Friday, 11 March 2011

Veronica Falls/The Loft/Comet Gain Live Review

The Lexington, London 5/1/11

'Rose rose rose red, will I ever see thee wed?', intones Veronica Falls' Roxanne Clifford as prelude to the night's opening set. It's the lament Shirley Collins would sing if she had been kidnapped by the cast of The Wicker Man. The London based four-piece, who are currently recording their much-anticipated debut album, deftly navigate psych and C86 influences while retaining a firm sense of Spector-esque melody. Performed live, 'Found Love in A Graveyard' is charged with a new frenetic urgency, while new song 'Come On Over' is a paean to love in all its torturous longing with a hook that just won't quit.
From new routes to 80s roots, The Loft deliver a pitch-perfect set including seminal singles 'Why Does The Rain?' and 'Up The Hill and Down The Slope.' As one of the first bands to be released on Alan McGee's legendary Creation Records, the band were at the epicentre of the mid-80s indie revival, and it's heartening to see their irresistible tunes being embraced by a new audience.

Tonight's headliners Comet Gain take the notion of 'cult' to a new level. To their devotees, the band epitomise pre-2.0 DIY indie, where mixtapes are cherished and bands are discovered through zines. The band take a couple of songs to find their feet, but when they launch into 'If I Had A Soul' and 'Beautiful Despair' they are taut and energising. David Feck's course off-key ramblings are tempered by Sarah Bleach's winsome, meandering patter ('It's like watching a band practice!' my gig-companion enthused). During their closing song, fan-favourite 'Movies,' Feck whispers 'it's only music, and there's much more to life than music.' If there were ever evidence to the contrary, it's Comet Gain.

This review appeared in the March issue of Clash Magazine.

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