Of Monsters and Men
It’s probably been around three years since I last had the pleasure of visiting the city of Lincoln. A few years ago I used to visit a couple of times a month and always loved the old buildings and just general vibe of the place. So it was a little weird to be going back to this place after all this time. It actually felt smaller than before, and amazingly I still remembered where places were and how to get from A-B through all the shortcuts. Lincoln you’re a top-notch city and I’ve always thought so.
The point of the visit this weekend was a girls weekend away. Reuniting together as a foursome for the first time since university we were meeting up for the night to see Of Monsters and Men at the Engine Shed – only it was a threesome reunited as someone overslept and missed their train…shame on you. There was good old banter, reminiscing and of course the gig itself that made it feel like we still see each other on a regular basis – when really it was about 18 months since we were last all together.
One thing I hadn’t missed about Lincoln, and it was always the downside of visiting and still to this day gives me great anxiety, is the travel – there is no direct route to Lincoln from Hull and it is always delayed at Doncaster, aka the place trains go to die. Things just took a morbid turn there but once there was a hot chocolate in my hand the delays became bearable. Arriving in Lincoln you pass the Brayford that is still as picturesque as I remember, and to stay in a hotel overlooking the water and all the boats was lovely. The only downside is as soon as you left the hotel the wind was very bitter. It was almost like being at the beach; after all there were seagulls squawking around.
But the weather isn’t what we came for, we came for a gig – and a damn good one at that too. Of Monsters and Men’s first album really took off when they released Little Talks as a single, and their Icelandic tunes have since become a staple sound for the Autumn/Winter season. The support act Highasakite have now been added to my Spotify as they too were a really good listen. They had a very similar vibe to OMAM with a nice mixture of brass instruments and some synth tones. Having stood next to the sound and lighting decks I really wanted to play around and press all the buttons – it sort of resembled a spaceship and was far too tempting. But seeing the behind the scenes production was really interesting especially when they have the lights flicker in sync with the beat of the drums.
The drummer for OMAM was incredible. He had everyone in the palm of his hand, from standing on his seat, spinning his drumsticks around and hitting people with a towel on stage – it’s a first that the drummer seemed to be at the heart of the stage. He was very entertaining to watch, and his drumming on I Of The Storm and Slow Life have the tracks feature on my November Spotify playlist.
What was really humbling to see is how both Highasakite and Of Monsters and Men would thank everyone after each song. Coming from Norway and Iceland respectively the music scene is a lot bigger over here, which has inevitably made them more successful with their careers. Anyone who has a somewhat Mumford and Sons vibe about them will always do well in the UK, and OMAM have taken that genre as their own. Even though I’ve seen a few gigs in my time, never have a seen a crowd get so rowdy for an encore. It was shame when the gig came to and end but it was an incredibly enjoyable night with good friends – topped off with breakfast the following morning at Lincoln’s Madame Waffle.
Yes the weather was grim, and it was a long way to travel for just 24 hours but it was all worth while – a weekend away and quick break from client emails in a city that I’ve always loved and introducing good friends to a new place – what more could you want in a weekend?