Monday, 10 September 2012

Of Monster and Men – Melkweg, 4 September, 2012

Indie might change, but the beer will remain the same.

When did I develop this love for indie folk pop? Moreover, when did the rest of the world do the same? It feels like every time I am reading about music at the moment there is a reference to Of Monsters and Men, or Mumford and Sons, or even Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. The world is in love with this particular genre right now and I for one have jumped on board this catchy little band wagon.

Ever since I first saw M&S play nearly 3 years ago and they whipped the crowd into a hoedown frenzy, I knew the winds of musical time were changing. So when OMAM announced they would be touring Amsterdam for the second time in six months I said “find me my foot tapping shoes and get me a ticket”.

The night before the show my pre-show discussions with my sister, over a beer or two, were about Iceland and what music has Iceland enticed me with before? Well there was Bjork and Jonsi/Sigur Ros , both are incredibly creative and a tad on the “out there” side. Surely OMAM would not be like either of them? This question would be answered very early on in the show, no they are not, they are indie folk pop. There was no theatrics, there was no media light/ visual displays, there was however seven talented musicians belting out some very catchy tunes.

Do they sound like M&S or ESAMZ at times? Yes they do, so much so it would not have surprised me if they had have broken into ESAMZ song “Home”, or maybe a roady might bring a banjo out as that would have fit right in.

For a seven piece I thought the stage setup was pretty interesting. On one side, elevated up, was the drummer belting the living suitcase out of his skins (and on one song he randomly played accordion). Directly opposite him, on the other side of the stage and raised up to a similar height was the keyboardist (and accordion player) and the trumpeter (who also seemed to play keyboard and/or accordion as required). At the front you had the two key vocalists/ guitarists (one adorned in denim waist coat the other in a whimsical dress) and tucked at the back was the guitarist who as the night progressed he ventured out and up with the drummer with regularity, and the bass player who seemed happy with his place behind the scenes.

About ¾ of the way through the set the band punched out their most successfully commercial song “Little Talks” and the crowd went nuts. I however was heading back from the bar with a tray of eight beers in hand and was met with a surrounding wave of excitement causing me to spill a modicum of the amber liquid, and that my friend is why you buy 8 beers when there is only 6 of you! Just in case you lose one whilst on the trip back to your friends, or if there is a fellow thirsty punter (random stranger) not brave enough to head to the bar and you can make there day.

Can I tell you all the songs they played, well not really but I would hazard a guess it was pretty close to everything they have ever recorded and at least one song they said was new(ish). And whilst this seven piece have produced a very solid album, it is their live performance that makes them great. 

They do what this genre of bands need to do, they give the crowd everything they are looking for (including at least one members odd foray into the crowd), genuine engagement, catchy songs and foot tapping, hand clapping good times. The hype around these guys is justified and they are well worth a look. So I have gone from being obsessed with Indie Rock bands several years ago to this love affair with Indie folk/ pop now, what will be next?


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