Signals / Me And The Moon / China Bears [Live Review – The Star, Guildford, 23/10/2015]
Here’s a list of things that could stop me from seeing Signals when they’re in town:
That’s about it.
Since on a Friday night most punters tend to show up for the headliners and ignore the supports, said supports tend to be…shall we say…not very good. However, China Bears (75%) managed to buck that trend with a very nice, low-key, poppy indie-folk acoustic set that went over well despite falling victim to some standard-for-acoustic-sets-everywhere crowd chatter.
Me And The Moon (70%), meanwhile, were at an awkward point for any band, performing for the first time with an entirely new rhythm section who still need time to settle in. Here, they were a band of two halves – a frontwoman and guitarist working hard and successfully on their onstage confidence, meeting the gaze of every last person in the room, and a drummer and bassist who with time and experience will no doubt be doing the same sooner rather than later. Songwriting-wise, these guys were great – a work in progress with plenty of potential.
Signals (96%) have always been an immense band, in possession of a style brimming with cool subtleties. Complex but accessible, technical but still soulful, Signals’ self-label, “math-pop”, fits them perfectly. Falling between the cracks of two established styles carries the risk of confusing listeners initially – but without musicians willing to take what amounts to a creative leap of faith, we’d still be sitting in circles in caves, banging sticks on rocks and grunting in unison.
Although Signals’ supports were cool, this show was split into two thirds past, and one third future. Two thirds “Ahh, I get this – not bad!” and one third “How the bloody hell is this even possible?! I don’t know why it works, but it’s frickin’ badass!”
Signals are currently touring across the UK (with different support acts for each show). Don’t let anything stop you seeing them. Except death. That’s a pretty good excuse for missing something.
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