The success of third album ‘Last Night on Earth’ has catapulted Noah and the Whale from also cover stars in a matter of months. This fact is evident in the weird mixture of corduroy wearing Sunday Times subscribers and love-sick younger fans, gazing doe-eyed at lead singer Charlie Fink.
Striding on stage to a brass band version of ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ they add an element of the theatrical to their performance. Cracking tentative grins they showcase their new direction with the Bruce Springsteen stylings of ‘Tonight’s The Kind of Night’.
It’s not that convincing, and they quick slip back into their comfort zone with an emotional rendering of ‘Give A Little Love’. The crowd urges them on as the violins surge and seep into every crack. Visibly relaxed then smiles creep out and ties are loosened.
Swept along with the wave of ‘Nu-Folk’ bands, along with Mumford and Sons and Emmy the Great, they were also responsible for the scenes golden couple, lead singer Charlie and Laura Marling. With respective break-up albums firmly behind them, Noah and The Whale are missing the light female touch that Laura (and later Slow Club’s Rebecca Taylor) added to songs like ‘Rocks and Daggers’. Still this song signals the start of the ‘party’ element of the evening, with soaring melancholy giving way to proper barn-dance stomping.
Changing gears, ‘First Days of Spring’ is the band grown up, shining light on their potential to turn quivering love songs into towering anthems. Tears glisten on cheeks, the crescendo builds and the drummer stands, ready to administer the final blows.
Ready for the final curtain call, ‘5 Years Time’ has one last glance back at the past, but for Noah and The Whale it seems the future is nothing but bright.