Hot on the heels of their fifth studio album , V, indie-garage-goth-rock-quintet The Horrors took their ambient live show on the road stopping off for a night at Brighton’s Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts.
Formed through their shared love of obscure bands and DJs, The Horrors have spent over ten years making a name for themselves as one of the most creative bands in the UK.
They also happen to be one of the most successful. All of The Horrors’ studio albums have charted within the UK Top 40 and V, the latest instalment to their discography, is no exception peaking at number eight.
Support came from the ‘psychedelic shamen’ Baba Naga who suggest that ‘the music is a peregrination from desperation to despair, channelled into euphoric, psychedelic, pagan gloom.
That’s actually a pretty perfect description of Baba Naga’s feel. Their respect for ambience and symbolic tone may well make them the perfect band for this support slot.
Over the course of his career, The Horrors frontman, Faris Badwan, has earnt a reputation for having an unruly stage presence. From provoking crowd members to climbing the venues interior – anything seemed to be on the cards.
Tonight, very little of this persona was on display and whilst that meant a slightly tamer performance than some may have come to expect it worked wonders for highlighting the bands musical aptitude.
On a purely musical level – this is a band that tapped into their niche on day one and who, as of yet, have found no reason to rebrand.
Badwan’s vocals are strong and enthralling, adding an obscure 80’s vibe, complete with punk edge, to each track consistently.
The Horrors’ capacity for artistry and atmosphere is where the real thrill of the band lies and a large part of that is delivered by their omnipresent synth. Stirring sound effects offset an otherwise deep-toned soundscape to create an electric live performance.
For a sound like that, lasers really are mandatory. Tonight’s staging is minimal and lighting seems designed to cast the band into shadows. But when multi-coloured lasers shoot across the crowd each member of it is instantly catapulted to an old-school club setting.
Tonight was an impressive display from a band who have matured as performers but stayed true to the sound they created in their youth. After all, it is exactly that belief in their originality that has secured them a status as the bridge between critically-acclaimed mainstream and a more underground-electro vibe.
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THE HORRORS WILL PLAY ROCK THE PISTES, LIVE AT LEEDS, BANFFY CASTLE AND BOARDMASTERS FESTIVAL ACROSS SPRING AND SUMMER 2018. GET TICKETS HERE.