Treefight For Sunlight @ Hoxton Bar & Kitchen, London 20.01.11

Considering this is the first live show performed in the UK ever for the quad, the hidden gig hall at the back of the Bar & Kitchen is almost at capacity. Perhaps the hype on 6 Music a few weeks back has spurred public interest? Either way, Treefight For Sunlight’s nine song set showcases the self-titled album that is yet to be released in the UK.

Jan 20th, 2011 at Hoxton Bar & Kitchen, London / By Clementine Lloyd
Treefight For Sunlight Easing in with album opener ‘A Dream Before Sleep’, the perfect set up for a set of this mystical magnitude, one thing strikes a chord above all else, and it is that they are all vocalists in this band. Bassist Christian Rohde Lidinger takes the lion’s share of the lyrics, whilst keyboardist Niels Kirk and guitarist Morten Winther Nielsen form the choir-like backdrop through which many tracks are shaped. However, tracks like ‘Time Stretcher’ see drummer Mathias Sørensen take the lead, whilst also cutting the steady, almost tribal beat that sets up the more somber concoction on the record.

The general mood of the performance, already lifted by the lyrical brightness, is enhanced by the falsetto voices which all four affect, a style that has its roots in artists such as Wild Beasts and Fleet Foxes. The brittle structural beats which form a basic plot against the collective voices heard on stage are used to devastating effect, perfectly balanced out in ‘You And The New World’, the driving riff and complex rhythm carved out from Christian’s bass reign in the high notes which dance around the tune. Even more impressive is the fact that the pace is kept in perfect time throughout the set with very little eye contact between the four. Perhaps a kind of band telepathy is at play here?

The unveiling of ‘The Universe Is A Woman’ and ‘What Became Of You And I’ formed the crystalising moment for Bearded, as two of the best tracks of the record and, what the hell, 2011 (although its only January). Whilst ‘Universe..’ encompasses that echoing and reverential psychedelia which harks back to strains of The Beatles and Thin Lizzy, embarking on a weightless trip to the stars and back, ‘What Became…’ holds court as the more bouncy and striking number, Niels’ keys flow throughout in a beautiful competition with the steady drums, climbing above all else, until Morten cuts in with the wise and wordly lyrics “What do you get from a love so true? Never you mind it ‘aint nothing new”.

‘Facing The Sun’, arguably the most sunny number ever to have graced the ears of all who listen to it, contrasts the backdrop of a dark and dingy bar gig. This will definitely be a festival hit, mark these words! Ending on the boundingly Spaghetti Western-like ‘They Never Did Know’, Treefight For Sunlight highlight their ability to play with expectations. Not simply driving for the mystical elemental magic that colours their album, they have clearly shown their aptitude for a whole host of avenues. Bearded is especially impressed with their chorus lines, and impeccable timekeeping whilst singing and playing! Hats off to you sirs!!