Live Review: Electrelane

22 Jul

 

Komedia: Wednesday, July 20 2011

Thirteen years after forming in Brighton – and more than three years after announcing an indefinite hiatus following fourth album No Shouts, No Calls – Electrelane made their live return at a sold-out Komedia.

The quartet have never been an easy band to pigeon-hole, preferring, actually insisting, on doing things their way or no way at all.

It’s a stubbornness and bloody-minded independence which has drawn in a devoted following, but sometimes you can’t help wondering if it’s their biggest hindrance.

Take tonight, despite their lengthy absence and a crowd eager to herald their return, there was no fanfare, little audience interaction and very few words in between songs, save for some ultra-polite requests to the sound man.

Never ones to conform to expectations, they started sluggishly, and for some reason churned out the opening songs on a stage bathed in light. It was utterly ill at ease with their dense, juddering drone-pop songs

Thankfully, as their hour-and-a half  set progressed, the lights were dimmed, the flash-lights flickered and the atmosphere perfectly segued with their brooding sounds.

Electrelane are still at their best when they up the tempo; when the guitars, bass and drums make an almighty wall of noise, leaving Verity Susman’s vocals to flitter over the top while her stiletto-sharp keys jab away.

Nestled in between old favourites, a scintillating cover of Bronski Beat’s Small Town Boy is especially impressive but, overall their live show continues fall just short of their recorded sounds.

Watching them play live again was like bumping into a long-lost old flame. While it was good to see them, it soon became apparent why they had a knack of winding you up in the first place. 

 

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