I set off to get to The Lantern in what might be described in an excited state, LØE’s single ‘People Have The Power’ (to be released on 8th December) had really piqued my interest, and I was really interested in seeing them live. But before LØE there were two support bands to whet our musical appetites. Let’s get into this.
Now The Common View are one of those indie/indie rock bands. You may or may not know that I don’t like indie that much, there are some bands that are the exception but in general a band playing indie has to do something really good to get my attention. The Common View right from the get go did that.
They did this in two ways – firstly their songs have great tunes and I love a great tune, and secondly they really know their stuff musically. A special shout out here to their bass player who plays a six-string bass, and listening and watching closely they really use that to great effect. I was so taken with the band that I just got into what they were playing. Sure it’s that ‘classic indie sound’ but it has something I just can’t put my finger on that marks them out as great, beyond the fantastic playing and the tunes.
Any final doubts I had about the band faded away as they launched into a rocked out song called ‘Hold Back’. this is not indie or even alt-rock, it’s rock with a psychedelic rock edge. This was frankly startling.
I was left thinking ‘why in the hell I have never heard of, or heard, this band before?’, they’re that impressive. Chatting to one of band after their set I found out they play in Leeds and Manchester quite often, so do check them out if you haven’t already.
Oh my fucking god why in the world have I never seen thysen before. Apparently they’re from Huddersfield which is where, to my eternal shame, I live. How can a band this good, this exciting, come from the place I live in and I’ve never even heard of them. For those not in the know, and I had to look this up, they describe themselves as a shoegaze band.
But this seems badly insufficient to describe what they do. It’s loud, gloriously wonderfully loud. It at times swings into something more space-rock. And at times it kinda reminds me of my fav bands from way back when Here & Now. And this people is just the first song.
Look a whole set of songs like that would be just wonderful but they have more to them than that. This band do melodic and frankly beautiful, and they do almost Bauhaus like post-punk that’s all doomy. And then they go all grinding rock like some mutant Samothrace.
Your head is messed with but in a beautiful way by this band. I was left reeling. And yes, it goes without saying, but I’m going to say it anyway, but this band can play. There are sounds that you just can’t work out quite where they come from, the drumming is fantastic. And visually it’s ‘can’t take your eyes off them’, their singer – who also plays a mean brilliant guitar – just seems to twist and move all over the small Lantern stage. I’m guessing I’m the only person in West Yorkshire who hasn’t heard of them, but if you, like me, haven’t seen them do that as soon as bloody possible.
And so to LØE. LØE play instrumental progressive alt-rock. If you’re already into something like that that then you can skip the next paragraph OK.
I sensed as I wrote ‘instrumental progressive alt-rock’ that some of you got slightly twitchy, or decided to skip this section of the review completely, or worse. But I’m going to urge you to keep an open mind for this isn’t really an adequate description of what they do.
For what they do is a show – each of their songs (the band use that to describe what they play) comes with a film running behind them, and ‘found’ speech. The music, the speech and the film combine into something greater than the parts. And each of their songs is about something, the band say ‘LØE’s music tries to capture and reflect triumph, heroism, anguish and struggle throughout society. Not as a political stand, but to hold a mirror up to humanity’.
For this to work, with the music being so upfront, it better be good, and it is it, it’s better than good. The songs each have their own individual mood and structure. And unlike a conventional song, the music changes, although they have an underlying structure. It’s the twists and turns in each song that hold your attention. And the songs can be melodic, they can rock out, there’s just variation, it’s not all samey at all.
This isn’t to say that I didn’t find it surprising that I’d find it so compelling, I did, but this was a wonderful surprise. I have to admit it took nearly half of their set to get it, but once I’d got it I loved it. I liked it so much that I intend to go see them ‘for fun’ not to review them. This isn’t your usual ‘live band experience’ but it’s great, go and see them, go and see them with an open mind.
All photos on this page © Frank Roper Photography – see more on his Facebook Page