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Gig Review: Noah And The Whale @ The Corner Hotel, 3rd August

Last night Noah And The Whale played their sold out Splendour sideshow at the Corner Hotel with flair and class, illustrating everything that made them such a hit at the festival and has garnered them a strong international following.

I sadly missed Husky opening for the second time in as many weeks, but in all fairness this gig marked the end of a pretty hectic week of live music for me, so cut me some slack. I arrived in time to see Noah And The Whale take to the stage in front of a packed crowd who were clearly pretty dedicated fans of the English band, who looked rather dapper in their suits.

Befitting of their dress sense, they got right down to business and opened with a string of three songs before a single word of banter was spoken. The run of songs included the stunning Just Before We Met, a truly beautiful track centred around the violin. And the sound of violin was of course a constant throughout Noah And The Whale’s set, sounding at all times piercing and graceful, adding a lot of depth to their sound. Major props to the sound gents for getting that sounding just right, as it forms such a huge part of the band’s music.

Charlie Fink’s vocals were of course great as well, but at times the harmonising vocals of other band members almost threatened to steal the show, sounding absolutely beautiful. Love Of An Orchestra and Life Is Life constituted a part of the ‘romantic section’ of the band’s set, which concluded with Wild Thing, a delicate slow burn of a song from ‘Last Night On Earth’, the band’s latest album.

When Charlie did speak to the crowd he seemed gracious and humble, observing with slight surprise that it was actually the band’s first time in Australia and repeatedly stating his appreciation of the crowd. The magnificent Rocks And Daggers signalled the start of the ‘party section’ of Noah And The Whale’s set, which to me was by far the most enjoyable part of the night. It is such a lush and relaxing song, with just enough of a beat to get everyone in the crowd moving around a bit.

5 Years Time was unquestionably one of the highlights of the night, as the crowd did our best to imitate the infectious whistling and euphoric chorus singing emanating from the stage. As always it was slightly disappointing that the band didn’t play the track with a ukulele, but it was so much fun that complaining about it seems pretty pointless. Tonight’s The Kind Of Night saw Charlie encourage the crowd to ‘punch the air’ during the chorus, but to be honest it fell slightly flat.

Noah And The Whale closed their set with the sombre The First Days Of Spring, but everyone knew that they would be back for an encore and sure enough they returned to play what I believe was Old Joy. By way of conclusion the band offered up probably their most well-known song, L.I.F.E.G.O.E.S.O.N., and the track received a simply huge response as the crowd took over lead vocals for that catchy-as-hell spelling chorus, ending the night on a triumphant note.

Noah And The Whale were gracious, charming, and a whole lot of fun. It took them far too long to come out to Australia for the first time, but one can only hope that they’ll be hooked now that they have a taste for it. Because three years is simply too long to wait to experience a show as quaint and beautiful as this.

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2 Responses to “Gig Review: Noah And The Whale @ The Corner Hotel, 3rd August”

  1. You must have been at a totally different gig to me. the gig was really underwhelming. I am a massive NATW fan and rate First days of spring as one of the best albums of the last ten years. But Weds gig was poor. the sound was terrible for a start – way too much bass. The crowd also never got going and didn’t seem to know any songs other than the radio hits, 5 Years Time and Life Goes On.

    • I’m kind of sick of this whole “You must have been at a totally different gig to me” thing- I mean it’s not like gigs are subjective experiences and people may have different opinions of them or anything.

      But you make some fair points, ultimately I just went in with totally different expectations to you- I wasn’t a huge fan and was just there to relax and have a good time. The crowd were fine I thought, it’s a bit hard to really get into a folky gig like this too much.

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