Kurt Vile & the Violators
Store Vega, Copenhagen, DEN - 5/12
Mutiny On The BountyPrevious Next
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author TL date 17/10/12 venue KB18, Copenhagen, DEN
It's Wednesday evening in the Copenhagen autumn and the gods of band booking are good. They are good because somehow, despite having missed Mutiny On The Bounty twice this year - once due to lack of knowledge of their existence and once due to their Roskilde show clashing with that of Bruce Springsteen - despite that, I have another chance to see them. Considering that their recent sophomore album "Trials" is one of the craziest records I've heard all year, there was no way I was going to miss this third show as well, so I am here with a handful of friends, building a modest little buzz while the venue gets warmed up by local support band The Binnacle List
The Binnacle List guitarist
This is my first encounter with relatively unknown Copenhagen quartet The Binnacle List, but as they start playing their songs to a modest crowd of about twenty-some people, you quickly get the idea that these guys are about tight, traditional songwriting and a 90's Weezer-ish pop-rock sound. It's good mood music and the band delivers it relatively proficiently, with solid singing both from their lead singer and from the remaining members on harmonies and backup vocals. The guitar playing shows some slip-ups, which is a little surprising given that the music doesn't sound all that complicated, and the occasional keyboard parts drown a bit in the mix. The main problem for these guys is however, that they never expand a personality beyond the border of the stage. Their music does not come out sounding particularly novel and the band has no stage presence to speak of, they literally just stand about playing casually and that's it. The choice of guitar sound is intriguing on occasions, but overall, as easily enjoyable as this is, it feels just as easily forgetable, and it doesn't seem like it would make much of a difference whether you stand and watch The Binnacle List, or just listen to them in the background while having beers and talks with your friends.
Mutiny On The Bounty guitarist Clément Delporte
When it comes to Luxembourg's finest math-rockers however, things are naturally of an entirely different order. Before the band even begins it is encouraging to see that the crowd has grown to a number in the fifties by my estimation and everybody looks curious to see what Mutiny On The Bounty have in store for us. And what they have in store for us is an utter tempest of music and movement starting from the first note, as each bandmember comes alive instantly, rocking vividly while especially the guitarists Clément Delporte and Nicolas Przeor show their ridiculous skill and tightness, playing intervowen tapped melodies with hands that look like spiders travelling the frets with quickness and precision. It must be noted that a substantial part of the band's highly unique sound is being provided by a backing track, but it by no means makes it less impressive to behold the things the bandmembers do in fact play. Behind the kit, drummer Sacha Schmitz keeps pace while also delivering the lead vocals in the songs that include them, but the feeling you got listening to "Trials", that vocals are not the central matter here, is only fortified by this performance.
Mutiny On The Bounty guitarist Nicolas Przeor
Because Mutiny - who are completed by bassist Cédric Czaika by the way - prove that they are among the few bands that are talented enough to create instrumental music that is so intricate and dynamic that it just occupies your senses in a way that leaves no important necessity for conventional hooks and choruses. The whole sound just ebbs and flows with such timing and complexity that you're reduced to a state of awe and this is reflected in the audience who - while they stop a little shy of any real movement - all look rather impressed, and sound like it too when giving off generous applause between songs. What speaks most directly of the quality of the performance however, is that when Schmitz announces that the band has only one song left, shouts from the audience instantly cry "no! two more!", to which the band smilingly concede, excusing for their closing performance of an old song which they have not practiced much, and then proceeding to play it so convincingly that hardly anybody could tell the difference. Overall, this is about as exotic and intense a musical experience that you're going to get on a Wednesday in Copenhagen, and I think most of those that went would happily return and see Mutiny On The Bounty again should they come back soon.