Ideal Bar is often the neglected child in the Vega family, consigned to a solitary, unsung existence in the shadow of its bigger siblings, Lille and Store Vega. In spite of that, the venue has played host to quite a few upcoming acts over the years, generally sticking to a more down-tempo profile. This was the case last night when Penny Police, one of Denmark’s most exciting alternative pop acts, took to the stage at the venue. Ideal Bar was packed to capacity, with many revelers sitting on the floor around the stage.
Warming up for Penny was 18-year-old Emma Søhested Høeg, as vibrant an intro act as one could imagine. She charmed the crowd with a host of reflective, socially-relevant songs. Clad in a pink dress and bearing a pert disposition, Emma Høeg was both witty, imaginative and daring, chuckling and cracking jokes in between her repertoire of contemplative tracks.
The humble, composed Marie Fjeldsted grew up in Denmark’s oldest town of Ribe and has a long history of producing melancholic, thoughtful songs charting her contemplations and interpretation of life. Her stage moniker Penny Police epitomises the essence of her music, with ‘Penny’ reflecting the lively, positive aspects of her productions and ‘Police’ constituting the more melancholic side of her music. Both dualities were present at this performance.
Penny softened the jovial mood created by her warm-up act, starting with a couple of solemn tracks off her newly dropped 2013 EP Sink Ships. Much like the EP, the opening was soothing, ambient and dreamy. ‘Run for your life’ is the only up-tempo track on the EP and is one of those numbers that rockets to life when performed live. It marked a turning point in the concert, paving the way for a series of tunes from her 2012 debut album The Broken, The Beggar, The Thief, many of which found Penny plucking away at an electric harp with an ethereal, weightless panache. A particularly notable highlight was ‘Up Here,’ a tune which got the crowd swaying and smiling, in a rare moment of sheer positivity.
Penny rounded off the show with melancholic tunes such as ‘What if Life Doesn’t Kill You’ and ‘Kid I Recommend You Stop Breathing’ before an encore with the catchy ‘With all the Best’ rounded off the performance. There is little doubt that Penny Police is a musician of some talent, who plays with ease and a tremendous sense of composure – that many live acts all too often lack.