the Sesh @ Polar Bear – 7/02. Avalanche Party, BlackWaters, Strange Bones
Avalanche Party certainly seem to know a thing or two about the mythology of Rock: the glamour, the spectacle; The quasi-shamanic search for a transcendent and/or transformative experience, are all present in tonight. The sight, however of lead-singer Jordan, with his thousand yard gaze; Head slowly nodding, arms held aloft, classic phantom-guitar hanging and silk shirt unbuttoned to the waist, does beg the question as to whether their understanding of irony extends quite so deeply.
On certain occasions, Jordan’s stage-moves seem to ape those of (acknowledged inspiration on the band’s music) Nick Cave. The only trouble with this being, said moves seem to be executed without the requisite dry-humour, of which a more well-seasoned performer might be capable- It is also worth noting here that whilst the band are admittedly more than capable they are as yet, no Bad Seeds! Whilst songs such as I’m So Wet, Porcelain, Money and (my personal favourite) the post-punk stomper Solid Gold certainly hit the mark, their 90-minute set does, to my ears contain a fair amount of filler. It’s entirely plausible that their epic soundscapes would perhaps be better suited to the equally epic landscapes of the Yorkshire Moors from whence the band originate, than to the turgid flatness of Spring Bank on a Tuesday night.
It is also entirely possible that I would have had a much better appreciation of an Avalanche Party set, were it not preceded by two such preternaturally enjoyable up-and-coming acts as Strange Bones and BlackWaters. Coming from Blackpool and Guilford respectively, both bands are more than likely to have acquired legions of devoted followers by the end of their current UK tour. As The Sesh emcee rightly appraises Strange Bones set, “That was the best opening act we’ve had in seventeen years.” Their mixture of blues-punk, psych-garage and oblique-noise would be enticing enough, were it not for the seditious and biting content of songs such as God Save The Teen, which features the opening couplet, “Your Majesty, let me take you for a ride/There’s a pub around the corner, that’s got your name all over the inside.” Similarly, BlackWaters are not short on lyrical wit, as evinced by the relentless delivery when they perform their current single Down.
Their approach is perhaps more akin to that of First-Wave-76’era-Punk-Bands than Strange Bones but what they also have in common with the opening act -in addition to their lyrical prowess- is a pretty awe-inspiring rhythm section. Several songs are driven by the sort of variations on a D-Beat that would normally be the reserve of more extreme forms of punk; But when combined with the unnervingly infectious melodies of songs such as Jarr’ed Up Generation, and Moon On A Stick, it’s hard not to be won over by this indie-punk-parvenus.
WORDS | Owen Phillips
This evening at The Sesh:
SISTER STRANGE 11pm
Firm faves of The Sesh. They return to headline their first show with us in 2017 after making giant strides in 2016 by signing to Budheron Promotions. They describe themselves as Lo-Fi Tough Guy Music. Ones to watch in 2017.
TEAM PICTURE 10.15pm
Immense lo-fi fuzz five piece from Leeds play their second Sesh performance after a run of dates to promote their new single ‘Back to Bay Six’
AMBER WARREN 9.30pm
One of FRCA protégés that we’ve kept a close eye on over the last few years. Having impressed us numerous times as a solo artist, this will be Amber’s first time with a full band at The Sesh.