Sylvan Esso | Live Review
Sylvan Esso & B O A @ The Marble Factory, Bristol. 04.06.15
For a split second no one realises it’s over…
The ravaged exterior of Bristol’s Marble Factory was surrounded by a dense cloud of cigarette smoke as we gathered outside – the sharp hiss from another can of Red Stripe pierced the impatient chatter. We were minutes away from seeing B O A – a band whose sheer confidence trumps their lack of live experience – at their second ever show supporting our headliners Sylvan Esso.
B O A’s sound draws to mind the dreamier moments of Foals and Glass Animals, though the three-piece set up of keys, drums and guitar is a refreshing twist. Yet despite their obvious confidence and musical proficiency, it becomes apparent mid-set that these guys are still in their infancy. There’s a lack of imagination, both lyrically and instrumentally as song after song passes by with but a derivative nod to their peers. Their closing song, however, is one that seems hellbent on breaking free, twitching anxiously in preparation for an incredible finish. Unfortunately, the result was yet another low-key ending – which would have been fine had that card not already been dealt.
As the roadies began their retreat, leaving the stage standing empty for what felt like an eternity, my pulse began to quicken. From the stage darkness Amelia strides to the microphone donning her trademark platforms, whilst Nick beams at the audience amidst rapturous applause. Contorting with each twist of his controller Nick manipulates a library of sounds that gradually morph into ‘Could I Be’; the previously inanimate audience transformed as the bone-breaking sub rattles through the Marble Factory.
The duo perform every note of their ten track magnum opus with style and finesse, injecting new life into each piece with slight tweaks to create an enticing new variation. However, what’s most enticing about this evening’s performance is the appearance of two new songs, leading to a veritable frenzy among the audience.
Closing just as they did nine months ago at the Louisiana with ‘Come Down’, the room is reduced to silence. Amelia’s fragile melodies tread softly as crackling drones simmer in the air. Her final breath is caught among layers of sound, as Nick continues to drown the audience in steadily rising waves. For a split second no one realises it’s over, each of us caught in the current, and I for one would happily stay adrift for a little longer.
Check out ‘H.S.K.T’ right here: