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author TL date 10/04/14 venue KB18, Copenhagen, DEN

At this point in time, I feel like Copenhagen has a healthy offering of good concert venues, each of which has its own share of pros and cons, yet most of which offer various kinds of good times. The refurbished KB18 is a venue that has my respect particularly for their willingness to occasionally take a complete flyer on a band that has diminishing commercial viability, simply because the ownership likes them and wants to hook them up - Consequentially allowing me to see bands like Twin Atlantic and Moving Mountains play to only a faithful few in the same raw surroundings that have also been packed for bands like Against Me and Scarred By Beauty.

All pictures courtesy of Noise Of Living Photography


Hence I find myself rushing from work to the venue for a band I honestly never thought I'd see on these longitudes, namely the former Moving Mountains side-project Caravela, who's come over in an amputated acoustic version featuring only the main brothers Stephen and Frank Graniero. Their second album is done, they explain - as an audience of ten friends settle into a couch facing the pair and the mic stands that have been put up in a corner of KB18's bar area for them - and with the record done and nothing to do while it gets mixed and mastered, the brothers just decided to pass the time by travelling Europe and playing acoustic shows (this one even for free) wherever possible.

With the place literally deserted save for the ten guests, two employees and Caravela themselves, you'd think things would be a bit awkward, but there's just the right mix of beers, candles, whiskey on the rocks and pair of comfortable performers who exorcize any tension with short between-song remarks from their band life. The brothers pluck their acoustic guitars expertly, making sure they're carefully tuned between songs, and hence sound perfectly proficient in the acoustic reimaginings of songs both old and unreleased. If memory serves, "Royal" and "Normandy" represent the band's debut album "Coat Of Arms" in between songs from the upcoming album that the duo promises to put out with a stronger promo push later this year.

It's a short set, characterised mainly by Frank's recognisable, dramatic vocal tone, which he delivers excitedly, rocking back and forth on his tippy-toes while Stephen backs him up with the odd harmony here and there. My friend whispers to me that Frank could do with enunciating his words a bit more clearly, especially when playing abroad, while I note that if it wasn't for his particular tone, Caravela would probably sound closer to their emo peers than they do. The band makes it through a fitting six or seven songs before calling it a day, declining my request to hear the title track from "Coat Of Arms" with the explanation that it's the song that works the worst in its acoustic version. A shame in my book of course, since I consider its opening a highlight of the band's, but it matters little on an extremely low-key evening that has all the feels of an intimate house show, and which quickly develops into a late Thursday beer-hangout where the border between audience and band all but vanishes after the Graniero brothers lay down their guitars and join our table. Hardly the most exhilarating experience of course, but also a much better night than any numbers on a bottom line can probably indicate, and one which would only have benefitted if more people had come and hung out.

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