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The Horrors @ O2 Academy 22/10/2017

Darkness descends over the O2 Academy Liverpool with the experienced mop-head goth rockers The Horrors delivering an unwaveringly explosive set. Lead Singer Farris Badwan previously stated that ‘we’re taking it back into the shadows’ with their new album ‘V’. Badwan sticks to his words, with the band appearing throughout as silhouetted visuals reminiscent of a shadow puppet show. The band’s sound lurks in the darkness with a suitably moody but reverberating tone. The old-time fan donned in black sporting a long black haircut is as easily grabbed by a bass orientated, grungey and somewhat spacey atmosphere as much as the newly acquainted fan.

Opening with Hologram from their newest album V, the band showcase their musical DNA of low tempo drum beats, deep basslines, distorted baritone vocals, space like synth and guitar screeching interjections. For a band as big as The Horrors in the alternative landscape, the intimacy of the 02 enriches their performance, allowing for a rawer quality.  From the first song to the last, Badwan immerses himself with the rest of the band in the brooding dark, losing little time talking to the crowd, only thanking the audience after each song. A strikingly Bironic figure, Badwan sways and shakes his body in the darkness with a fluid, smooth nature akin to a romantic spectre such as Jim Morrison.

Out of the darkness of the band, the ambient lighting showing mostly blood red, purples, blues and ambers paired with the cave like room of the O2 transforms the visuals further into a show of sounds emanating from the belly of a beast. The consistently menacing and moody monster that the Horrors become threatens to swallow the audience up.  The crowd react to the band’s monstrous gruel with deep devotion. The big hits such as who can say and still life from deeper in their discography receive waves of appreciation. As is the same with the rest of their set, what The Horrors succeed at with their live performance is offering up explosive noise without losing the subtleties so central to their sound. Take for instance, the low feedback of the guitar effects during the verse of Press enter to exit which then build into a bulky punch at the chorus.

The band end rather early but triumphantly with the synth poppy sound of Something to Remember me bye. The song is a farewell reminder of their contribution to the indie rock scene over the years, as well as an insight into a more optimistic sound for the band. Does the title of The Horror’s last song hint at ‘V’ being there final album? Wherever they may end up, The Horrors demonstrate to Liverpool their consistent professionality as unique and nuanced rockers. They are rightful owners of a chair to the table of alternative music greats.


Image credit: The Horror’s Facebook page

Alex Hall


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