There is nothing less rock and roll than a sit down concert with chairs and tables, light jazz interludes, cocktails and a twenty minute intermission. However, as The New Spring’s music is not particularly rock and roll in the first place, this set up works splendidly. The New Spring, otherwise known as Bastian Kallesøe, put on a concert unlike any other I’ve attended in Copenhagen. A ‘concept concert’ as he described it before starting his concert, the concept being that he would play recently released album Late Bloomer in its entirety, followed by a second set of a whole new, as yet unrecorded new album, A Thousand Songs Fell From The Sky And Clearly It Was A Sign. Though it wasn’t a traditional set-up, the result was the atmospheric and thoughtful environment that Kallesøe had clearly hoped to achieve as a platform for his music.
Armed with only an acoustic Spanish guitar, a pianist and a tuba player, Kallesøe created rich sounds with an overarching sense of calm and purpose. His brand of simple but warm folk music was entirely absorbing, so much so that the candle on my table seemed to flicker and hypnotise in line with the intricate and winding melodies of the guitar strings ahead. Title track ‘Late Bloomer’, like so many of the songs that followed, constantly teetered between comfortable major chords and ones that felt slightly awkward, but this juxtaposition excited the senses. Intensity and poetry pervade Kallesøe’s lyrics, which, in the grand tradition of folk music, are pastoral to their core. Kallesøe’s voice, a sweet and soft sound which whispers, quivers and rings out with confidence even sounds like snow fall as it lands on the guitar and piano lines. The microphone fuzz, whilst usually unwelcome, sounds suitably retro for the artist’s voice, making them a surprisingly good match for one another. However, its this delicacy at the heart of everything that’s performed which makes the music more intriguing and beautiful, even, than the artist’s earlier work.