‘Live From The Pond #8’ saw a couple of Brighton’s finest bands supporting New Zealand post rockers Jakob, who returned after an 11 year absence from UK shores. SOURCE headed down to Bleach to see what the Small Pond Recordings night had to offer.
First up were the impressive Wild Cat Strike. We bought you a video preview of their latest release ‘Neighbourhood’ last week, and were hoping the band’s slow-burning build ups would translate well live. We weren’t disappointed. With the band tight as you like, the strength of each urgent chorus was matched by a neat line of synchronised flying guitars. Frontman Danny is a lover of Conor Oberst, and his impassioned vocals complement the quiet/loud approach perfectly. When the other members join in on vocals we’re taken a step closer to the band’s studio sound, the extra elements adding weight in all the right places.
Barely had our ears recovered before Written In Waters took to the stage to continue the night’s theme of big sounds and limitless reverb. The Brighton band soon captivated the audience just as they did at their DRILL festival show in the same venue (see here). Lead singer Beth Cannon shines in a sequin covered Komodo, but the real showstopper here is her incredible voice. Operatic in range, there are times (such as during the outstanding song ‘Hymn’) when you have to question the physics involved. The musicianship is top class, the song structures break off into fragments that make you wonder where they’re headed, before circling back even stronger than before.
Jakob sound exactly how you’d want them to after meeting them: understated and great. On the European leg of their tour, the New Zealanders were loving their first return to the UK since 2004. Their sound is one that can be identified with bands such as King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard, only these boys have been doing it for longer. Drums drive a progressive soundscape of guitar throughout, with thunderous choruses energising the crowd into enough headbanging to count as a mini mosh.
We wouldn’t change a thing – apart from the buzzing in ours ears the next day.
Bleach, Friday 24th April 2015
Words and photos by Ashley Laurence
You can view a video of some of Jakob’s set here.