Sunday, 29 November 2015

Widowspeak - Brudenell Social, Leeds, November 26th (LIVE REVIEW)

‘All Yours’, the latest release from the Big Apple’s Widowspeak proved to be one of the discoveries of 2015, a delicious combination of eerie alt-country mixed with singer Molly Hamilton’s languid femme-fatale vocal. Considering the duo (lead guitarist Robert Earl Thomas is the other original member) are now four albums in with one of their early tracks gaining further exposure, appearing on American Horror Story, they’re still pretty unknown in the UK, their appearance in the games room at Brudenell testament to that with perhaps 50 or so people present here tonight.

Supporting Widowspeak on this UK tour are fellow Americans, Saintseneca, hailing from Columbus Ohio and completely unknown to yours truly, despite having released three albums, the most recent being October’s ‘Such Things’. As is usually the case with Stateside bands who’ve made it this far, there are enough interesting aspects to their music to maintain the crowd’s attention throughout a pretty handy 8-song set. We’ve a decent mix of sounds and song structures varying from austere folk to electronica tinged indie-rock, the band members switching places midway through the proceedings and all but one of the quintet lending a hand vocally, creating some lush harmonies in places.

Widowspeak take to the stage, Hamilton and Thomas joined by a two-man rhythm section and the first thing you notice as they get underway with ‘Perennials’ is that there is a lot of check on show. The new album material soon follows, ‘All Yours’ followed by ‘Narrows’, Molly periodically smiling enigmatically to herself….penny for them.

‘Swamps’ provides one of the evening’s highlights, both guitarists duelling to a thrilling climax, the reverie only broken by a malfunctioning microphone right at the end. Fortunately the technical hitch is fixed in a flash as ‘Harsh Realm’ and the terrific ‘Girls’ bring the set to an end with a flourish although it’s tinged with a little disappointment as we don’t get to hear ‘My Baby’s Gonna Carry On’, my personal favourite track from ‘All Yours’….oh well.

Widowspeak bandcamp
Brudenell official