The Horrors

As Faris Badwan sings on one of The Horrors’ biggest hits ‘Still Life’ “The moment that you want is coming if you give it time”, this is true of a Horrors gig. Having only seen them before at festivals, I ventured down to the HMV Ritz for a much more intimate show which surpassed my expectations over the course of the evening. The Horrors are an atmospheric band that truly shine in a small venue.

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The night started early (6.45!) and somewhat interestingly with support from two completely contradictory London-based bands Bo Ningen and Toy. Bo Ningen, while visually enthralling, were quite difficult to define. They arrived on stage with wild, screechy sounds and hammered through their set at such pace that you wondered what exactly had happened to you, and that was probably the point. Toy were a more generally accessible psychedelic indie five piece playing radio-friendly songs which built in stature throughout their set, careering towards a catchy and upbeat tempo towards the end. The stage was set for The Horrors nicely.

The Horrors

“I sincerely hope there’s going to be some crowd surfing tonight!” Faris exclaimed shortly after the band began playing and he didn’t have to wait long for that wish to come true. The crowd at the Ritz though certainly eclectic were definitely loyal, showing their enthusiasm for album tracks and hits alike. The Horror’s transformation into an experimental psychedelic band has been well documented and received and it’s clear that musically this is where they are excelling.

The Horrors

Constantly bathed in swirling, dramatic lights, the headlining band were an experience. An intimate setting brought their laid back music to life giving it whole new meaning and feeling. Front man Faris’s drawling voice filled the room in a deep and dramatic manner and was surprisingly full of emotion. Songs which seemed low key on the record pulsed with energy and passion throughout the small venue.

The Horrors

The stand-out track of the evening by far was ‘Still Life’ which was a fantastic sensory overload. Chilling and beautifully performed, it felt like the whole gig had built up to that moment and it was a pleasure to be a part of it. ‘Moving Further Away’ finished the show in spectacular style. On the record it is over eight minutes long but in a live setting it just seemed to form a wall of sound which stretched on forever. It was a magnificent if slightly indulgent climax to a gig steeped in heavy guitar riffs and crashing drums.

The Horrors

The Horrors are musically very interesting and definitely a band worth seeing in an intimate setting. If they continue to develop as they have throughout their career to date, I can only see incredible things for their follow up to Skying. Experimental never sounded better.

Setlist included: Mirrors Image / Who can say / I can see through you / Do you remember / Dive In / Endless Blue / Changing the rain / Sea within a sea / Still Life
Encore: You Said / Moving Further Away

Gig Review by Nic Jones
Gig Photos by Ben Bentley

2 Responses to “The Horrors + Toy + Bo Ningen @ The HMV Ritz, Manchester, UK – 19th May 2012”

  1. Review for Gig Junkies – The Horrors | NavigatorNic Says:

    […] The Horrors + Toy + Bo Ningen @ The HMV Ritz, Manchester, UK – 19th May 2012 […]

  2. Gig Reviews | Gig Photography | Interviews | Competitions from Gig Junkies » Blog Archive » Toy + Charlie Boyer and the Voyeurs + The Bombergs @ The HMV Institute, Birmingham, UK – 20th October 2012 Says:

    […] psych-rockers Toy caused a bit of a sensation last year supporting The Horrors on tour, but now they’re in Birmingham as headliners. Tonight they show us that the hype was […]

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