If Interpol stole British rock and made it dark and cool, White Lies are stealing it back. So young and attractive, a not so young or attractive gent could almost justify hating them, the four-piece-for-the-night land in Copenhagen on one of the first sold-out concerts on their first album tour. It doesn’t take these lads long to get into the album’s angular mood. From the off the drummer is the musical star, playing like he was locked in a tiled room, he is a machine well befitting the band, a bastard child of Teardrop Explodes, The Cult, with a bit of Franz, Editors, and all the good stuff you ever heard in the early ’90s.
The sound is perfect in this 800 capacity venue and in keeping things as simple as possible, the band play nothing but the the album – a neat 50 minutes live with no encore, and are rapturously received – plenty of singing (well, more yelling in baritone) along and hands in the air.
The band seem concerned with playing every note right and perhaps a bit of fluidity is lost in this. But it’s early days. Singer Harry McVeigh has a powerful voice and it could fill places much bigger than Little Vega tonight (and will, no doubt, at Oxegen later this year). The sound is tight and a lot of the songs are immense live – especially album closer -The Price Of Love’, -A Place To Hide’ and -From The Stars’.
In a classic chicken and egg scenario one wonders if it’s the crowd’s engagement, or the bands increased confidence, make the gig grow and grow but grow it does and by the time they depart us with -Death’ the talk is of Roskilde and who’s leg we have to hump to get them on the bill. They are bigger than this venue, but we can’t deny how pleasing it is to see a band with such hope and promise get the crowd, and play the gig they deserve on their first trip here. Copenhagen loves these guys tonight, and if our patchy translation of the Danish speak going on around us is anything to go by, they are wanted back this summer.
4 March 2009
Photos by Jakob Bekker Hansen