4,000 people passed through the doors of London’s O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire to see Milky Chance this month, as a two-night run saw the duo whisk crowds away to what felt like a far-off desert island rave.
As I entered, the first thing I noticed were the three oversized dream catchers and numerous totem poles filling the stage. The bands hadn’t even started and I already felt as though I’d been transported to a tropical island.
Milky Chance had one support act in Southampton based three-piece, Kafka Tamura. They felt like the perfect warm-up, with their eerie yet uplifting strung-out beats, and slow yet catchy guitar riffs. Lead singer Emma looked amazing in her all sequin dress – I could’ve listened to her clear, husky and welcoming voice all night.
I’ve got into the habit now of not listening to a support act ahead of a gig if I’ve not heard of them before. I’ve found I get more of an impact from their music if I haven’t got a clue what to expect – I usually know the headliners music well, so it’s a nice contrast. Try this out when you go to your next gig.
Now it was time for the German duo, Milky Chance to overwhelm the crowd with their reggae-infused folk. Kafka Tamura had built such a fitting atmosphere for them. Well and truly wedged in the crowd, I was ready. The powerful, colourful light show illuminating the audience, built up the tension as we all waited for Clemens Rehbein (vocals and instrumentals) and Philip Dausch (production and DJing) to step up to the stage.
The crowd was luminous when they played their three released singles, Down By The River, Stolen Dance and Flashed Junk Mind. I could feel the smiles surrounding me as people lifted on to their toes, forcing their hands into the air and shaking their feet to the beat.
Midway through the set I noticed someone FaceTiming their friend – the person on their screen had the biggest smile and was bopping along to the music. This was special; sharing those moments with friends who couldn’t be there.
There were a few songs where both Clemens and Philip were playing harmonicas, and the crowd lapped it up. I love the way an instrument can give a song a whole new feel, twisting and turning something you may expect into something new.
It’s safe to say that 4,000 people left fulfilled after Milky Chance’s captivating stint in London. Until next time!