Noah & The Whale - KOKO, London - 17/2/2011

22 Feb 2011

if, as morrissey once sang, we hate it when our friends become successful, then you’d expect Fink to experience at least a little residual envy...

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However indifferent the majority of us were to The Brit Awards this year, you get the feeling that the 2011 ceremony might have been a bit more significant than most for Noah & The Whale singer Charlie Fink. If, as Morrissey once sang, We Hate It When Our Friends Become Successful, then you’d expect him to experience at least a little residual envy at old West London scene chums Mumford and Sons picking up the Best British album gong, in addition to ex-girlfriend and erstwhile N&TW member Laura Marling winning the British Female Solo Artist category.

But if Fink is jealous, he’s hiding it remarkably well in front of a packed and enthusiastic Koko audience.  ‘It’s such a pleasure to be back playing shows’ he smiles, and such sanguinity is reflected in defiantly upbeat, FM classic rock-styled new material from forthcoming third album ‘Last Night on Earth’ like ‘Life Goes On’.  This marks another distinct stage in the development of the West Londoners, who started out by making breezy, unaffected indie-folk before a second album, 'The First Days of Spring', detailed the harrowing aftermath of Fink’s split with Marling a la the high-flown heartbreak of Blur’s '13', Death Cab For Cutie’s ‘Transatlanticism’ and the 1997 Spiritualized magnum opus 'Ladies & Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space.' Each stage of their career is revisited tonight, as the easy charm of debut 'Peaceful, The World Lays Me Down' (oldie 'Rocks & Daggers’ is introduced as a simple ‘song you can dance to’, harking back to a more innocent era) sits alongside the lingering, brooding melancholy of ‘Blue Skies.’

 

Tickets courtesy of Boxfresh, sponsors of the NME Awards www.facebook.com/BoxfreshUK

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