Saturday, 5 March 2016

Eagulls/ Spectres Live @ Fiddlers, 3/3/2016

Image credit: xkix Flickr

Support from: Spectres
Fiddlers, Bristol
Thursday 3rd March 2016

With quality of product as a backbone, there’s something perennially beautiful about four men on a stage just making a racket, especially if they seem right at home doing it. Spectres are no strangers to the artfulness that comes with shoegaze/noise music, nor do they readily reject it. Their headline appearance at Howling Owl’s New Year New Noise event back in January was surrounded by a graceful air, but tonight, on a stage in the modest Fiddlers with no backdrop or exhibitionistic sensibilities, they excel as an actual rock band. Their deliriously groovy idiosyncrasies as students of both mesmerising krautrock repetition and the art of the riff shine through beneath the fist-clenching swathes of volume, and the energy and presence with which they deliver said bouts is almost punk rock in essence.

Energy and presence are important to keep in mind when considering what is disappointing about Leeds post-punk howlers Eagulls tonight. They begin with recent single ‘Lemon Trees’, and right from off the off they both sound great and play with the kind of precision that shines a new compositional light on their music. They impart a number of new songs, all of which seem to be of a slightly slower, more intricate persuasion, the guitar lines certainly more tame and intricate, their favoured trick of reverb being used to slightly more shimmering effect. The older favourites get an enthusiastic reception, the pit becoming most energetic during a splendid rendition of ‘Hollow Visions’. Aside from vocalist George Mitchell however, none of the band members seem interested in any particular expression, a physical presence swapped out for a willingness to let Mitchell’s reserved but strident fervour to steal the limelight. It’s a slightly disconcerting portrayal of their music, but the tunes are still raw and blood-pumping enough for the set to be enjoyable. 

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