The sidewalk outside of the club was crowded, but the club was empty and the stage was in want of performers. Just a few people were swaying to the vintage tunes on the upper level. It didn’t look like much was going on. Then a few lithe figures dressed in garb harkening back to another era – one of heavy drug usage and dirty denim – walked through the doors of Bassy Club–the doors that usher one from the fresh air of the outside street to the cave-like atmosphere of the dance floor, tinged with smoke, sweat, and the allure of rock’n’roll. And more followed behind them until the floor was full.
The instruments on stage waited for musicians: a keyboard, drumset, scattered guitars, and a microphone. Two men took the stage, severely outnumbered by the instruments. Tammo Dehn stepped behind the drums, and Jascha Kreft took his position behind the microphone, a guitar in hand, as The Odd Couple readied themselves for the sweatiness and electricity that was to come. Within the first few notes, the audience was invited to travel back to the early days of the Black Keys and Cold War Kids, or even further to Led Zeppelin and The Yardbirds.
A fan can listen to the tracks on the band’s SoundCloud, but the live show provided a new level of energy and intimacy with The Odd Couple. The audience waited patiently while the musicians traded instruments and invited special guests onto the stage to add to the sound, and the volume. “Nightcrawl,” in particular, had a crunchy guitar riff that left the audience members unable to keep their hips and shoulders from slinking along to the melody. The tradeoff of lead vocals between Kreft and Dehn provided another level of intricacy to the song; the deep and rough timbre of Dehn’s voice coming up against the smooth and higher ranges of Kreft. “Unwind Me” kept the sleazy, bluesy rock coming with a hint of the psychedelic, making the slurred lyrics of “drugs and booze/drunks and fools” all the more appropriate.
The band was quiet in between songs, with a murmured “Danke” or count-in between the two before a song started, but the on-stage banter was not needed. Instead, the crowd was perfectly content swaying to reverberations, sipping on their drinks, and taking drags of their chain-smoked cigarettes. After the band played, the dance floor remained populated while a few stragglers headed to the bar as DJ Frank Popp and Miss Nico spun tracks from the 1960s and invited the audience to stay in the past.