Noah and the Whale
- Amber Baxter
- 21 October 2009
Oran Mor, Glasgow, Thu 15 Oct
The subject of romance feeds many a musicians lyrical needs.
With Noah and the Whale, the words love and heart are used in nearly every song on both their debut album and their most recent second offering The First Days of Spring. Front man and lyricist Charlie Fink borrows from himself, regularly using phrases and lines he's penned in more than one song which is a nice touch and links together both NATW releases and makes an easy mix-up live.
There is one key difference between the albums though, the first is a tale of love, the second of heartbreak.
It's in the pursuit of promoting the latter that NATW take to the stage at Oran Mor's auditorium. The crowd is littered with cosy couples, cosy in love (and pretty damn hot due to the heaters being on full pelt in the venue - bad Oran Mor) and they make a fitting audience for a man spilling his heart.
Although the band throw in a few favourites from first release, Give a Little Love being an early set highlight, the majority of the show is made up of their new material. Live the band have really pumped up their new songs creating a Lowesque wall of sound which really fills the gap of a female vocalist.
Single 'Blue Skies' pulls and then proceeds to tear apart and burn the heartstrings with Fink's opening lines, 'This song is for anyone with a broken heart, this song is for anyone who can't get out of bed'. sung with tangible emotion. Take that cosy couples.
'Love of an Orchestra' is epic, frantic guitar and fiddle races throughout, 'My Door is Always Open' hits the audience with yet more complex fiddling and morose analysis of love and second album title track 'The First Days of Spring' is simply stunning.
Their encore deals a double blow of their most mainstream single '5 Years Time' (a love song) and a newbie 'My Broken Heart (not)', which completes the evening's 1-1 draw in the battle of love and heartbreak and leaves the crowd not knowing whether to hold hands on the way home or quit while they're ahead.