Music lovers in Brighton missed out on Thursday night as a half empty Hydrant was treated to a bewitching headline set from Written In Waters. The band was only playing their third gig together however word has already begun to spread about them. This has mainly come about from their song ‘Hymn’ which has received a high volume of hits on soundcloud.com. Speaking to the band before their set vocalist Beth Cannon said: “People are telling us that they listen to ‘Hymn’ every day, it is weird because you don’t think people will get that crazy over something you write and they really have.”
The Brighton based band mainly met via BIMM however they are far removed from your stereotypical ‘BIMM band.’ Their opening track set the tone for a performance which was far superior to the banality of the support acts. Its Italian operatic theme certainly surprised one member of the hardened Hydrant bar staff, however by the end of the set he gave them a begrudging thumbs up. High praise indeed.
The first half of the set merely felt like a precursor to ‘Hymn’ however as soon as the opening cords rung out the audience responded. ‘Hymn’ typifies their ethereal sound and it is the kind of track you find yourself humming, badly, on the way home. ‘Wood Demon’ was another stand out track even though it was only written the day before. The lyrics are mainly a collaboration between Beth and keyboard player Adam Felman who aim to “write modern pop songs, then the rest of the band put it in a blender. We have found people are getting confused, in a good way, with our music and we are enjoying the debates it causes.”
The big conundrum is how to describe the sound that Written In Waters create and people, including the band themselves, struggle to answer this. Each band member brings their own ideas to the table with influences coming from a diverse range including Jeff Buckley, film score composer Hans Zimmer and Sigur Ros. They happily admit that this leads to a lot of jamming sessions. In essence it is a huge sound created by the ‘men in masks’ with the classically trained Beth using a soaring vocal range to create an atmospheric theatrical performance.
So the question is: does it blend? It certainly does, more of the same please.
Heard on the way out:
“My head is confused by all the different types of music I heard coming from one short set!”
“Not to sure what just happened, I enjoyed it though!”
Guy 1: “Should I go for the singer?”
Guy 2: “Ha, no chance mate, so go for it!”
WRITTEN IN WATERS AT THE HYDRANT
THURSDAY 3RD MARCH 2011
WORDS BY BEN SCOTT
PHOTOS BY PHILIPP WAGNER