Hitting up the UK with just two dates as part of a larger European tour, it’s on bonfire/firework night that Norwegian hard rock band, Shining arrive in London. Having heard nothing by them until recently, the five-piece impressed with their synth heavy and catchy rock opus, Animal. You can read our full review here.
Veritable unknowns in the UK, it’s no surprise to see that the Underworld in Camden is having a quiet night but that it’s barely a quarter full by time the lights go out is always disappointing. Still, those who have turned up certainly aren’t about to let Shining leave without showing their passion for the band.
Kicking off with the title track off the new album, Animal it’s immediately clear that everyone is going to be leaving that little bit more hard of hearing by time Shining is done with them. It’s loud, very loud and depending on your position certain elements get a little lost in favour of the drums. Not a specific Shining problem but more one for the Underworld overall.
It does mean that unless your right at the front the saxophone sections are difficult to make out. A pity as these moments put the silliest smiles on faces. There is just something so impressive about synchronised head-banging to a man playing a saxophone. It’s incredible to see and a genuine highlight of the show.
The band give it their all even if the sight of such few people must be disheartening. However these here…are the hardcore. Frontman Jørgen Munkeby asks the question “who here has seen Shining before?” and the majority put their hands up.
Or they could just be captivated by him. A bouncy ball of energy with immense talent not just in the vocal department.
It’s not the longest of sets with the majority of the songs coming from the new record of course. What’s quite interesting is to see how different earlier releases are to the new stuff, at times it almost sounds like two different bands but both equally as thrilling. Early songs have so much bite to them while songs off Animal are all about catchy and memorable hooks.
While on a personal level there were tracks I wanted to hear, Shining certainly don’t leave anyone feeling short changed. A rousing renditions of When the Lights Go Out is a particularly great moment.
One of the things that becomes more apparent as the set comes to an end is that Shining have ideas about being on much larger stages and this comes across in the show with an array of lights, dry ice machines and a feel of grander things to come. They certainly deserve a bigger stage.
Shining at The Underworld Camden, London (05/11/18)
- The Final Score - 7.5/107.5/10