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Golden Silvers outshine Noah and the Whale

Posted by Jack Riley
  • Tuesday, 29 September 2009 at 04:11 pm
Industry gigs are always strange events, particularly for bands who are in the ascendancy. Noah and the Whale, who I saw at the Hospital Club on Friday for a Mercury Music Session gig, struggled more than most to handle the unique challenge of playing to a crowd who haven't paid to be there.

 
They were preceded by the excellent Golden Silvers, whose heavily-playlisted synth-driven pop went down especially well with the addition of another singer who helped nail the complicated vocal harmonies the group have been developing. The defining moment of the evening was their final song, Fade to Black, for which the milling crowd of media lotharios and gnarled PR veterans stopped harassing the free bar just long enough to share a few moments of the closest thing the evening got to your average one-arm-round-your-missus-and-a-pint-in-the-other-hand indie gig experience.
 
 
That moment proved to be as instructive as it was fleeting though, because after a brief break and some natter from the compere, it was on with the show, with Noah and the Whale taking to the stage. Their bass player, seemingly in the midst of some heavy metal fantasy playing out within the confines of the mopey shoegazing going on around him, was pure entertainment. But the material in general didn't stand up in front of a nonchalant audience and the band were visibly awkward - as well you may be if you were used to playing to thousands of adoring (and, crucially, ticket-buying) fans around the world. At one point frontman Charlie Fink stopped a song and asked everyone to be quiet before they would carry on; people were talking, but it would have been easier to have some sympathy for the band had Golden Silvers not stunned everyone into silence just an hour before. The new album, "The First Days of Spring" has garnered positive reviews, though it's a little too down-in-the-dumps for me. If that's your bag there are plenty of great other options around.
 

The first "webisode" of their ambitious online film/music project is below.

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