If we are to generalise that music has a tendency to fall into two main categories, mainstream or alternative, then this gig proved it was truly an alternative event. Not sure of what I expected from this evening, as if I'm honest I was only really here to see the amazing D. Lucille perform her music with Die Hexen. However first we have two support acts, and the headline act which couldn't be more different - 'twas to be a night of diversity, mystery and a sprinkle of magic.
Appearing a little nervous, (easily forgiven seeing as it was their début gig), the Manchester based band Leda And The Swan are the first to open proceedings tonight. They have a most unusual experimental style, and on vocals we had a remarkable young man called Alex McKenzie with such a deep honed voice, reminiscent of Nick Cave. Reciting the poem 'Leda And The Swan' by W.B. Yeats on stage to music, gives the performance an unusual edge, very arty and hypnotic, included in the instruments are trombone and flute, a fantastic first time! Certainly ones to watch out for.
Setlist: Dancing Bear, (Untitled), Escape From Freedom, (poem) 'Leda and the Swan', by W.B Yeats, Lead Sky
Laser Dream Eyes, are a three piece, consisting of just vocals, keyboards, and drums. The singer has a bit of a Jim Morrison thing going on, with long dark wavy hair, dressed in a black boiler suit, he soon got ready for action by stripping off his shoes and performing the set bare foot. All the lights switched off, now we are plunged in the pitch black, with just one orange bulb which rests under the drum kit, creating a strange eerie glow.
They proved to be a wild, untamed experimental noise act, with the singer lunging around, at once point quite ferociously and out of control, lots of echoing and angry vocals, with emphasise on hardcore drumming, which left us speechless. A dramatic performance and very riveting to watch!
After what seemed like a long wait, for the artist I had come to see, we are presented with the visual and musical experimental two piece Die Hexen, featuring the partnership of D. Lucille and Sophie Gug. (I'm gutted that their projection isn't working, as they generally have a large moon displayed during their performance). However the imposing statuesque, and attractive androgynous figure of D.Lucille, encased all in black, prepares for the performance. Displaying an alluring air she greets the small contingent from under a huge gossamer glittery veil, behind the shroud her eyes are mysteriously covered in a slither of lace.
They begin to mesmerise the coterie gathered here this evening with their music, with titles such as LIEBESTRÄUME, VALHALLA and SIAMESE. D is both mysterious and sensual, the performance visually is breathtaking, as she moves her limbs under the veil, and transports us into another world, during which time Sophie taps away at her musical instrument of a vintage typewriter. The music is electronic, ambient, erotic, plundering into a deep, dark ocean, with almost emotionless breathy vocals. During the set we are presented with just glimpses behind the veil, but as the performance reaches its climax she slides it off to reveal more of herself, allowing us a little into her magical dark world. Just a couple of numbers and its all over......we are left wanting more! www.facebook.com/diehexenmusic
So anyway the unassuming 'biker' guy - who I thought might be the roadie (albeit it with a white painted face) who had been watching from the sidelines advances onto the stage, and begins to prepare some of the hand made instruments in readiness for the next artist. He is then overheard to remark he is going to get changed...had me puzzled a bit?
He then re-emerges as 'Soriah', dressed like an Indian warrior, chalky white face, hair extensions, long beard, wearing a spectacular colourful ensemble, which encapsulates a long flowing skirt and tunic with all manner of jangling beads and bells, and a huge magnificent feathered hat - colourful to say the least. This is the man who sings with his throat, and is known as 'the mystical tuvan throat singer' - seeing is believing, and he plays and picks at his beautiful unusual shaped hand crafted guitars, and flutes with such ease. It was a feat of magnificence, with a folky, mystic ambience and very shamanistic performance, he had the audience spell bound and totally entranced. As I prepared to leave, you could almost hear a pin drop, everyone sat on the floor cross-legged in silence...its music to dream to, music to relax, music to inspire......dare to dream?....then just open your mind....http://soriah.wordpress.com/home
Review/photos by Melanie Smith (full set)