The Knife and Sorkklubben, live at The Roundhouse, Camden (8/5/2013)
First off, I love The Knife. Since this fundamentally weird Swedish brother-and-sister duo debuted in 2001, they’ve created their own brand of electronic music with their combination of crystalline cold sounds and burningly emotional vocals, making them an obvious inspiration for other great acts like Crystal Castles or Trust. With their new album Shaking the Habitual they’ve gone further into experimental territory, which works for me, but might not rock everyone’s boat (still, tracks like this are undeniably cool.)
Skip this part if you don’t like sentimentality, but - for a 16-year-old me, growing up in a small Danish town, waiting to escape and just starting to get into indie music - discovering an album like Silent Shout was just really fucking exciting.
Last night’s gig was - well, something else, but not totally astonishing. Karin and Olof came on stage in glimmering bathrobes and facepaint (as one would expect) with the dance collective “Sorkklubben”, who added a joy and energy to the gig that it might have lacked otherwise. I’m pretty sure some songs were pure playback - as Karin seemed more interested in dancing with the group than singing - but damn, her voice is strong when she does grab the microphone.
The gig was also made more satisfying by a few unexpected but welcome old tracks like Got To Let U, Bird and a more danceable Silent Shout which finally really got people moving. And a DJ set (by Olof?) commenced immediately after the gig, which kept most people on the dancefloor for a while … Great idea.
A separate mini-rant: Why don’t people dance at gigs?! I mean, when your favourite band is performing their songs in versions more danceable than the album, you’d think people wouldn’t be standing stock still. And if I start boogeing down, I get the gentle-nudging-hand-against-my-back; like “please don’t brush against me; I’d like to pretend we’re all just Tube passengers on a Monday morning ignoring each other.” Fuck that; if my favourite band is performing in front of me; I’m gonna jump around like Alice Glass (whose band coincidentally always gets everyone dancing; it’s a miracle.)
Maybe there should be separate areas for people who’ve come to dance and people who haven’t. Because I always get locked behind a row of human statues, while just beyond them, like a vision of paradise, everyone seems like a fun friendly bunch, dancing and showing their love for the band.
Oh well. In the end everyone’s free to do as they please, but basically, Londoners need to loosen up.