German folktronic-reggae might not be the first thing that comes to mind on a cold Thursday night in Dublin, but in the vicinity of Dublin’s Vicar Street there is an eclectic enough mix of punters it somehow makes perfect sense. What else could bring out such an age diverse and all out random bunch of people besides something that many people probably never knew existed?
Tonight, Clemens Rehbein’s unmistakable vocals are part chainsaw part human as he and Philipp Dausch, joined by a touring guitarist, play their first ever Irish gig. Vicar Street is a fairly big venue and they fact that it is sold out beyond hope suggests that this band are bona fide stars in this country. Can they match the expectation? Well, for the most part that’s affirmative. The songs are catchy, the crowd are fucking relentless in their approval and the place is wedged. The only thing that seems missing is any idea what to do between songs and how to fill the space on such a massive stage. Add to this the fact that these songs are screaming out for a live band to play them and you see a few cracks in Milky Chance’s aesthetic.
‘Indigo’ raises more than a few whoops and hollers, as does the excellent ‘Down By The River’, but the biggest cheer of the night is for 2013’s ‘Stolen Dance’, which launched them into orbit. They sound great and Rehbein’s stoned, roaring-drawl adds so many elements to these songs that you can’t imagine them without him. They seem a little deflated, however, with the lack of dynamism between the instruments. Two guitars and a DJ does not make a band, it would seem.