Pumpehuset, Copenhagen, DEN - 21/4
support Fog Lake + DIET
author LF date 07/04/17 venue Ideal Bar, Copenhagen, DEN
Since I discovered the indie/emo band Foxing and their post-rock-induced music through the 2015 album "Dealer", they have remained one of my favorite groups. I wish they had more Danish fans and thus their booking at a place as popular as Vega has made me pretty happy for them as it feels like a stamp of approval and perhaps an opportunity to reach a new group of people. The cosy confines of Vega's Ideal Bar are filled out nicely by the audience tonight without being at full capacity at any point and the show remains very intimate and relaxed throughout the magical evening.
from Foxing's Danish show in 2016
Last time Foxing played in Copenhagen, the local group DIET was also on the bill but in a solo version as the other members were indisposed due to illness. Since then, I've seen them one time as a full band and adding tonight as my third encounter with them, it's a joy to experience the group slowly developing their sound. Their songs have big Springsteenish melodies and are kept rhythmically tight throughout the set. Still, they're also very dreamy and filled with lush keyboards and echoing guitars which we are led through firmly by the clenched singing of their frontman. His lyrics are a poignant mix of sharply sarcastic and cliché-filled lines about memories and unrequited love in a way that feels deliberately self-mocking in a Conor Oberst-like way. Older songs like "1994", "Nico" and "I Contain Multitudes" all present very catchy phrases and guitar work while the brand new "Millenial Me" further builds on their comically brash lyrics with a verse like "It was never meant to be / Me-me-me-me-me / I couldn't see a thing because my head was up my ass". All in all, they play through their half-hour set with a good energy and start the evening off with a relaxed vibe.
Fog Lake is not a group I have encountered before they were announced for this show and thus I have only been checking out their latest record "Dragonchaser" superficially in the past few days. They play a bunch of their lo-fi songs from it tonight though, and I find myself instantly recognizing songs like "Novocaine" and "Side Effects" that I didn't think had gotten stuck in my memory yet. Their set becomes a positive surprise with their casual vocalist at the centre and the setting tonight really suits their very floaty songs and gives them more of a firm structure as they seep into every corner and fill out the room like a soft blanket. As their vocalist tells us, their music is available for free on Bandcamp for those nights when we can't sleep and are bored at 3 A.M. and need something to listen to. Their music has exactly that comforting and soft feel that makes it perfect for just that scenario and when their set ends a bit abruptly after about 30 minutes, I feel like being taken out of a really nice dream and I make a mental note of remembering to bookmark them when I get back home.
The more dedicated parts of the audience have already gathered together closely in front of the stage when the members of Foxing get ready to play. They have not released any new songs since they were last here almost exactly a year ago but they do have a new album in the pipeline and one of the new songs that they are working on features as the very first one of the set on this tour. It kicks off with a nice energy and has the entire band moving pretty much from the beginning, bringing forth excited looks in the eyes of the audience in the front row. A more heavy electronic side reveals itself in this and the other two unreleased songs that show up later in the set. Basically, I believe that I won't ever see a Foxing show that isn't great and my only reservations about tonight are due to one of these new songs featuing an acoustic guitar that pulls the music slightly in a country-like direction that I'm not that into. The unreleased songs are however very well integrated with the songs they play from both "Dealer" and "The Albatross" tonight. One of the great things about this band is exactly that their songs feel so organic when heard live. The trumpet parts as well as little guitar pieces and vocal lines are changed or updated here and there or the relationship between sounds will be slightly differently balanced. Thus the electronic bits and the playful guitars that both flesh out the sound seem to have revised roles to play in the older songs like crowd-favorites "The Medic" and "Rory", while retaining the original vibe of the music. Besides making for a rich live experience, it makes me really excited to hear the forthcoming recordings of new music!
Their vocalist and indeed the other bandmembers as well are as energetic in their movements as last time they visited although we are told tonight that they only have three shows left on their tour and are super tired. Perhaps that's what makes their vocalist seem more carefree than last as he banters casually between songs, plays his keyboard with overly dramatic arm movements and even leaves the stage to order a drink in the nearby bar while his bandmembers geek out with reverberating guitar-effects for an instrumental interlude session. It only makes them all seem even more likeable than I already thought they were. Setlist-wise, I am happy that "Glass Coughs" and especially the amazing "Night Channels" have not lost their spots in the rotation, and it's a nice touch to get the up-beat "Inuit" as well as the more spoken-word-ish screams of "Bit By a Dead Bee pt. I" that we didn't get last time. It's a fair trade-off for "Redwoods" and "Indica" that we did get last year even though a chant for the latter manifests after the band has ended their set, although to no avail. As a whole, the set tonight presents another great-sounding Danish show by Foxing and while I feel fulfilled after the experience, I also already long for their return which will be hopefully not long after their third record has been released.
- 1. Nah Man (new song)
- 2. Inuit
- 3. Glass Coughs
- 4. The Magdalene
- 5. The Medic
- 6. Buttery Gold (new song)
- 7. Bastardizer (new song)
- 8. Bit By a Dead Bee pt. I
- 9. Bit By a Dead Bee pt. II
- 10. Night Channels
- 11. Three On A Match
- 12. Rory