Oh Land – Live Review

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Danish singer/songwriter Oh Land released her third album Wish Bone in the UK last month. To support this she is currently embarking on her largest headline tour to date. On a chilly December evening, the band found themselves in the attics of the dramatic Institute in Birmingham. She appeared with electric blue hair and a wide grin dressed in a knit jumper adorned with tassels, cementing her reputation as a true eccentric. The tiny venue was unable to match the seismic force of Nanna’s vocal, as opener ‘Cherry on Top’ lost its sweet, soft appeal and acted as a Scandinavian battle call.

Wish Bone was the prominent driving force of the evening’s setlist with determined performances of ‘Bird In An Aeroplane’ and ‘Pyromaniac’ appearing early on. Nanna interacted with the crowd between most tracks and thanked Birmingham for the first spells of sunshine on the tour. Due to the intimacy of the temple room it is quite easy for performer and audience to gain a solid rapport. She regaled us with tales of a runaway wolf before launching into the gorgeous ‘Wolf & I’ completed with extended rock outro, a personal highlight of the evening.

‘My Boxer’ needs a lot of practice, as the difficult melody felt cluttered and the drums were completely overpowering Nanna’s voice. The addition of the megaphone also felt out of place in the small venue. All was compensated by a beautiful rendition of the title track from the second LP Perfection. Dream-like verses echoed through the temple and the notes seemed to stretch for an eternity. After the band took a shot of whisky they began their final leg with ‘Green Card’, a track the band have practiced to exceptional standards and could have easily been their finale. They continued with ‘Rainbow’ and ‘Renaissance Girls’, both of which were performed with incredible energy as Nanna skipped, danced and span onstage.

They exited to applause before encoring with a stripped back version of ‘Love You Better’ which made hairs salute and this wasn’t due to the cold temperatures. They then finished with a jovial version of ‘White Nights’. Despite the crowd being rather on the small side, Oh Land is a total professional and poured her heart and soul into the performance whilst retaining a sense of fun onstage. The band have complete and honest adoration for each other and they visibly enjoy playing as a unit.