Sunday, 5 February 2012

The Horrors, Norwich Waterfront

Reflecting, pre-gig, on the first year in the life of the Norwich Owl, individual members have different ideas of which gig constitutes the highlight to date.  With such a diverse range of tastes within the group, it is hardly surprising that opinions differ, but for me, one thing is clear: we have drunk with the band, twirled round the circle pit and attended a show in a bloody coffee shop.  But what we have not done, is attend a genuine Event.
Until now.  Anticipation of this gig has been ramped up to ridiculous levels partly as a result of it being postponed twice (The Horrors were first due to appear in mid-October), but also because, if there is a band who define the sound of 2012 more than Badwan and co, then I have yet to hear them.  As such, this is not only the best show the Owl have attended, it is the best gig this city has seen for years.  And yes, Rod Stewart, George Michael, Mastodon, The Kabeedies, I haven't forgotten you.  But tonight, you boys take a hell of a beating.
Like your correspondent, the Waterfront is absolutely buzzing, the slight disappointment at the absence of original support and current music press darlings Toy blown away within the opening few bars of set-opener "Changing The Rain".  The sound is absolutely massive, with the well-documented 40 years worth of influences tossed into a krautrock-heavy stew.  Dipping liberally into breakthrough album "Primary Colours" and last year's epic "Skying" (Huddersfield Owl members may have heard of it, but they certainly weren't listening to it), songs build, build and build some more, with Faris' soaring vocals pulling everything together into one exhilarating whole.
Highlights are far too many to mention, but a mid-set "Sea Within A Sea" (still their finest moment) and a mind-blowing "Moving Further Away" to close proceedings, leave the sweat-drenched masses clear on one thing: The Horrors are the most exciting thing to happen to this thing we call pop in many a year, and if the wider world doesn't sit up and take notice soon, then we may as well pack up and call it a day.  This was a revelation.


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