Tue 11 Dec – Jens Lekman
Tonight, I went to the Jens Lekman
gig at the Luminaire. It was ace.
This was a somewhat more minimal gig than the others of his I've seen; this time, he didn't have the usual full backing band, and performed solo, with just a guitar, a loop pedal used for harmonising with himself (to great effect) and a Scandinavian-looking woman accompanying him on the bongos. Though he did an amazing job within these constraints; playing the melodies (and sometimes bits of basslines) on his guitar and singing in his unmistakeable croon. Highlights included: the version of It Was A Strange Time In My Life
which segued into You Are The Light...
, the version of The Cold Swedish Winter
which tapered off with him whispering into the microphone, his guitar playing faded to a silent touch, the audience absolutely silent, the version of A Sweet Summer's Night On Hammer Hill
with the audience singing along, and the rendition of I'm Leaving You Because I Don't Love You
, starting out on guitar and loop pedal, then with a backing track kicking in on an iPod in the second verse and the energy going up tenfold.
The best part was probably the encore, though. He came back on, sang Black Cab
, and then launched into a version of Pocketful Of Money
; as soon as he started snapping his fingers, the audience picked it up and ran with it, providing the accompaniment; then the entire audience, seemingly spontaneously sang the backing vocals, "I'll come running with a heart on fire". It was an amazing experience.
Oh yes, and The Clientele
played the support, which was good (though, obviously, somewhat understated compared to Jens' set).
This is the third Jens Lekman gig I've seen (before, I saw one at Bush Hall a few years ago, and also his gig at Airwaves in Reykjavík last year), and possibly the most impressive. I imagine there'll be a fourth someday.