Neon Waltz playing live at the Bristol Thekla (Jessica Bartolini for Live4ever)
Neon Waltz have released a brand new single entitled Friends Who Lost Control with their headline tour of the UK now underway.
The band visited Motor Museum studios in Liverpool to record the track which was produced by Spring King’s Tarek Musa. Frontman Jordan Shearer has directed its video, and says:
“Friends Who Lost Control is a relentless look at life without balance. Choosing a path out of the norm and the downfalls that come with it.”
The tour opened at Hoxton Bar & Kitchen in London and is due at Hare & Hounds in Birmingham tonight. The month also brings headlines gigs in Leeds, Newcastle, Edinburgh and Glasgow. In May, they’ll play Sunday Sessions in Norwich as one of the supports for Noel Gallagher.
March 22 – London, Hoxton Bar & Kitchen 24 – Manchester, YES, Basement 25 – Birmingham, Hare & Hounds 26 – Leeds, Headrow House 27 – Newcastle Upon Tyne, Northumbria Institute 2 28 – Edinburgh, The Mash House 29 – Glasgow, St. Luke’s
Little Comets @ London Dingwalls (Photo: Alberto Pezzali for Live4ever Media)
As we talk, Brexit is no closer to being resolved; it’s such a fast moving beast that by the time you read this, things will almost certainly have significantly changed, perhaps even in a decisive manner.
The after-effects will long be felt and seem to have had a disconcerting impact on the way discourse is conducted in the UK. As ever, Robert Coles and Little Comets are keeping a keen eye on the state of the world, but have a radical solution to the problems we in the western world are currently facing. It’s called listening.
“These days, when everything is kind of apocalyptic and negative – I was watching Question Time last night and the fact that people are just shouting at each other and arguing at each other – the thing is, with the way our media is, everything has to be black and white,” he says to Live4ever during our chat this month. “Everybody has to take a side.”
“Whereas yes Brexit is an important thing, but most people in our country have a lot more in common with each other than this one dividing line that someone’s just drawn. Regardless of what you think, you should be respectful and listen to someone’s point of view.” With some justification Coles, Little Comets’ singer, co-writer and guitarist, believes we as a society need to focus on what unites us rather than what divides.
“Try and focus on the things you have in common with people and the values that people have in common. It’s easy news to have two sides of the debate and polarise it. Sometimes I have 5Live on in the car and they just seem to get people with the most extreme point of view from either side, and they just put them in the bear pit. It’s fairly reductive.”
“The World Cup was a good example: even if you don’t like football people had a common goal to unite around. The atmosphere everywhere was far more communal and people had a smile on their face. You would more readily stop and speak to people you wouldn’t normally have a five-minute chat with. That’s the other side of it. But since then the negative news-stories have just been piling up. People are like, ‘oh well, we just need to get on with it’. It’s hard, it’s complicated. How many years’ work have gone into this relationship? This is a complex thing to get right.”
Little Comets are back, and not before time. It’s been two years since the release of their last album Worhead, the second on their own Smallest Label. But the trio are doing things are bit differently this time. They recently released a single entitled The Sneeze which followed hot on the heels of M62 in 2018. “I think we really enjoyed it a few years ago, when we started releasing things on our own label and had a really productive year,” Coles continues.
“We did three EPs and an album in the space of twelve months. It was nice to be constantly busy, and the good thing about having things like Spotify is that you can upload things straight away without necessarily playing the game of a release schedule. You can be quite fluid with it and that suits us. With our family situation we don’t tend to tour for 12 months and then be in the studio for 12 months. It’s a lot more piecemeal. The idea of uploading things as and when we finish them, and then putting them together for a physical release…I think that’s a pattern we’ll use over the next couple of years.”
Does this signify that the boys are giving up the ghost and turning their back on the traditional album format, which has apparently been dead for some time? “In terms of an album, because the songs are written in a similar timeframe and in a similar part of our lives that’s what gives our group of songs an identity and is the glue that keeps them together,” Coles says. “As long as we stick within time periods they’ll be quite cogent anyway. We will be doing the singles, but I still love the idea of producing something that people can hold and read. We do the artwork as well and I love that part of the process, decorating the cake. So we’ll still do that periodically because I think the songs will work together in an album format, simply because they’ve been done in a similar time. I think that’s what gives each of our albums a distinct sound rather than a conscious ‘this is the sound of this album’.”
As artists and musicians, Little Comets try not to stick to a regular style, format or cause, rather letting the process take its own natural journey. Yet sometimes it’s impossible to avoid the world around them. At the moment whichever newspaper headline you read, whichever television channel you watch, whichever social media platform you use, we seem to be at peak argument. Like there’s no escape. The Sneeze was an attempt to distance themselves and the listener from it. “The Sneeze was quite cathartic; the way things have been going the last couple of years, things seem to be heading in quite an ominous direction,” Coles believes.
“That’s what The Sneeze is about. On the front you can see a man-made disaster which could spell catastrophe just around the corner. It was nice to write about that. The video is quite intense so when we finished the process of the song and the mixing we were happy that it was out of us. When we did the video in Sheffield it was just around the time they were doing the real serious debate around the Brexit deal. We were listening to it all on the way home. It was almost purposely designed to turn yourself off from the process. I just felt so over-saturated with it so I just took no notice for two or three weeks. It’s dangerous because if you do turn off you’re just letting it wash over you, but I just think sometimes you need to do that.”
As hard as it is to believe right now, there is a future beyond March 29th, or even the end of June. The boys have big plans for the year. “We’ve got quite a bit coming up this year. We’ve got a bridging song which is quite a chilled out acoustic number coming out, then the one that sounds most like a single (American Tuna) coming last. That’ll be the start of April and then after that we’ve got a tour announcement, and we’ve done something a bit cheeky with the first album that’s kind of under wraps. Then the album at the end of the year. The next song is completely different from The Sneeze, it’s a lot more positive and upbeat. It’s a nice contrast really.”
And presumably there will be a tour to follow? “We normally do about 10-12 dates, but this one’s going to be a bit longer. We’re looking to do a few dates in Ireland which will be good because we haven’t been over for a few years now. We’d like to book some American dates as well. If you look at where people are when they listen to music, a lot of top cities on Spotify data are actually in the US so it would be a shame not to do a few dates over there. But again, it’s got to make sense as we don’t have a label to fund the shortfall.”
“It has its upsides but that’s certainly a downside, in terms of getting to a new territory because you just can’t afford to make a £50,000 loss on the tour. It’s just not happening. We’d try and consolidate it into two or three weeks. It wouldn’t be a ‘let’s go and try and break America’ 12 months. It’d really be making sure we’d get something tangible from it.”
For their first two albums, Little Comets were signed to Dirty Hit, home to The 1975, Wolf Alice and Pale Waves among others. One of the founders of the label was former footballer Ugo Ehiogu, who sadly died in 2017. Rob worked with Ehiogu as the label was forming and has positive memories. “It was really sad,” he tells Live4ever. “It was just after we’d left Columbia; I had an email from a guy called Jamie Oborne who manages The 1975. At the time he was setting up this new label and he said, ‘I’ve got a couple of other investors, one of whom is Ugo Ehiogu’. He said that he’d not necessarily made a lot of money from traditional investments, so he wanted to do something where he could have a bit of fun with it, and one passion he had was music.”
“So he came to a few gigs and we played football with him a couple of times. He was just a really lovely bloke. We hadn’t been working with Dirty for a few years, and I think he was taking a bit of a backseat because he hadn’t been coaching at Tottenham for that long. He was almost deciding what his next step was going to be, so it was a real shock. Such a shame, because not only was he a nice bloke but he seemed to be doing really well with his coaching career and he was obviously highly respected.”
Tellingly, the recollection brings to the forefront a key insight into Rob’s mindset, and a valuable lesson for us all: “Whenever anything like that happens you just try and relate it to your own life. You’ve just got to have fun with it really. Make positive decisions all the time.”
Charlie Jordan (Vocals) Luke Dec ( Guitar) Jacob Simpson (Guitar) Tom Edwards (Bass) Luke O’Reilly (Drums)
We’re all from around the Manchester / Oldham area, we rehearse in Chadderton.
Our influences vary between member, but I’d say the main drive behind our sound is influences from the 60’s and 70’s powerhouse bands like Led Zeppelin, The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, but we definitely take a lot from the whole energy and principals of proto-punk bands like The Stooges and Mc5, and the intensity and raw energy that they brought live. But we’re not completely backwards looking when it comes to influences and the sound we’re trying to achieve, I’d say it’s important to pay respect to the great pioneers of Rock ‘n’ Roll whilst making material that sounds fresh and different.
The band formed in 2017 when we were all currently just out of bands and looking for a new project to work on. We’d all by coincidence been in bands together previously at one point or another but they hadn’t really worked out, which tends to be the case on the local music scene as there are only so many like-minded musicians in one area. But Jacob and Luke were looking to find members and I knew Charlie from a recent band so we had the four of us and just were seeking out a drummer. We eventually ended up with Luke O’Reilly who is the final piece of the band completing our line-up.
We all work or are in uni currently, which is usually the challenging but necessary part of being in a up and coming band which requires vast amounts of time and funding to get going, but things are on the rise and we’re all driven to achieve the same goal and things are looking bright.
I think we’re starting to get on the path of having our own original sound which is mainly composed of catchy melodies and enticing guitar hooks with a driving rhythm section. We want people to come to our shows and have a good time, so we like to create high energy music people can dance to as the live show is such an imperative part of being a new band on the circuit. We want people to come back to our shows and bring more and more people every time.
We’re just constantly looking to get booked on bigger and better shows and festivals to mingle with our peers that have inspired us and play to larger audiences. But I think our main ambition overall is it to create new music and put on live shows that people are drawn into, as a band we feed off the energy of the audience so we just want to keep pushing that as it’s ultimately our fanbase that will lead us to success and help us rise.
Did you know?
We’ve had so many strange encounters it’s hard to narrow it down to one event. I definitely think having a Scottish pensioner force his way into the backstage area at one of our earlier gigs to eventually become our roadie and Derek Ryder that we can’t function without has been a great tale for the band. If you see Tommy at our gigs, say hello as he’s one of the nicest blokes you’ll meet.
We have a new record coming out in March, Moving Pictures, which is going out on a 7” that we can’t wait for people to get their hands on. We’re doing a headline show at the Night And Day Cafe to tie in with that along with a five-night tour of the south coast so March is a very busy month for us. We’ve also just announced we’re playing Kendal Calling this year along with Sound City Liverpool and Cotton Clouds, and we have recently supported Peter Doherty.
We’ve also made the final of the Northern Exposure Inmusic Festival competition which is at the Cavern Club on 26th March, the winner gets a slot at the Inmusic Festival in Zagreb. We do have some stiff competition in that one though. So it’s looking up for us, we have plenty in the pipeline with loads of stuff still to be announced.
Manchester’s finest rock and roll risers have solidified a reputation by producing some of the best, and loudest, live shows. Their recordings are as compulsive as their gigs, something which Moving Pictures, the band’s latest offering, serves to demonstrate. While Dirty Laces pay their respects to bands like Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin, they apply the vibe of those bands in fresh, forward- thinking ways, and Moving Pictures delivers on several fronts.
By combining rock-solid rhythms, hooks, a tight chorus and sharp vocals, it produces qualities conventionally deemed much harder to achieve, and the single works its ambitious wonders throughout. It sounds cool and easy, but the band have been digging deep to achieve this one and what’s delivered is a big, well-executed sound; full of rock and roll magic from a young band that clearly have loads more to give.
Track Of The Week is from Liverpool-based trio SPQR with Our Mother’s Sons.
It comes with news that the band’s second EP Low Sun Long Shadows has been set for release on April 26th via Modern Sky, produced by Margo Broom at Hermitage Works Studios to follow last year’s stand-alone single Blood Pump. Of its video, the band say:
“The video was shot in our rehearsal studio, by our very dear friend Thomas Sumner. Pete came up with the original idea of the spinning shot because he wanted to create a disorientating effect, and it all evolved from there. Thomas filmed, directed and edited it all—we just did some silly dancing.”
SPQR have also been named on the BBC 6Music Festival’s fringe bill in Liverpool this month, and have appearances at Liverpool Sound City and Bluedot coming up, as well as a show in Leeds at the Hyde Park Book Club.
The Chemical Brothers have premiered a new track entitled We’ve Got To Try which is due for inclusion on their ninth studio album No Geography when it’s released on April 12th.
The accompanying promo was directed by Ninian Doff and is shared ahead of the start of Tom Rowlands and Ed Simons’ live duties in May. Later that month, they play All Points East in London and will also appear at Eden Sessions in Cornwall on June 28th.
There’s a UK arena tour booked for November too, which will visit Leeds, Manchester, Glasgow, Cardiff and Birmingham.
May 11 – Corona Capital Guadalajara Festival, Mexico 12 – Arena, Mexico City, Mexico 15 – The Shrine, Los Angeles, USA 16 – The Greek Theatre, Los Angeles, USA 17 – Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, San Francisco, USA 24 – All Points East Festival, Victoria Park, London, UK
June 6 – Yubileyney Sports Palace, St. Petersburg, Russia 7 – VTB Arena, Moscow, Russia 15 – IEC, Kiev, Ukraine 28 – Eden Sessions, Cornwall, UK
July 7 – We are Electric, Velder Woods, Netherlands 11 – Mad Cool Festival, Madrid, Spain 13 – NOS Alive Festival, Lisbon, Portugal 14 – Doctor Music Festival, Escalarre, Spain 21 – Deichbrand Festival, Cuxhaven, Germany
August 21 – Zurich Open Air, Zurich, Switzerland 24 – Creamfields, Daresbury, UK
November 21 – Leeds, First Direct Arena, UK 22 – Manchester, Arena, UK 23 – Glasgow, The SSE Hydro, UK 28 – Cardiff, Motorpoint Arena, UK 29 – Birmingham, Arena, UK
Yannis Philippakis sounds like a man with a great deal on his mind.
‘I just feel like, what’s the utility of being a musician these days if you can’t engage with at least some of this stuff?’, he muses in the press release for the first part of Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost. He then posits: ‘These songs are white flags, or they’re SOSs, or they’re cries for help…each in a different way’.
The stuff in question is, as he sees it, the threat man poses against nature because of its vulnerability and impermanence, a planetary dystopia that dynamically fuels both parts of Foals’ boldest venture yet, a double album released in individual parts, one the singer describes coyly as ‘two halves of the same locket’.
The background to its making, however, underlines their self-possession; not many bands would choose to not replace a departing founder member (bassist Walter Gervers) and compound that by taking production duties in house, but then again Foals didn’t break unexpectedly into the elite cabal of A-listed festival headliners by acting like any other band.
In thumbing their noses at the easy ways out it might’ve been expected that Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost would broker some kind of disconnect with the past, but on the meaty lead single Exits there’s a businesslike familiarity and directness, words about a species forced underground and bird-empty skies backed off in abundance to an expertly crafted, staccato piano riff and a fistful of their perfectly weighted afro and math rock trace elements.
It’s a statement song, one intent on reminding us that the now-quartet may be saying the end is nigh but that when it does go tits up they’ll still be standing, On The Luna having the sort of riff crunch to be saved up for judgement day while In Degrees rarely find a moment of peace, the control of a rolling bass synth punctured by a jaggedness the band have rarely found since their earliest days.
For the most part, Philippakis is happy to let the album’s messages be delivered fundamentally within tramlines that will please Foals’ famously rabid fanbase, but there are occasional glimpses of what the project’s second installment could bring if he subtly chooses to turn the tables on them. One seems to be an unfinished idea – the ambient sliver of Surf Pt.1 – but Café D’Athens is a feast of percussive Asian-indebted rhythms over a looped Amen break, a feast song that could be the opening of a new chapter or simply an experiment in devilry.
For now, these remain riddles. What’s in plain earshot however, is how far their scope has grown; on Sunday they’re halfway through delivering a stand-and-deliver mini-epic before tempo jumping without warning into an epic rave, while closer I’m Done With The World (And It’s Done With Me) is a sombre ballad filled with giant sweeps of destiny and resignation.
We’re at the half way point of Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost and so – perhaps deliberately – it’s hard to judge it without the feeling of a jumped conclusion. Regardless of the subject matter however, Foals remain one of the few British bands to consistently master nuance and gentle power; once welded the complete picture may be their sleekest, most intoxicating yet.
Robert Coles fronting Little Comets @ London Dingwalls (Photo: Alberto Pezzali for Live4ever Media)
Little Comets will start the build-up to their fifth studio album with the release of a new single entitled The Sneeze on March 7th.
As the year progresses, this is due to be followed by more new music and ‘very special touring news’ with the album expected towards the end of 2019. The Sneeze is another track built around Little Comets’ wonderfully independent nature; recorded as it was in a garage ‘amidst the angst of a neighbour’s lawn mower’ on drums ‘pulled from a Lichfield skip’.
Little Comets were at number one on Live4ever’s Best Albums list in 2015 thanks to Hope Is Just A State Of Mind, an album unafraid to face injustices and prejudices both socially and within the music industry head-on before it became fashionable for the mainstream to do the same.
“It’s the powerful taunting of misogynist tendencies in the music industry and society as a whole on final track ‘The Blur, The Line & The Thickest Of Onions‘ which truly displays the lyrical potency of the band,” our review reads. “This form of engagement with larger questions of humanity at the heart of ‘Hope Is Just a State of Mind’ is precisely why Little Comets have survived and flourished beyond the universal indie clear-out at the back end of the noughties. ”
“They are a band with much to say about the difficulties of growing up in a culturally diminishing, post-recession Britain, yet provide a sense of optimism in their richly varied and hugely enjoyable tapestry of influences.”
If it ain’t broke, why fix it? It’s this type of thinking that holds so many bands back, but not Drenge. Not on Strange Creatures.
On their third album Drenge have taken the seemingly unusual decision to recreate an already unique sound. What’s more interesting is the direction they’ve chosen to take. With two influential rock records under their belt, an acoustic album wouldn’t be a surprise. Or a live one, or one that comes with a cuddly theme. But synth? Where did that come from?
The synth-pop sound at the heart of Strange Creatures still makes for a fantastic rock album at its core. Unlike, say, The Sunshine Underground’s fantastic XXX, on which they fully dissolved into their dance tendencies, Drenge have changed everything to remain more true to their sound than ever. Everything is grim, angry yet glossy (like the 80s). However, every neon lick is also filled with seething anger hidden amidst the disco rhythms and synth intensity.
Bonfire Of The City Boys induces visions of The Fall or other angry 70s poets, powerful and awesome like Baz Lurhman’s Sunscreen for being devoid of wonder but full of writhing aggression. This Dance is more typical of Drenge’s previous work, but still comes with a slightly more rhythmic flow, though its slight disco rhythm gets beaten to a bloody pulp by its total determination.
The tempo changes significantly on Autonomy. Without being obvious it seems to reference a lot of things, landing like some kind of Echo & The Bunnymen cover of INXS. Funky and fun, but tinged with something darker. You can almost taste the orange peel. Teenage Love pushes things further, there’s hints of Fade To Grey, only darker. It could be Cabaret Voltaire or Love & Rockets trying to create something upbeat and failing, but still being brilliant in the process.
The title-track is full Depeche Mode, and they do it bloody well. A brilliant, haunting piece of music, the growing tension throughout builds real impact. Prom Night is a totally different beast. The sax solo alone is the very essence of nostalgia; can any other instrument sound so forlorn? With it and a great build, Drenge conjure up feelings of regret, despair and pain, and the sax makes those feelings real. In fact it almost transcends the song, like Claire Torry’s vocals of Great Gig In The Sky. On paper it sounds tacky, but on record it’s urgent and necessary and amazing all at once.
Avalanches then darkens the tone further. There’s something eerie about this one, with a drone that imbues deep concern. Beauty can be dark, and this is as dark and light as it can possibly be. Album closer When I Look Into Your Eyes is a western soundtrack coming of age. It’s strange but beautiful and full of atmosphere like a Sergio Leone panorama – it just seems to wistfully stretch on forever. It’s a vista, not a sprint.
The album uses its 80s inspiration to finally highlight Eoin Loveless’ new-found depths. By channeling Dave Gahan and more, Strange Creatures widens Drenge’s range and gives their anger a voice beyond pure fury. Here more than ever, Loveless channels Gahan’s middle England listless fury to make something beautiful. What makes this album so successful is not that Drenge have changed their sound, they’ve merely found a way to enhance it. It’s not a reinvention, it’s a refinement.
Strange Creatures is a fascinating record that takes real chances. It pushes the listener beyond their expectation without robbing them of reward. The joy of this album comes from knowing that it’s not experimentation for the sake of it. Instead, it’s allowing the song to guide the sound.
What it delivers is an ingredient that no one realised was missing, but once tasted it can’t be lived without.
For all the qualities Jessica Pratt’s music is rich in, its peculiar relationship with time is the one that’s the most undeniably headf***ing.
Quiet Signs sounds like it could’ve been written at any point during the last five decades such is the rootless universality of its grain; in making everything appear to have stood still, the Californian has stolen its secrets and convinced us she doesn’t exist. Take for example As The World Turns, which contains the first moment on which words appear, disembarking gently as if summoned up from a dimension somewhere between magic and the stars, Pratt’s voice elfin and yet indefinably alive. Built from little more than two or three repeated chords, the effect is mesmerising, an uncorking of the playful detachment from which the singer rarely deviates.
We begin, however, with Opening Night, its notes sketched from a gently coaxed piano, Pratt’s melodic hums drifting in from a distant breeze. The title is a reference to John Cassavates’ 1977 film of the same name, a visceral drama about the cost and duality of both performance and performing which she claims was a source of inspiration, albeit tangentially, throughout the recording process.
One aspect of the woozy disorientation Quiet Places brings on is the constant sensation of being in two places at once, the sound bending around vocals which are often gently distorted and hazy, the ambiguous words like shadows. Often voices come from the distant past; Fare Thee Well seems to be haunted by the spirit of Karen Carpenter, while all Here My Love’s gorgeous, skeletal bossa nova lacks is the footsteps and shy loneliness of Astrud Gilberto.
This chamber in which the silence is as loud as the notes is something which follows a trail of precedent: on her eponymously titled first album, Pratt recorded using solely analogue equipment, a deliberately lo-fi technique dispensed with for the first time here by relocating to a Brooklyn studio. The resultant shift meant even something this slight – nine songs clocking in at less than thirty minutes – took almost 18 months to finish.
The glacial pace of its creation has no bearing however on the richness and ethereal fascination of the material. On Poly Blue a flute spirals gaily, pirouetting around sing-song tones whilst the almosts and nothings are as happy and intimate as a stolen kiss. Like those, Quiet Signs is a series of simple pleasures, on Silent Song words pipe innocently about a state of mind that harbours both love and regret: ‘Soft, sweet as the air/I longed to stay with you/Or did I belong to my song?’, while the organ of closer Aeroplane gives it the tone of a weary confessional, the gentle flow weaving through the husk of another dead affair.
Musically there are few parallels with other artists who can induce this sort of dappled nostalgia – the only other obvious one being Scottish duo Boards Of Canada, who twenty years ago on Music Has The Right To Children fused cinematics, hip-hop and mellowed ambience into a dreamy teleport that remains a similarly tripped-out form of suspended animation.
In the end though, it all comes inevitably back to time: the time you’ll lose listening to this record until you’ve managed to work it out, and the time you’ll spend wishing you were listening to it instead of being distracted by the snakes of counterfeit real life.
Once locked away again from there, Quiet Signs will leave you stranded in your own head.
Brian Christinzio, for BC Camplight is he, has been around the block several times now.
His first three albums didn’t make much of a dent despite critical approval, and he was subsequently dropped by One Little Indian. With his second album on Bella Union, his fourth in total, he seems to be starting to gain some traction on this side of the pond.
It has to be said that is largely down to last year’s crossover hit I’m Desperate, but beyond that there is much to enjoy. Christinzio is quite the raconteur, and throughout the entirety of this support slot he has the continually expanding crowd entertained. There is a real off-beat sense of humour to both he and his music, more akin to one of those wise-cracking American stand-ups; When I Think About My Dog is a solemn, piano-led ballad complete with barking, for example.
He regales the crowd by informing us that Am I Dead? was written about a previous experience gigging in Bristol, and Fire In England was inspired by a rejection letter, as signed by Theresa May, following his request for citizenship. But, everyone is here for I’m Desperate, and his live band don’t let him down, shaking the rafters and leaving White Denim with a tough act to follow.
They don’t even try to follow suit. The Texans are all about the music, delivering their set in a series of medleys, demonstrating their impressive musical ability and synchronicity. It’s very clearly built on friendship and respect as the four members frequently make eye contact and nod appreciatively at one another, be it during bass solos or drumming frenzies. The sky gets kissed a lot.
At one point, Steven Terebecki breaks a string on his bass and the band have to stop. Frontman James Petralli awkwardly addresses the crowd as he tells us that it’s only the second time in twelve years such a thing has happened. But undeterred, they pick up exactly where they left off, what surely must be hours and hours of rehearsal times paying off. Not so much watertight as ironclad. Nearly as impressive are Petralli’s facial expressions as he mouths every movement on the fret to himself. It’s pure unadulterated joy and is worth the entrance fee alone.
With eight albums in a decade, and a ninth forthcoming this spring, White Denim have built up a formidable back catalogue and the set spans their whole career. The medley style they’ve adopted isn’t wholly successful and does start to get repetitive during the fifth or sixth offering. It becomes hard to differentiate and appears as one long jam, which must be great fun to participate in but not so much to watch.
But on its own merits, not least for the proficiency on display, there is much to admire here.