According to the 2013 World Happiness Report endorsed by the United Nations, Denmark ranks as the happiest country in the world, and Danish-born Nanna Øland Fabricius, better known as singer-songwriter Oh Land, certainly looks happy to be in the Button Factory tonight. Nearing the end of a demanding three-month tour of the U.S., Canada and Europe in support of her third studio album Wish Bone, she shows no signs of fatigue. Wearing a unique figure-flaunting outfit looking like something from Batgirl’s bottom drawer, her extrovert and confident nature (and much more) are on display from the moment she follows her four accompanying musicians onto the stage. A large backdrop reminiscent of a Tim Burton animation depicting two cartoon skeletons dancing dominates the limited space behind the drumkit.
The show starts with ‘Cherry on Top’ and the trend continues with performances of no less than eleven of the thirteen tracks from her new release, along with half a dozen songs from her earlier albums. Playfully flirting regularly with her fans, regardless of their preferences, she pre-emptively thanks them, and Dublin in general; complementing the hot Irish men, some of whom hoot and cheer in response. She comments on the party atmosphere which she observed on local streets and bars at 1pm on that Sunday afternoon, she asks what the occasion was. The unsurprising response was “Sunday!”. She admits to being a bit confused, but loving Ireland even more for this frivolous attitude to our drinking culture.
The audience is a fairly even mix of trendy guys and girls who are all on their best behaviour; dancing enthusiastically during the mostly upbeat poppy songs, and listening respectfully (with lighters aloft) during the few ballads like the heart-felt, solo-acoustic performance of ‘Love You Better’. The sound in the venue is perfect, with the vocals in particular coming across clearly and distinctly, encouraging the willing and able audience to sing along to the catchy lyrics. They have plenty of opportunities to sing along during ‘Rainbow’ as Fabricius passes the mic to members of the front row to join in with the chorus “You can make it click, making me pop” before wrapping up the song with a whistling solo.
Throughout the gig she alternates between playing the keyboard on a low stool and singing while on her feet. So caught up in the atmosphere of the gig, she almost forgets to take her seat at the keyboard for ‘Sleepy Town’. The pre-encore climatic finale of ‘Sun of a Gun’ from her 2010 self-titled album gives her the chance to show off her percussion by playing an electronic drum kit, and finishes up with her on the flat of her back to massive applause. She again thanks the crowd, adding in friendly manner “I don’t want to leave. Come and say hi at the merch stand later”. Standing on her keyboard stool, she takes a photo of us with her phone, then bows and blows a kiss goodbye to an adoring Dublin. They return the compliment.