Less Win – Shacklewell Arms, London, 05/07/2016

It’s become customary to start any review of a Danish band with an illusion to the dark, intense detective shows that the Scandinavian country has become world famous for. But having spent 45 or so minutes in the company of three piece Less Win, we can confirm there’s absolutely no mystery to why they’re so popular.

The Shacklewell Arms’ back room is packed by the time they take to the stage, the strains of The Fall‘s ‘Sparta FC’ fading from the venue’s PA. There’s no chance of us being eased in gently, either, as they burst into a jagged sounding ‘Listen Louder’, guitarist/singer Casper Morilla looking like a blonde Ian Curtis with his pudding bowl haircut and jerky moves.

The setlist tonight leans heavily on their recently released second album ‘Trust’, but these are stripped down, rawer versions with no sign of the sax and piano that embellish their studio recordings.

This means Morilla and fellow man up front Patrick Kociszewski, built like the proverbial brick shithouse and purveyor of monumental basslines seemingly carved out of pure granite, have to work even harder to keep our attention. The fact they share vocal duties, with drummer Matthew Moller even making a Ringo-like singing appearance on ‘The Hanging’ midway through, helps to keep things fresh.

In the main, though, the reason their set seems to fly by is the fact the album tracks are furiously executed and free of flab. They’re very much of the post-punk mould, certainly, but although there are clear echoes of PiL, Devo, Joy Division and especially Killing Joke (see Morilla’s more passionate vocal outpourings) they never settle into anyone’s shoes for more than a few moments.

In similarly no nonsense fashion, they deliver the set’s closing tune ‘A Thought To Be More’, with just a hint of the epic about it, and exit the stage quickly and without the merest hint of a self-indulgent. It’s a classic exercise in leaving us hungry, casually dropping the fact that they’ll be back in September. Most us, you suspect, will be back to see them again when they do return, because in a very real sense Less is definitely more.


God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.