The Joke

Falconer Salen, Copenhagen - 2012

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

The Joke.
Now, I’m not going to start out with a pun about the vocalist looking like one with his pearl necklace and white feather boa…
Oops, sorry!

The Joke from Denmark was the first support band for an evening which would later bring us The Floor Is Made Of Lava and finally D-A-D!
By this time though, not too many had shown up, and thus the support for the supporting band was limited to say the least. But first thing first, here’s a small description of what we were looking at…
I have seen The Joke classified as something completely new to me, namely hippiecore, and in the bands own words they are “…the soundtrack in a bar fight between hippies, punks and beatniks…”. Well, that just about sums it up doesn’t it?
In my words on the other hand, The Joke sounded just like your average rock band which tries to be current by adding a retro style. Which can be fine I suppose if you are into that sort of thing (which I am not), but they didn’t really have anything going for them – the songs were indifferent and easily forgotten, as was the performance for the most part.

The most interesting guys to watch were definitely the guitarist wielding the Firebird, and the drummer. These two actually seemed to have a lot of fun up there, whereas the 80ies wannabe conga/maracas/electronics/etc. playing guy with the Tom Cruise shades and the vocalist mostly came off as annoying. Now, I do realize this may sound a bit harsh, but right here I’m just calling it as I saw it.
About halfway through the last song something changed however. It was as if the members of the band could feel the end drawing near, and they decided to get the most out of what time they had left. Suddenly sparks were flying everywhere (well, not literally) and everyone was headbanging, jumping or just spinning round themselves in whatever fashion suited them. Finally we saw a show worth seeing! Sadly, it only lasted about a minute or so, and then the song was over.
Now, if they had had this form of energy all the way through, this would have been a much more enjoyable ride despite the lacking musical interest, but that was not to be. And honestly, how can a band, which describes themselves as having a “…huge experience (…) uncompromising sound…” and being “…in your face…” not be able to hold a show together for 5 meagre songs, which incidentally was all they had?

As you may have guessed, this simply wasn’t good enough. I don’t think I will go quite as far as calling decidedly worthless, but I think I will return to the word indifferent, and then add pointless to the mix as well.
Hey, I’m not saying would fare any better (I most certainly wouldn’t, to be honest), but then again, neither am I out there selling myself as a talented musician and charging money for this thing…

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