In the wake of Hurricane Barney tearing across the United Kingdom, is was lovely to see that the five members of Of Monsters And Men were able to appear at their sold out show in Manchester. The band, originally from Keflavik, Iceland and lead by the two singer guitarists called Nanna and Ragnar, seemed overwhelmed by the level of support they received. The tour is aimed at promoting their second album, Beneath The Skin, a superb follow up to their debut, My Head Is An Animal. The band rose to a high level of success with their first single, ‘Little Talks’, and since then have released other songs with similar levels of success, including ‘Dirty Paws’, ‘Crystals’ and ‘Hunger And Silhouettes’, which featured on the soundtrack to The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.
The support band on this wet and windy evening were Norwegian indie-rock group, Highasakite. They really had the backing of the crowd, it was one of the highest attendances for a support band that I had seen in a long time, and you could see why. The eerie and melodic tones that were being emitted by Ingrid Havik were memorising. This was coupled by the slow and methodical drumming by Trond Bersu, the fantastic synths by Oystein Skar and Marte Eberson and finally the fantastic backing support by Kristoffer Lo, playing the guitar, percussion and flugbone.
The audience applauded and sang out of passion and support for the band, not just general kindness. They really warmed the crowd, their style was very similar to that presented by Of Monsters and Men; the two were very well mixed together, they were a lovely band to listen to and a fine choice to supply the warm up. I can envisage them going very far within the next five years.
It was time for the headline act. They took to the stage amidst a high level of screams and cheers from the audience. After thanking everyone for being there they set thing going with ‘Thousand Eyes’, ‘Empire’ and ‘King And Lionheart’. Their playing and vocal work was outstanding, the fact that most people I know either have not heard of the band or only know them for ‘Little Talks’ is slightly saddening. The group are simply amazing to watch live, they click together so well and portray the sounds you can here on their albums perfectly.
The sensual tones of the accordion used by the backing band really highlighted ‘King And Lionheart’ and allowed the audience to slowly clap along with the band. The whole night created a feeling of unity and friendliness. This is a band who are very relaxed in their approach to music, they are calming, with no harsh lyrics or roaring bass. It is an experience to see them. As expected, ‘Little Talks’ made the crowd go wild, with the band’s vocals accompanied by a chorus of “hey’s” and “la la las” by the crowd. The crowd were sent home happy after an encore of ‘Orgnas’, ‘Dirty Paws’ and ‘We Sink’.
The band were very enjoyable to watch tonight. There was only one technical difficulty the entire night when Ragnar’s microphone failed during their encore, but it un-phased the audience who showed their appreciation by singing even louder, and applauding loudly when the microphone was repaired. It was a lovely and highly enjoyable night from a band I highly recommend listening and viewing.