The Copenhagen band's music is not at all warm and cuddly and, presented in this form, in the company of the Northern Sinfonia conducted by Andre de Ridder, it is even further from the emotional end of rock'n'roll.
Which is not say that it is anything other than brilliantly realised. The history of music is littered with the debris of collaborations between rock bands and orchestras from Caravan and Deep Purple onwards, but this was a fully integrated show with superb arrangements of the group's compositions, as well as a fine original score by one of those responsible, Karsten Fundal. The Efterklang trio – Clausen, bassist Rasmus Stolberg and Mads Brauer on keys and computers – is also joined by a trio of female singers, American pianist Peter Broderick and our own dear Budgie (of Siouxsie and the Banshees) on drums for what is a meticulously planned – and played – evening that had had only one previous performance (at the orchestra's Sage, Gateshead, home) by these forces.
With effective visuals projected onto the organ pipes above the stage, there were other nice touches in the visual presentation, with Stolberg particularly keen to physically integrate himself with the orchestra and Brauer's electronica, on tracks like Told To Be Fine, dovetailing seemlessly with lines for the strings and the horns. It was all easy to admire, if a little harder to love.