Gig Review and Photography by John Bentley

The Horrors

Warning: the following performance contains strobe and laser lighting. Yes lots of it. The Horrors are back in town.

Telegram

The choice of support band tonight is well made. Like The Horrors, Telegram have krautrock and psychedelic influences. However, theirs is purely guitar-based, without keyboards. They play melodic, fast-paced, indie rock, with plenty of entertaining guitar histrionics. While they are not especially original, they do what they do extremely well. At first hearing the songs sound strong and the band deserve to go on to greater things.

The Horrors

The Horrors have recently released their fourth album, ‘Luminous’, having made their name with their own brand of krautrock influenced indie-goth-garage-psychedelia. So we expect a pretty spaced-out evening, with mind-bending, swirling, trancey guitar (from Joshua Hayward) and synthesizer (from Tom Cowan), presided over centre-stage by the tall and lean, spikey-haired, black-clad figure of lead singer Faris Badwan, with his distinctive deep, dead-pan, vocals. And this is what we get.

The band kick off with ‘Chasing Shadows’ from the new album and through the 80 minute set we get a great mix of songs, taken from the last three albums.

The Horrors

In the 1969 western film, ‘Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid’, the outlaws rob a train. They blow open the safe with rather too much dynamite and destroy the whole railway carriage. “Think you used enough dynamite there, Butch?” asks The Sundance Kid. Well, in the case of The Horrors, the question might be, “Think we used enough strobes there, Faris?” The answer’s probably yes, as the lighting (along with smoke effects) creates a real atmosphere that complements the sound coming from the five musicians on stage. However, the flashing is pretty relentless and creates a real technical problem for us photographers (ok, it was expected and I don’t expect any sympathy).

The Horrors

The audio quality is also excellent tonight, doing justice to the big sound emanating from the band’s instruments, whilst also allowing the audience to hear the subtleties of the songs, unlike the last time I saw them perform, where the bass dominated the mix.

The Horrors

There are plenty of highlights, including a great version of ‘Sea Within A Sea’ and ‘Still Life’ (a fan-favourite, which gets a notable cheer). By the end of the evening the crowd are pretty up-for-it and there’s a splendid extended workout of ‘Moving Further Away’, as the final encore song, bringing the gig to a spectacular close.

The Horrors

The Horrors setlist: Chasing Shadows; In And Out Of Sight; Who Can Say; Sea Within A Sea; Falling Star; Scarlet Fields; Sleepwalk; Endless Blue; Change Your Mind; Still Life; I See You. Encore: So Now You Know; Moving Further Away

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