Ulige Numre

support My Bubba + Razika
author HES date 26/10/13 venue Store Vega, Copenhagen, DEN

So, Danish venue Vega has gotten a bad habit: I arrive at 19.50 for the show scheduled to start at 20.00 but an act is already on stage. Mildly flustered I double check that I am at the right stage out of the two that make up Vega. But I am at the right place and I just missed the first couple of songs of the pre-warm up act My Bubba. Shucks.

Full galleries of all 3 bands available at philipbh.com

My Bubba

On stage are three very sweet Icelandic girls - one with a guitar, one with a massive contra bass and one by the mic in the middle. The tones coming from the stage are pleasant to say the least. On their bandcamp they describe their tunes as "lullabies from the countryside" which is very befitting for their jazzy-sleek indie tone with an accent of country. Leadsinger My’s voice is warm and welcoming, rusty but smooth. The soundscape is minimalistic but still serves to fill the room. The room is not crowded at all. Due to the aforementioned circumstances people didn't expect the show to start this early.

But the girls are placed at the very front of the stage, close enough for the audience that did show up early to form a little bubble of intimacy that automatically shushes up the latecomers such as myself and I join them. The set includes both original songs and a covers of Bob Dylan’s “You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go” and Marvin Gaye’s “Sexual Healing”. One acapella song “From The LA Times” has its own choreographed clapping rhythm including the girls snapping and slapping various body parts including both pairs of cheeks. Overall the set has a very non-pretentious aura in spite of the slow, artsy sound and I am genuinely sad I didn't catch all of it.


Razika

So I guess this is where the disclaimer goes that I am part Norwegian and prone to love everything Norway - and that is where the next band is from, more precisely Bergen in the Western coast of Norway. The band consists of 4 girls and they play punk rock with a twist of both garage and ska. Tonight they brought additional support in the form of a trombone and a trumpet.

It doesn't take these girls more than the first five seconds to tell the crowd they mean business. In contrast to the preceding My Bubba, their music is laden with energy and is also quite drum-heavy. The first song, "Verdens Beste By", is driven forward by Embla Karidotter's masterful rolling drums - waking everyone in the still gathering crowd up as well as getting the people in the adjoining rooms to peek their heads in to see what all the ruckus was. On the next song, "På Tide", the aforementioned horns join in and leadguitarist Maria Råkil takes a lead on the vocals as well. Leadsinger Marie Amdam only just gets to announce the next song "Gang På Gang" before a malfunction on guitarist Råkil setup makes the guitar fall completely out. A bit freaked out, leadsinger Amdam frantically asks "What do we do?" to the crowd's amusement. Which again shows these girls are not bothered with keeping up appearances - they're here to play music. As the problem is fixed she uses the time to chitchat to the audience. All in all I've seen a lot of things go awry on a stage and this is actually a very genuine but masterful handle of the situation. The guitar is back up and the song continues with Amdam shouting: "rock and roll!".

Next song is the endearing "Vondt i Hjertet" which is written in a playful Lily Allen-esque tone. Amdam masters the several falsetto-parts in an A+ worthy manor. At this point of the show, people are getting enough into it to bust a move - or for the less physical ones; a smile. The energy and joy we're receiving from Razika is crazily infectious with its perfect blend of ska danceability and punk tempo. On one song drummer Embla Karidotter even takes the first verse still keeping full control of the drumset. The room is almost filled up when "Eg Vetsje" weaves in and out of off-beat and on-beat sections that manifest that the party is not ebbing out - au contraire. Whether it's the strong dialect from the Western Coast or general acceptance that saves the girls from being offensive as they shoutishly sing about “coming again and again” doesn't really matter. Most importantly, they are not trying to be delicate flowers and that works to their advantage. They may look innocent but they do sing about getting drunk, being jealous and having sex. I am quite frankly in love with it. - The crowd luckily seems to be so as well. Razika rounds up the show with "Oslo" to a massive applause having successfully given the main act, Ulige Numre, something to live up to.


Ulige Numre

As the guys come on stage, there’s this electric smile on their faces. Even though this band released their first EP already in 2010 they still seem to have that honeymoon-glow upon their young faces. This is the band’s first real Denmark-tour as far as I understand. They started in Århus and have now come full circle with their last show of the tour in Copenhagen. The band originally gained publicity around the release of “København” in 2011. The song became the anthem of Copenhagen anno 2011 and there’s no reason for questioning the band's love for the city that they are now about to play in. All of these parameters make for one hell of a concert tonight in Vega.

“Ingen Vinder” makes for a great start of the show, followed by “Skrive Dit Navn I Sne” accompanied by horns in the form of a trombone and a trumpet. In general, the band seems to be full of excess energy and happiness - weaving in a bit of guitar smooching into breaks and eye contact with the crowd. “Lille Smule” blows us away with Depeche Mode’s Personal Jesus-esque synths and The Cure-ish storytelling - even though Ulige Numre is, above all, Danish with a capital “D”, reminiscent of everything from Klondyke to Kim Larsen. The relationship between leadsinger Carl Emil Petersen and tour-guitarist Lasse Ziegler is very powerful - almost call-and-response’ish which makes for a great dynamic as well as just a pleasure to watch. The set in many ways lead up to a emotional peak in the form of “Så Let” with its own beautiful light-set and choir-arrangements. To get the energy back, leadsinger Carl Emil Petersen makes the crowd take a couple of steps forward and lift their arms up in the air. The crowd will repeat this gesture onwards as a sign of appreciation.

The set in general is marked by two things apart from the album; first off, the set is way synth-heavier than the records - but this is definitely a plus. Instead of upping the ante on distortion or tempo, this is a great way of making the live-impact a bit more colourful. The second being an incredible use of horns through-out the set provided by Morten Jessen and Daniel Bonde. I must also confess to underestimating the abilities of vocalist Carl Emil Petersen. His style is very naive and un-polished and I expected this to be because of a lack of technique - but his pitch and voicings are beyond professional even though his voice becomes a bit worn out through the show. I’ll excuse it with his enthusiasm and stagemanship that makes up for this in tenfolds. Endearingly he also blushes every time he gets eye-contact with the sea of young girls in front of the stage.

The set finishes with a three-stage rocket in the form of the beautiful “Blå”, “Åbenlyse Grunde” and “Sølvvognen”. A bit embarrassed to have to go through the whole encore-charade, the guys leave the stage to the sound of a sampled guitar only to return shortly for an encore in the shape of their love for this city. They explain just before the encore how “it’s been a long tour in Jutland - not that there’s anything wrong with Jutland, but it’s better to be home”. The encore consists of “Usynlig Tråd”, the P3-version of the national anthem “Dansk Vejr” and finally, what the entire crowd has been waiting for: “København”, ending up in a crescendo of horns and distortion and Copenhagen responds with cascades of applause for our returning heroes.

Setlist:

  • Ingen Vinder
  • Skrive Dit Navn i Sne
  • Lille Smule
  • Højeste Huse
  • Hvert Slag
  • Så Let
  • Plastikdrøm
  • Silhouet
  • Blå
  • Åbenlyse Grunde
  • Sølvvognen

Encore:

  • Unsynlig Tråd
  • Dansk Vejr
  • København

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