By Tanushree Basuroy, photos by Guki Giunashvili
The schizophrenic Danish climate conditions has had some Aarhus dwellers feeling slightly “under the weather” but morale was high with the SPOT Festival in town, running in full swing. The third day of the festival saw several people braving the icy winds to check out the budding musical talent being showcased at the Aarhus Congress Center.
As we waded through the crowd floating in and out of the building, we were drawn to a crooning voice that made all our summertime sadness melt away. The dark auditorium was alive with the sound of drumbeats and the colour-changing stage lights against which a sea of silhouettes could be seen swaying and clapping enthusiastically. Up on stage, we finally found the face to the voice that had everyone bewitched.
“SPOT is different from other concerts. Here, people just walk in, listen and if they don’t like it then they just go to another concert”, explains Morten Fillipsen one of the two talented lead singers of The Grenadines, “so it’s very important to capture them [with] the first two songs”, he adds.
The Grenadines are a Danish band born of the efforts of five gifted musicians who came together one fateful day at the guitarist, Kasper Ejlerskov’s, summerhouse in Sweden. They achieved the feat of writing, recording and producing their eponymous debut album, ‘The Grenadines’, within 20 days back in 2015.
Each of the members were engaged in projects of their own at this time. “I had and still have a solo project called ‘In Memoirs’, and Kasper was with ‘Wangel’ and another member was part of a duo… The Grenadines was kind of a side project then, but it was such a great feeling to write something and produce something as fast as that”, reminisces the young vocalist.
Two years ago they turned their collaboration into a more serious venture and have never looked back since then. Their latest album, ‘Band on the Radio’, released in 2018 stands in testimony to the evolution of the band over the past three and a half years. They consciously decided to let go of their quick-fix dogma or as Morten puts it “not do it fast but do it [well]”. A choice that paid off as they serenaded anyone who lent an ear with numbers like ‘For You I Would Die’, ‘High Heels’ and ‘Fools’.
Inspired by singing sensations of their parents’ time such as Bruce Springsteen and the Beatles, The Grenadines seek to put a refreshing spin on classical rock by creating referential music hinting at ballads, summer tunes and highway hymns. “It’s pop/rock/folk-ish”, chuckles Morten as he adds, “We just want to give our audience a good time not just with music but also by telling stories. Together we create some great atmosphere.” His words rung true as their easy-going music struck a chord of familiarity and nostalgia. With their magnificent stage presence, the artists created a synergy so infectious with their audience that it had everyone, right from an elderly lady with a broad smile to a boisterous group of teens to an energetic gentleman, energetically foot-tapping or shaking a leg to the drummer, Laurits Emanuel’s sick beats.
With gigs scheduled at Denmark’s other upcoming music festivals and a new hit in the pipelines set to be released in a couple of weeks, The Grenadines have much going for them as they shoot for the stars. It is only right to say that their performance left the audience feeling upbeat about the rest of the evening as SPOT came to a close on a high note for this year.