Man Without Country / Princess Slayer / Tusks [Live Review – The Boileroom, Guildford, 1/3/2015]
This show may have been a hard sell for a Sunday, but a sizeable portion of local music fans still made it down to the Boileroom for this show. Earlycomers were treated to Tusks (aka Emily Underhill), a recent discovery who is fast becoming a new TMMP favourite. With stripped-down electronic vibes, room-filling atmospherics, awesome arrangements and soulful songs, Tusks will be climbing higher up live bills sooner rather than later. For now, though, she’s definitely worth turning up early to catch.
Fresh from nailing an industry showcase in London on Thursday, Princess Slayer spiced things up with an adventurous Boileroom set featuring old live favourite At the Harbour, brand new song Snake Skin, and the even newer Out of the Dark alongside the evergreen Passion Alley, Fame, and recent Naughty Boy / Sam Smith cover La La La. Although the crowd were clearly caught in that joint-freezing abyss between Saturday night excess and Monday morning catatonia, the hectic climax of closing song Living (featuring cymbal-warping drum work from Vince Welch) still managed to get Princess Slayer’s supporters shuffling in time to the beat. With fresh confidence and frontwoman Casey Lim unafraid to jump in the crowd and get in people’s faces in the happiest way possible, Princess Slayer are – as always – continuing to develop their live presence and push themselves on to higher-impact performances.
Man Without Country confused me for a while, before I gave up trying to categorise them and just enjoyed the show. These guys sit somewhere between eighties synth-pop and modern post-rock, often swinging hard in one direction before pulling back the other way. With winning synths, bouncy beats, wall-of-sound guitars, and a stunningly musical drummer, Man Without Country are a really cool and very varied live act. The only downside to this set was the part where I tried to do the Johnny Bravo Monkey Dance in sync with a friend, and she cocked it up. For shame.
Big love as always to the Boileroom crew, and James Dewar for another great sound job.
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