support Deltaburst
author TL date 14/08/14 venue Pumpehusets Byhave, Copenhagen, DEN

Since Pumpehuset went bankrupt and restarted with new management, the Copenhagen venue has played host to a diverse variety of exciting activities, and especially in the summer the place is extra welcoming, hosting now for the second year in a row a number of free concerts on a small stage built from logs outside of the building, complete with benches and a reasonably priced bar. This year I had planned to attend a trio of these shows, but was unfortunately prevented from checking out Sea a few weeks back, which meant that I was only extra motivated to finally come out on this evening, where the Aarhus-based indie rockers Annasaid would headline. Unfortunately we get some rain right up to the show start, which delays things and puts on display that the layout of the facilities here outside is perhaps not the best, as opening act Deltaburst would come to experience first hand.

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Likewise from Aarhus, Deltaburst is a trio whose proposed goal is to fuse danceable electronic disco music with the organic quality of a rock guitar. The young group hence includes a drummer, a synth player and a guitarist (who also occasionally works his own synth) but to my surprise, no live vocals, with the occasional appearance of vocals facilitated via repetitive samples instead. Perhaps it's to give the group free reign to rock out, as especially synth player Tobias B. Aunbøl grooves recklessly back and forth while adjusting his various buttons and dials, but his activity is in stark contrast to the audience, almost all of which is huddled under a lone tree that stands off to the right of the stage and provides shelter for the rain.

From here, tonight's guests seem perfectly content to just sit and enjoy their drinks while Deltaburst do their thing, and this makes the situation somewhat awkward, because as opposed to the narratives of more conventional rock songs, this band's tracks are clearly meant to provide the beat and backdrop for a sweaty and frantic dance floor. At their best, they channel vibes of both domestic forebears like Veto or Reptile Youth and also more international counterparts like Innerpartysystem or even Pendulum. The integration of the guitar is not always seamless however, working out alright when going for an effect-drenched and rhythmic Tom Morello-esque role, but sounding completely out of place when being put in focus with traditional solos of the relatively banal and forgetable variety.

Arguably though, it could be because the overall act just needs way more time with demoing and rehearsal. The individual parts of some of the tracks the trio plays sound pretty cool on their own, but the integration between them in the tracks is often anything but seamless, feeling like they're placed like pearls on a string with space in between, rather than building on each other very well. So while some scattered heads do bop occasionally in response to the cool bit here and there, the overall impression remains mainly awkward, and the set of thirty-some minutes gets to feeling rather long before the band is clapped off with the sort of minimal applause that is more pure politeness than anything else. The overall verdict must be then, that any potential on Deltaburst's part is in an under-developed state, at least so far.


It doesn't take much of a changeover before Annasaid come on instead, and as they get going it's impressive how well they sound despite appearing so quickly after Deltaburst. The quartet plays a lively indie-rock full of clean and intricate dual-guitar exchanges, owing much by way of inspiration to the danceable energies of Foals and Two Door Cinema Club. The complex note patterns are delivered upon fleet-footed beats and especially the band's two remaining founding members, Martin Sahlertz on guitar and lead vocals and Jesper Jensen on bass and backing vox, move to the music with confidence, Jensen striking me as the first bassist I can remember having seen shuffling while playing.

Overall the band looks every bit the comfortable, seasoned live performers, and Sahlertz engages the audience between songs with various encouraging words that show a good feeling for the relaxed setting that a show here is compared to your normal concert. Things no longer feel awkward, though this is partly due to more people having shown up and assembled in semi-circle in front of the stage. The setlist showcases the diversity within the band's catalogue of material and the members of the band look like they're having fun playing. Sahlertz rolls his tongue in a self-mocking way during the incidentaly calypso-ness of old song "Sun", and takes it with a friendly laugh in the rare and quickly corrected cases of a vocal harmony gone astray or a mix-up between tempos.

With a set that also included the singles from recent album "Rite De Passage" - "Can't Stop The Ringing" and "Collision", things conclude after Sahlertz has taken a turn aiding the rhythm section by borrowing a drum with which he adds some energizing rim hits to the beat. To cap things off, he visits the raised tables in front of the stage where someone we presume to be his girlfriend squeezes his ass before he jumps off the platform and stumbles over into the equipment at the front of the stage. The spectacle plays out with a fun vibe, which also characterized the show overall. One could have wished for a slightly more powerful presence for the drums in the mix, and for some even more precise singing from Sahlertz that still has a tendency to sound a bit out of tune here and there, but apart from that, Annasaid makes much of a very laid back setting that wouldn't otherwise strike you as an obvious venue for their engaging and dance-friendly music.


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