I normally like to go into gigs ‘blind’, so to speak, to have no preconceptions, but as I planned to review this one I thought I ought to do some research.  My research brought up some mellow, yet lively sounding songs sung in English that suggested they were written with emotion and a lot of information in Danish that I couldn’t understand.  I gathered that they were a fairly new Danish indie-folk band and was interested to go and see them.

I am immediately impressed by The Castle Hotel’s venue.  It’s attractive, small and intimate with a high ceiling and I wonder what this will do for the acoustics.  I’m also glad that as a fairly short person I won’t have to struggle to see the band.

The second thing to please me is that the night is put on by Beta which means that because I have ‘liked’ Beta on Facebook I can go in for free!  Praise to Beta! (http://www.facebook.com/musicinbeta)

I arrive as Stefan Melbourne is playing; one man and his guitar.  The venue is quite dark and seems to be concealing his identity somewhat but there’s a nice, reverb drenched, sound.  I get an Arcade Fire kind of vibe (instrumentally) but without the band and find myself swaying in time to his music.

The Rumour Said Fire then take to the stage; a five piece, with an impressive array of pedals, (my friend counts 16), with a pretty punchy first track ‘Sentimentally Falling’.  I would describe it as quite upbeat and pop; catchy with a driving beat but also layered and interesting.  A word that pops into my head is ‘jangly’ although when I looked up the definition I got synonyms of discordant, loud, raucous with ‘pleasant’ as the antonym.   This is not what I am trying to get at at all!  In my view The Rumour Said Fire are very harmonious and melodic!  The music conjures up images of beautiful flowing rivers and the Scottish Highlands!  (That might just be me though)!

I get the impression that the band are a bit squashed on the stage.  They’re quite static at first which seems surprising considering the music they are making and I wonder if this is the reason.  They loosen up as the night goes on and I notice that the crowd has suddenly got a lot busier.  I wonder if word has got around about them or if they’ve been drawn in from the bar.

I really like their sound.  To me it feels like a kind of modernised folk style, with a strong strings influence and cheerful percussion; a good combination of the indie and folk genres; being just a bit too interesting to fit into either one.  They also sound tight and well polished.

They seem fully warmed up by their last song ‘Dance’ and the singer becomes almost frantic as if this song is really important and he really wants to impart the message.  A beautiful song and a great ending to the gig.

I speak to the bassist after the gig who is very friendly and approachable; in line with the down-to-earth image the band give out.  I am intrigued by the lyrics which I haven’t really worked out yet.  I wonder if they suggest a troubled view of the world and a concern about their role and contribution to it, perhaps a slight apathetic feel.  I ask the bassist why they sing in English.  He tells me that they find Danish a bit restrictive and that English is a much more expressive and colourful language for writing in.  This is something that I’ve heard before but it still surprises me that such a ‘reserved’ nation would offer an expressive and colourful language!

I would really recommend going to see The Rumour Said Fire if you get the chance and on a final note, you may be interested to hear that a six pack of eggs survived this gig with no obvious signs of trauma.


Louise Fletcher

Originally from Bristol, I emigrated to The North after studying Sociology at Exeter University. In my opinion the Manchester music scene is pretty unbeatable and very inspiring! It even encouraged me to start a band! Long live the live music scene!