29 February 2020 (gig)
02 March 2020
It's always a pleasure coming to see a show at the Barbican. The huge complex lends the guest a feeling of space even in the sold out main auditorium where tonight we gathered for the support act Kristín Anna. An Icelandic vocalist and classically trained multi-instrumentalist she is best known as a former frontwoman of múm and since 2006 a solo act in her own right. All in black and seated at a grand piano her fingers flutter over the keys with all the delicacy of a butterfly in a sunny meadow.
Anna can maneuver from melancholy to ecstasy in a heartbeat and you are never quite sure which direction the music will lead you next. Always delivered with a fragility that demands total silence she was the perfect introduction this evening and closed her set with a song on guitar delivered with the same poignant fashion.
Danish band Efterklang released their fifth studio record 'Altid Sammen' in September 2019 and it was time for London to feel the love. No strangers to the Barbican they return for their forth time and we were expecting huge things. The band fashion musical soundscapes with big ambitions and generally end up hitting the mark.
'Black Summer' from fourth album 'Piramida' gets the ball rolling with some dark pop beats and with the stage bathed in purple light it was a majestic start. As always it's an intense performance and by the time we are offered the first track on the latest album, which for the first time sung in their native Danish, I almost believe I can understand every word. Dressed in a white suit and striding the stage with a quiet confidence lead singer Casper Clausen surveys the respectful crowd with a smile knowing they are all safely in his pocket.
The night ebbs and flows with the joyful 'Dreams Today', 'The Ghost' and 'I Was Playing Drums' making welcome appearances the laters huge melody reverberating in these familiar walls. The sound builds with every detail and before we know it Casper makes his way into the audience for a rendition of 'The Colour Not of Love'.
It's a heartfelt performance from a band that are constantly thinking about the next move and with their mother tongue now etched on an official album I hope it won't be too long before I hear the strains of Danish flowing my way again. A band that consistently deliver on album and in a live setting too. Loved it.