IVW 2020 - Soeur, Ravetank & Charivari @ Komedia
After a lengthy hiatus I'm back! And this time I've teamed up with Komedia for Independent Venue Week!
So let's just get on with the reviews shall we?
Nathan Alexander Howard who goes by the name Ravetank begins his set delivering a sultry and eclectic use of ukulele and a delay pedal. With only himself on stage, Nathan portrays moods of isolation and grief. Most of his performance consists of instrumental pieces, with the occasional vocal verse cropping up; this is something I wanted to hear more of, as the constant strumming did get complacent at times. The third song was a refreshing piece, featuring mandolin and more structure than its predecessors. Although prolonged at times, his seamless transition between songs is a feature of his performance I found was appropriate and worked very well. A promising and wholesome set.
Opening with a heavy and dissonant riff on guitar, Charivari enter their set with attitude. This 4-piece create a sense of uneven with their abrupt use of structure and tempo change. Their stage presence is lassiez-faire in the best way; I feel this is in-keeping with their style and brings a feeling of unity between the band members. I particularly enjoyed bassist Phil Millard’s tone and how it interacts with the other instruments; deep and adding dimension. Frontman and guitarist Gary Say showcases a real passion for what he is playing, an important factor some bands lack. Providing a quality and engaging set, I look forward to their upcoming album entitled Descent coming on 28th Feb.
Ego Death Star soar into their first song, which features high-pitched staccato phrases from lead singer Iowan Redskin (who has a fabulous hairdo). The vocals gave me a bit of a jump on arrival, perhaps providing a little too much impact. Throughout their set, drummer Giuseppe La Rezza plays a solid and poignant drumbeat, really giving a backbone to the songs. For me, the bass was lost within the harsh distortion of the guitar, and therefore delivered a fairly muddy and unclear sound. Their fourth song, How Does It Make You Feelwas an inventive and tasteful number, featuring a tambourine attached to the kit; an instrument I wish was used more in live rock. Admittedly, this wasn’t my favourite set of the night, mainly due to songs being repetitive and some tones being un-defined.
Sœur open their set with a fresh and expressive tune called Left Living, front-women Anya Pulver and Tina Maynard inflict hypnotising vocal harmonies upon the room. Although being on separate sides of the stage, they are synchronised in their movements, depicting the musical connection the trio have. Drummer James Collins plays addictive grooves both intricately and with power, adjusting accordingly through contrasting sections. This band effectively captures the essence of Bristol (from which they are based) particularly with their song Do What I Want.It brings tension with a biting presence, providing luscious drops and builds. In contrast, song five entitled Track Back is chirpy with a touch of irony, accentuated with Anya’s staggered vocal articulation – definitely a personal favourite. They end their set with the popular and fiery tune Fight, that has acquired over 70,000 streams on Spotify.
Reminiscent of 90s female-led band Sleater-Kinney, Sœur proudly combine angst and femininity, delivering irresistible hooks within a flavoursome rock context. This band boasts a truly varied discography and give an extremely tight live performance; defining an elegantly aggressive style.