LIVE REVIEW: Normandie, Delaire The Liar, Omeara, London, 04/12/2022
When someone waves a white flag, it is used as a symbol of surrender, calling a truce or the wish to initiate ceasefires. When Sweden born alt-rockers Normandie released their second studio album White Flag back in 2018, lyrically, the band tapped into this familiar giving up type territory. Whether it be the breakdown of a relationship to the dashing of a life dream, Normandie were waving the White Flag on some serious real-life stuff.
Musically though, the band tossed that White Flag into the burning fire that lays on the battlefield and brought their own heat, with their staple poppy alt-rock sound with flashes of electronic elements Normandie have evolved to become after the days of first metalcore heavy full-length Inguz and pre the days of the atmospheric heaviness of third effort Dark & Beautiful Secrets; all albums that deserve to be celebrated under every emotion and in every facet of life and that’s where the bands three night sold-out residence down at London’s Omeara comes into play.
Before Normandie storm onto stage, four-piece outfit Delaire The Liar provided a warm-up for the Normandie heatwave that was about to sweep over Omeara later. Having released their most recent EP EAT YOUR OWN last year, it’s clear to hear why Delaire The Lair are one of the most hotly tipped up and comers the scene has seen in recent years. “This song is about power and punishment. If you came here to move, now is your chance,” lead vocalist Ffin Colley declares the band topping off their setlist with menacing closer DOG and one last goodbye from the band saying “Thank you for your kindness and patience before the mighty Normandie come on next,” 7/10
And this was the moment Normandie’s White Flag gets its moment of complete and utter glory and make no mistake, the band haven’t forgotten it too. “This is night number two London,” Normandie frontman Philip Strand shouts as the band relive their 2018 selves like they never went away or aged at all. “The beautiful thing about doing these album shows is that we can play tall the singles first,” the band blazing their way through White Flag’s leading tracks Ecstasy, White Flag and Enough in speedy succession. With smiles plastered across their faces and singalongs sweeping the room, if not feeling a little weird performing all the smash songs one after the other, delivering a massive dose of serotonin in one dangerous hit, Strand quick to point out “It feels weird playing all the singles at once.”
The set of course wasn’t without the remainder of the record’s deeper cuts, where track four Dead is filled with screams, track five Don’t Need You details a song based around constant nightmares and lucid dreams to track six The Bell flexing the bands Swedish roots, with its second verse beautifully sung in the band’s native language appropriately for a song full of love’s desire. Strand breaking down in unstoppable floods of tears at the track’s meaning being projected live on the happy couples that make up Omeara’s packed-out capacity, “I wanted to find someone who would break my down and build me up again as a better man. And now I have found that.”
”White Flag was the album that took us to the place where we are at now” comments Strand and as the bands equivalent to their mainstream breakout album, White Flag live in full was a visceral, intense and vibrant outing that their holy grail record deserves. 9/10
Written By: Katie Conway-Flood