Noah and the Whale
It's incredibly difficult to write any kind of accurate assessment of Noah and the Whale's performance tonight. The vast majority is of the performance is barely audible. But this isn't the bands fault. It's gentle music, played quietly to draw in the listener. Nor is it the fault of the venue, the soundman, or cotton wool in the ears.
For the crowd, the music seems to be little more than a background accompaniment to a loud, obnoxious, drinking and chatting session. No matter whether away from the stage, or right up front, the frailty of Charlie Fink's lyrics and vocal delivery is drowned out by shrieking harpies, drunken conversations and terrible chat up lines (which seems to be the intent of quite a few gentlemen here). It's annoying at the start, and down right disrespectful by the end. Even the band seem embarrassed, but feign that we're 'a great audience'. The crescendos and full bodied elements of their music occasionally cut above the din, and it sounds just fine, quickly to be drowned out by Northern Ireland's archetypal cry of "Yeooooooooooooo".
Maybe it's the curse of the perfect pop single 'Five Year's Time', a twee (the good kind) folk pop single that has seemingly become this years Peter, Bjorn and John, and the year before that's something else. These songs attract fans of the single. Not of the band. Those curious to investigate whether this resurgence in saccharine pop is a permissible thing don't get a look in. Its a case of who shouts loudest, wins. It's completely incongruous with the sentiment of the music.
There's rapturous applause sure, but whether anyone was able to listen to it in the first place is in question. The pump organ could have been all over the place, Fink could have been whispering "big hairy donkey d**ks" into the mic during mid set songs, but I doubt the crowd heard or cared.
So then, who knows if they were any good? Erm their jumpers looked a bit wick, and deliberately jaunty. Does that help any?
A disgrunted Johnny Farry, Tunbridge Wells.