Noah And The Whale

Cat Gordon 17/09/2007

One of the most packed out gigs I've been to this year. On arrival I was thinking that I wouldn't get in for free, as this was a first come first served basis gig, but it then struck me as I was beneath a man in braces sweating from ever area whilst my foot spiked on a broken wine glass (admittedly it was mine) that they weren't actually going to say “No”, hand up like a lolly pop women to the next shaggy haired indie kid. The people just kept flowing in, how I would have loved the idea if I was late, but I wasn't, I just wasn't really breathing and with the stench of BO, booze, burps and other horrible smells (damn the smoking ban!) I wasn't in the best mood. So it's a good thing that Noah and the Whale actually played a blinder of a set.

Starting with two slow songs, including “Beating,” it was hard not to be fazed by the nasty stench of the room, but all was forgiven when “Mary, Jocasta and Rocks and Daggers” kicked in, they ended with “5 Years Time,” which included the band wearing matching blue jackets and Laura Marling (on backing vocals) doing a very Posh Spice-esque dance (as seen in the “5 Years Time” video. You tube?) and Charlie Fink becoming the new Barry White; “If you chant Noah-Whale, Noah-Whale” to which crowd reply “…then there will be Love Love Love, wherever you go”... Smooth bastard! Finally, they encored with (god forbid in those conditions) “2 Bodies, 1 Heart” and a Smiths cover of “Girl Afraid.” Ironically, I was indeed a girl afraid, afraid of the man in braces bobbing up and down back and forth to the slow folky leads which are Noah and the Whale. I didn't think anyone could move the way he did but it shows that this so called 'anti-folk' is a bit punky and a bit more edgy than the usual lovesick, suicide ballads that can usually be projected from this scene.

Let's just hope that bands don't start a new trend with having 'and the' in band names, y'know, like The Strokes did, with The Libertines and The Razorlight…Joe Lean and the Jingle Jangle Jane, Johnny Flynn and the Sussex Wit, Vincent Vincent and the Villians, Captain Kick and the Cowboy Ramblers, Tom Hatred and the Angryband, Florence and the Machine. Oh.