December 17, 2017

Efterklang, Live at the Usher Hall Edinburgh

Amongst the ornate beauty of the Usher Hall in Edinburgh, Danish trio Efterklang make a quiet but powerful mark with their softly spoken minimalist beats. This gig is part of a wider UK tour, one that is unique in its scope and execution. Not content with simply playing in some crowded basement with too much smoke they’ve teamed up with the Northern Sinfonia Orchestra for an eclectic on stage performance, fusing the band’s hushed electro beats with the majestic orchestral arrangements of Northern Sinfonia.  Joining Efterklang on stage were American singer/songwriter Peter Broderick who acts as part time member, and singer Katinka Fogh Vindelev. Once all these different performers assembled on stage together the effect was quite breathtaking.

It’s the voice of lead singer Casper Clausen (what a name) that hits you first. Some have criticized it for being too beige but I can’t hear that.  His voice carries the full weight of the orchestra behind him with such a lightness of touch as to give you goosebumps. On stage Efterklang have a commanding presence, those 6ft Scandinavian bodies covered in bow ties, tuxedo jackets and skinny jeans. Playing tracks from their latest album Piramida, the other worldly magic of that album is transported to the live stage with such beauty and ease.   Born innovators, Efterklang prove once more with these inspired collaborations that they are at the forefront of cutting edge musical excellence, making others band who stick rigidly to the indie scene pale in comparison.

Leading-in with Piramida’s opener Hollow Space, the full effect of Northern Sinfonia’s presence becomes clear immediately as the track’s ghost-like visions are captured magnificently live. Efterklang then proceed to rattle off beautiful track after beautiful track from Piramida, occasionally throwing a curve ball with a number not heard on the studio album. The band’s rendition of Black Summer, the album’s stand out track, sticks in the mind as a high point of the evening: 6 minutes of lush vocal harmonies and hypnotic electro beats.

By the end the audience were on their feet demanding an encore for this very special night, and boy did they get it.

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