The Tallest Man On Earth
Run The Jewels
Not too much has changed in the few months since we last saw Kate Tempest — most notable is her swapping her second drummer for a back-up singer. Not a bad change, as the singer in question not only adds strength to the sung portions of Tempest’s songs, but also ups the energy on stage by dancing a way that shows more form than Tempest’s long, bobbing strides across the stage.
As for Tempest herself, when we saw her at Lille Vega, we had the sneaking suspicion that she was an artist suited to festivals. It’s nice to be right about these things. Her set is more tailored to the atmosphere, keeping the spoken word elements limited to the bridge of “The Truth” and set closer “Hold Your Own,” which was received with the same spirit as in a tiny club. And it was really nice to see a broad smile across her face during most of the set; she seemed to really be in her element, and the crowd could not be more enthusiastic.
But you have to wonder how closely people were listening to her words; the irony of the two men next to use stripping naked from the waist down during “Bad Place for a Good Time” didn’t go unnoticed.
Run the Jewels made their live debut at Roskilde in 2012. When El-P generously proclaims, “Roskilde is the home of Run the Jewels,” it sets off a packed audience that didn’t need an excuse to be set off. They probably would have managed this without actually inciting the crowd, as the call and response of “everybody’s doing it” in the chorus of “Lie, Cheat, Steal” proved. It was also far more authentic than the constant demand that the audience chant “RTJ,” but Run the Jewels also occupy that rare space of popularity and cool that translates into un-self-conscious fun.
This joy for the sake of joy carries throughout Arena. While El-P runs in circles like a hyperactive dog, and Killer Mike dominates with his presence alone, the teaming crowd is flinging plastic cups of water — helpfully handed out by audience support staff who are just trying to prevent dance floor dehydration syndrome — into the air. In the midday heat it would have been refreshing, but it’s past 21:00 now. If things didn’t wrap up shortly after the one hour mark, we might have caught a cold.
Roskilde 2015 is gearing up, and as half of the population of Copenhagen migrates towards the festival grounds, it’s time for us to share the acts we are most enthusiastically anticipating.
18:00 – Communions (Pavilion)
19:00 – Bob Hund (Avalon)
19:15 – Ratking (Apollo)
23:00 – The War On Drugs (Arena)
17:00 – Father John Misty (Avalon)
18:00 – St Vincent (Arena)
20:00 – Perfume Genius (Pavilion)
23:00 – Pharmakon (Gloria)
00:00 – Ought (Pavilion)
02:00 – Fat White Family (Pavilion)
16:00 – The Tallest Man On Earth (Arena)
18:00 – Kate Tempest (Apollo)
19:30 – Kendrick Lamar (Orange)
20:00 – Einstürzende Neubauten (Avalon)
21:00 – Run The Jewels (Arena)
22:30 – Disclosure (Orange)
15:00 – Girl Band (Pavilion)
17:00 – Joanna Gruesome (Pavilion)
20:30 – Chelsea Wolfe (Gloria)
22:30 – Deafheaven (Pavilion)
23.00 – Africa Express (Arena)
00:00 – Myrkur (Pavilion)
Photos by Morten Aagaard Krogh (mortenkrogh.com)
It’s a strange mix of emotions that come out of Kate Tempest’s show. Most of her set at Lille Vega is taken from her Mercury Prize-nominated album, Everybody Down, which tells the story of disaffected working class youth trying and failing to make a better life for themselves. It doesn’t sound like fodder for an uplifting evening, but that sense of encouragement is precisely the feeling you walk away with after her show.
Tempest opened her set with “Marshall Law,” performing the first verse as spoken word to a silent room before bringing in her band of two drummers and a synth player.
Having the live band instead of a majority of programming hugely contributes to the energy, with Tempest playing off of the other performers and, early in the evening, grabbing one drummer in a huge hug at the end of a song. But watching the interplay of the backing band on songs like “Good Place for a Bad Time” make you appreciate that the majority of her beats are live.
These are the details you can only really notice when Tempest herself isn’t at the mic. She’s engaging and difficult to look away from. Her rap of “Chicken” is at about double the speed of the album version, and the audience is almost unable to process her skill.
So when Tempest ends the night talking about the need for empathy, for the power of pursuing your dreams, there’s something youthful and infectious in this idealism. But she’s old enough and has been through enough for us all to believe that maybe, just maybe, she knows what she’s talking about.
We have updated our “Here Today Concerts” playlist.
The Twilight Sad has just released their fourth studio album, Nobody Wants to Be Here and Nobody Wants to Leave, to raving reviews. Drowned In Sound wrote: “The Twilight Sad gave birth to one of the greatest British debut albums in living memory. That was in 2007 and just seven years later they’ve given us an indication that they could attain greatness on a par with MBV or The Jesus and Mary Chain. Hell, carry on like this and we’ll be comparing them with The Cure.” Sounds like a band you want to hear, right?
Wearing earplugs to an Eyehategod show is as effective as wearing a bulletproof vest to a catapult festival. As veteran purveyors of sludge metal, the New Orleans outfit grind out blood-encrusted songs that fall on the exploding end of the noise spectrum. Their music is the sound gravity makes with a limitless supply of anvils and anchors, the spectacle of which will be well worth the price of admission.
The obvious reference point to Kate Tempest debut album Everybody Down is the Streets’ second album, A Grand Don’t Come for Free. It is a conceptual album that tells the story of three characters battling loneliness in the big city, with each song representing a new chapter; a rather ambitious undertaking which the young Londoner gets away with quite well.
Calexico specializes in music of the soul by sunset, a style and attitude inherent to the group’s home in the Mexican-American borderlands of Tucson, Arizona. Combining the warm acoustic arrangements of country and the brassy orchestration of Mexican folk music, they can get big and loud without being unwelcoming. Their forthcoming album Edge of the Sun is set to release on April 14, the day of their show at Amager Bio. If ever there were a time and a place…
Psychedelic New-Yorkers White Hills haven’t released much material in the last couple of years, but that hasn’t kept them out of the lime-light. An appearance on Only Lovers Left Alive–a scene in which the vampiric Tilda Swinton, Tom Hiddelston and Mia Wasikowska gloomily headbang to the band in a Detroit club–has cemented their reputation as purveyors of far out cool. Loppen is certainly an appropriate venue for a band with the Jim Jarmusch seal of approval.
Having listened to Ruins, Liz Harris’ latest album as ambient act Grouper, it’s difficult to picture exactly what kind of performance she will put on at Jazzhouse. How do you haunt a stage the way that album haunts the mind? Undoubtedly with the aid of smoke and mirrors. Even if all that means is a bit of dry ice and some mood lighting, the aural component is smoke you can’t blow out, a mirror you can’t turn away from.
If the East Coast psychedelia of White Hills isn’t enough for one month, Moon Duo are coming to Copenhagen to represent the West Coast. On the back of their latest critically-acclaimed album, Shadow of the Sun, the Duo will be kraut-rocking through Europe, leaving behind them a trail of burned rubber and broken speakers.
Stetson’s New History of Warfare trilogy, recently completed, has gone a long way in redefining the capabilities of the saxophone. Thanks to circular breathing techniques and microphones inserted in strange places, Colin Stetson has turned the usually jaunty sax into an instrument of bleak and violent landscapes. Eerie pulsations and terrifying screeches are the order of the day, and we look forward to experiencing them in Lynchian environment of Jazzhouse.
Actually there is only one female in the New Jersey Punk outfit Screaming Females, Marissa Paternoster. Even though she is tiny, she fills the stage in a way that stops the question “why are they called that then?” popping into your head. Her powerful vibrato and brutal guitar work is hard to match. Their 2012 album Ugly was recorded with Steve Albini and gained praise with publications such as Pitchfork. On their new album Rose Mountain the band explores new territory which results in a more refined sound which holds great promise for the future.