It is one of those pre-summer nights in Copenhagen, full of happy Copenhageners, buzzing from the excitement of the upcoming long, summer nights. After a long winter where we all crawl up inside and stick to ourselves, we break out as soon as the sun shows the tip of its nose.
The summers in Copenhagen are very social and mostly spent outside one’s home, enjoying music events and other entertainment and popping around the city with friends. And yes, there’s always something pleasurable, a little somethin’ somethin’… I am referring to food and drinks before you think otherwise!
I am on my way to Røde Roses Kaffebar at Nørrebro to experience Beck/Rosdahl, in an acoustic concert that promises to be intimate and full of soul.
As this is my first review for Scandinavian Soul, I feel very excited and also a bit nervous. On my way there I reflect on what really defines soul music in our time.
The café is very small and “Hyggelig”, as we say in Danish. I estimate there is standing room for 40-50 people; but whether sitting or standing you will very quickly get close to one another. The atmosphere is very friendly and local. I feel very much at home and now I understand why this café is the perfect place for an acoustic concert.
The stage holds no more than 2 people. There are two chairs and a guitar.
Beck and Rosdahl take the stage. There is no mixer, speakers or microphone – just two people – one female singer and a male on an acoustic guitar, AKA Beck/Rosdahl. We are back to basics here.
The venue is fully packed and the audience is ready to soulfully be taken away for an hour or two.
Together they have successfully peeled off the make-up of many popular songs and left the songs barefaced.
Lea Beck’s voice is very delicate and fine, almost innocent, and at the same time full of rhythm and depth. I have no doubt she knows what she is doing. She is accompanied by Rosdahl, an experienced guitarist with roots in the country genre, supporting her soft voice.
Together they have successfully peeled off the make-up of many popular songs and left the songs barefaced. As an audience, you are left with the true essence of the song, forced to listen and understand its natural, original form.
Beck/Rosdahl treats the audience with their own interpretations of artists like Beyonce, India Arie, John Mayer and Joni Mitchell. Two cover songs stand out: Gladys Knight’s ‘Feel Like Making Love’ and Jill Scott feat. Anthony Hamilton’s ‘So in Love’. I am especially impressed by Lea’s performance of this. The song is a duet, recorded by, arguably, two of world’s best soul/r&b singers. However, Lea captures the song in her way. She makes it sound easy, keeps the energy and tempo and at no point am I missing a male singer’s accompaniment.
Suddenly amongst the soulful covers, we are introduced to an old Classic Danish song, in Danish by Pia Raug, ‘Fugleflugt’. To me, this is as far from the soul genre as you can get, and quite a surprise after hearing the aforementioned songs and Joni Mitchell covers. Again I must take a bow and say “thank you” for giving me the chance to hear their version.
Listening to this song I realize what soul music is about at its core, and it is very simple. Soul music is about adding your essence, your very soul to what you do and Beck/Rosdahl demonstrates this effortlessly.
As an extra bonus, the duo introduces one of their own songs, written by Beck. The song tells a lovely story about being in love, the fear of being vulnerable and the sides of yourself you suddenly wish were not there. Ah – we have all been there. It is a really sweet song with strong music and lyrics that I would love to hear again. Beck reveals she has a lot more to give and even more so to her voice – a womanly power waiting to explode.
The entire evening was in the name of soul. Everything – from the venue to the owners, the guests and the beverages served in the bar – reflected this soulful feel. Last but not least, Beck/Rosdahl shows how simply soulful music can be done, by going back to basics.
I am looking forward to following the development of this duo and hope to attend additional small, intimate concerts.
Thank you for a lovely time. // cece