Of Monsters and Men – Melkweg – 04.09.2012

A work-related visit to Amsterdam (for IBC 2012) gave me an opportunity to catch a gig in the Melkweg. Even though it was officially sold out, I had a feeling I’d be able to pick up a ticket outside the venue. Sure enough, I met a very nice man who sold me his spare ticket for the face value of €16. Ah, Amsterdam!

Of Monsters and Men were fantastic. Their music takes the catchy folky pop of Mumford and Sons, adds a wider and more interesting mix of instruments, plus a female co-lead-vocalist, and a sizable dash of Arcade Fire bombast. The result is a set of very hummable melodies with quirky lyrics and uplifting choruses. The sound that comes from the six musicians on stage is impressive, and they brought heaps of energy to their performance. I believed them when they said we (the crowd) were really impressing them with our singing – but for all I know they say that to all the boy and girls.

The audience was indeed very good, singing along with gusto. But, as usual, there was zero respect for the support act, who was also from Iceland. Going under the name Lay Low, she was a singer-songwriter who, from what I could hear, had an interesting set of songs with melodies and lyrics that I’d like to have been able to hear more clearly. But unfortunately it seems that Amsterdam audiences have not lost their habit of chattering noisily while support acts play. Oh Amsterdam.

Still, lovely to be back there and back in the Melkweg and seeing live music. I also took the opportunity to revisit some favourite Amsterdam haunts including Fuoco Vivo, Snow Lion, de Zotte and, of course, Mulligans. And we’re back there again in a couple of weeks for the wedding of our friends Rob and Natassia. Yay, Amsterdam!

Here’s that cool video of Little Talks by Of Monsters and Men.

And here’s some Lay Low.