wed 28/02/2024

The Orielles, G2, Glasgow review - shoegaze trio keeping their eyes on the future | reviews, news & interviews

The Orielles, G2, Glasgow review - shoegaze trio keeping their eyes on the future

The Orielles, G2, Glasgow review - shoegaze trio keeping their eyes on the future

A muted atmosphere greeted the group's new material

The Orielles wrapped up their UK tour in GlasgowNeelam Khan Vela

It is temping to wonder what path the Orielles would have gone down in a world where the coronavirus never occurred. The Halifax trio had just released their second album, Disco Volador when the pandemic struck, and wiped out any hope of touring the record. Instead they reworked material from the record for use scoring a film, and have now returned with last year’s Tableau album as a significantly different beast.

That was evident all throughout this set in Glasgow, the final night of their UK tour. When they finally played a track from their first record Silver Dollar Moment, dropping in the indie pop sing-a-long of “Sunflower Seeds” to start the encore, it felt like a different band entirely was suddenly performing, albeit one raucously greeted by the crowd.

Instead the gig was firmly centred around Tableau, and a firm shift towards ethereal vocals from singer and bassist Esme Dee Hand-Halford and experimental shoegazing noise from the group, here bolstered by an additional member on keyboards and synths. Such a sound could prove both hypnotically seductive and harshly striking at times, with the rich, lengthy “Beam/s” an early highlight, and the vicious guitar running through “Chromo II” proving a sound to let yourself get lost in.

It was certainly enjoyed by guitarist Henry Carlyle Wade, who spasmed around the stage while playing his instrument in the manner of a man wishing to take it apart and discover what secrets lay inside. The band were aided by relentless drumming from Sidonie B Hand-Halford, who was mostly obscured at the back due to both dark lighting and an inconveniently placed pillar in the venue, but who shone on the Krautrock flavoured finale of “The Instrument”, another newbie.

By that point, the audience were moving to the beat, but that status had taken some time to arrive. This was ultimately the main hindrance to the evening, for while the music was both interesting and at times compelling, as an actual gig it felt rather flat. That’s not to say the crowd weren’t appreciative of the newer material, but it was often greeted with some mild head-nodding or a slight shuffle, and muttered queries to pals regarding if they’d play older tracks became increasingly audible.

When the droning “Drawn and Defined” rolled in, followed by the spoken word introduction to “Stones”, it felt like a decent chunk of the crowd were lost, and the show as a whole too often lacked the intensity or excitement that live music should generate. Thankfully, the insistent, dancefloor friendly “Space Samba (Disco Volador Theme)” got a groove going once again, providing the band with a glorious rhythm to sink their teeth into while giving the audience a familiar hit they craved, but how many of those dancing away will follow the Orielles on their ongoing musical progression remains to be seen.

Add comment

newsletter

Get a weekly digest of our critical highlights in your inbox each Thursday!

Simply enter your email address in the box below

View previous newsletters