Noah and the Whale were the last band of Sound City’s Thursday night to finish off in the Anglican Cathedral.
Firstly, what a venue. The towering walls and huge arches at night are lit up, throwing dramatic shadowy shapes all over the walls. The main lower level is transformed into the most spacious bar ever, and the centre stage is framed by the head of the building. No altar this time, instead there’s a nice simple stage with plenty of room for festival goers to surround it.
After an introductory speech from the vicar, who cunningly pointed out the relevance of ‘Noah and the Whale’ playing in a church, Noah and the Whale entered the stage, black blazer and bouffant clad. They started off with some calmer favourites, such as ‘Chance to Come’ and songs from their second album The First Days of Spring.
Energy picked up as they played ‘Give it All Back’, flashing lighting up the massive ceilings which engulf the stage. The crowd was merry, bobbing about and darting around looking for a better view. Songs such as ‘Sing Me the Love of an Orchestra’ went down particularly well – Violinist Tom Hobden was in his perfect element, the church’s acoustics carrying it off clear and sharp.
Some quieter ones had the crowd chatting over them, until they played the oh-so-familiar ‘5 Years Time’. They jazzed it up a little with a faster pace and getting out the disco ball – it’s impressive they still play it with so much energy after it being their most popular hit for almost eight years.
They finished off with the radio popular ‘L.I.F.E.G.O.E.S.O.N’ with cheer. At this point love was in the air for many couples, as were the cameras and smart phones.
Noah and the Whale’s upbeat folk was perfect for the Anglican. Certainly make sure you see a gig there before Sound City ends on Saturday.