloped floor so everyone can see) but I always feel like I get looks like the staff there want to see me thrown into the harbour with concrete shoes. That could just be me though, so I try to obliterate the feeling - along with my feeling annoyed with the show being scheduled on the same day as the Cold War Kids show, that I wanted to see equally much - with a pint of beer before the lights dim and domestic support act Annasaid are up.

All pictures courtesy of Thomas Dyregaard


As with many Danish bands, I've seen Annasaid's name around a lot without ever getting around to listening to them. The wisdom in this non-familiarity is one I very quickly start questioning as the quartet open their set with growing feedback and drums, changing the tempo abruptly to up their energy twice, before they're suddenly twisting and turning while squeezing spidery math-rocky note-patterns out of their guitars. It's a WOW-type of escalation that instantly fixes everyone's eyes on lead singer/guitarist Martin Sahlertz, who ups the ante by slinging his guitar on his back at the first given opportunity and gesticulating wildly like he expects nothing less than immediate response, to hell with the fact that Annasaid are only the support band. And I don't blame him one bit, although his actual vocal work borders on being off tune - A fact he is seemingly aware of, motioning towards the sound desk to get more mic in his monitor.

Sadly, his gestures are seemingly ignored, because his singing keeps sounding a bit off throughout the band's performance, but then on the upside it is the only thing that does so. Wasting no time, Sahlertz seemingly accepts the hindrance for what it is, and instead returns his attention to bouncing about the stage along with his band mates, delivering devilishly contagious melodies and highly danceable rhythms like "Antidotes"-era Foals on amphetamine. Meanwhile, Amager Bio is gradually filling out its capacity with guests that are almost instantly captivated by the high octane show on stage, meaning that by the time Annasaid depart, loads of people have warmed up their clapping hands, busted their first dance moves and widened their smiles to an extent I wouldn't have expected at all. If the vocals had only been more convincing, this would've been amazing, but even lacking that, I still make a mental note of Annasaid as a band I don't want to miss in the future.

Two Door Cinema Club

After the the usual half hour changeover, the main act is up, and if I had worried in advance about the band's presence in Denmark, I clearly had no need, because their occasional airplay on national radio seems to have done the trick and Amager Bio is packed with hip looking young people waiting to greet the trio (turned quartet on tour) from Northern Ireland. If any problems with the monitors persist, singer/guitarist/keyboardist Alex Trimble is clearly less hindered by them than his colleague in Annasaid, immediately dishing out the elegant vocal work fans know from the band's records, and really set-opener "Sleep Alone" is just a staple of the machinistic tightness that is to come. The band is extremely tight and relatively energetic, and much to my delight, their often feverish beats (see especially older songs like "Cigarettes In The Theatre" and "I Can Talk") are not lost on a Copenhagen audience that has clearly come to get off their feet and sing along.

The show then, would be heading in all the right directions for me as well, if it wasn't for a scepticism that starts growing in me as more and more songs come off the 80 minute setlist the band has drawn up for us. Something about the mix is bothering me, like Trimble's vocals are somehow distorted, sounding like they're coming from slightly far away, and hence hindering some of the immediacy and delicacy they carry on record. Furthermore, the band's energy - which I'm sure many here perceive as "eager to play-type energy", I can't help but to see as "eager to get through the songs as quick as possible-type energy", a feeling that's only fortified when noticing that Trimble says all the right things between songs, yet only really the bare minimum of what you can expect from a seasoned band like his.

With a few pints in the blood and with hearts seemingly set on dancing, I'm betting the crowd at large is not picking up what I'm picking up though, which means that between the activity on the floor, the decent sound and the active and polite band, this is actually a decent enough show. I can be a nitpicker though, and tonight I am consistently bothered by how Two Door Cinema Club fail to 'play the pauses'. Everything progresses smoothly and according to plan, in the suspicious sense that all the moves feel practised and that we aren't getting any looks behind the band's facade. Not once does Trimble pause to make an utterance that would in any way reveal that this night is one he can distinguish from the last one, and not once does he waste time talking about a song or an experience like he'd actually like to connect with his audience over it.

It could be a case of "let's not waste time, rather let the music talk", but I honestly think it's more of a case of "just another day at the office", with the show moving to a close in a relatively uneventful fashion, and with little musical variety on display throughout (a song like "Sun" being a rare exception). Credit hence belongs more with an audience that was wonderfully willing to embrace a band, whose often frantic pace could likely cost some mainstream listeners their breath and cool, with a large percentage dancing and singing along like the show was much more unique and vivid than I end up thinking it was.


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