The Horrors - Sub-Sonic Live, Dec 16th
It’s hard to tell sometimes at gigs, where the bands end, and the fans begin. There is no mistaking however, the presence that The Horrors hold. When you look that good as a band, they are modern epitome of cool for so many, you must follow that persona through with work, and they do! True professionals, constantly striving for perfection, and if Friday night's set was anything to go by, they definitely achieved it.
To see The Garage, an already pretty intimate environment become even more so was a delight. Although rammed to full capacity, there was no pushing and shoving. There are very few gigs where a majority of the crowd looks on in awe, but this was one of them. They seem to be immortalised before their time, held as icons, not only in their style, which has trended throughout the country, but also through their maintained and constantly evolving sound, one many consider as a revelation. Starting the set with flair, they opened with the emphatic "Changing the Rain". A complex rudiment of rolling drums shows a smooth sporadic-ness only a band such as The Horrors can attain. A continuation of tracks displaying only their finest material is a sign of unification between the band and their fans. Not only that, but their selection ran through a spectrum of their skills. Joshua Hayward's squealing Frippertronic-like electric guitar flurries to registered thumps of the bass drum from Joe Spurgeon display real skills of changing time signatures, usually only associated to orchestras with profound manuscript knowledge. Faris has a control over his vocals unlike many, aptly displayed through the resonating breakdown in 'Who Can Say' where he shows glimmers of Jarvis Cocker in his early 'Pulp' days. Saying that, his overall tone would lead you to believe he is Ian Curtis reincarnate. His voice is not just what makes him one of the best frontmen of present day. He holds a foreboding presence, siren-esque almost, where women want him and all men want to be him. What must be mentioned, and given a large amount of credit, is Tom Cowan's mastery of synths (reminiscent of early Nick Rhodes). From fairground inspired, through to a brass ensemble, giving the set a superlative diversity whilst maintaining integrity to their sound, a hard feat to pull. Ending on 'Moving Further Away' was a smart move. It summarised their performance and left the crowd tingling. To say this set was flawless would not cause quarrel to any degree, and to improve on such would take The Horrors to even dizzier heights. Long may they rein as one of music’s most pioneering and influential outfits. We'll have exclusive footage of the gig soon over in our Sub-Sonic Live section as well as exciting news about our next event. Stay tuned for our review on TOY.