White Lies 03-10-08

January 12, 2009

White Lies

Glasgow, King Tut’s

On paper tonight’s triple bill is all about headliners White Lies. They’re the ones getting the press thanks to two well-received singles and some notable festival appearances. They’re also the ones who’ve crammed the stage with a lighting rig, the likes of which Tut’s has seldom seen.

As a result it’s a somewhat compact Post War Years that kick proceedings off. With barely enough room to swing a bass, the restrictive surrounds work in the quartet’s favour, concentrating the energy of infectious beat-driven tracks like Soul Owl and You & Me Both.

The Joy Formidable on the other hand let the music take them where it will. Singer Ritzy drops to her knees regularly, bleeding distortion from her guitar. But it’s on Whirring that the trio peak. Not even an unpredictable mic stand and errant floor tom can stop them on what is undoubtedly the track of the night.

Arriving on stage earlier than billed, Tut’s is heaving by the time White Lies launch into Farewell to the Fairground. Quickly they take control, drawing the partisan sold-out crowd into their darkly atmospheric realm of brooding indie-rock.

Frontman Harry McVeigh casts an intense gaze with more than a passing resemblance to obvious influence Ian Curtis. On Unfinished Business he and the music are at their most potent, whipping the masses into a frenzy while the barrage of lights further fuels the growing maelstrom.

Worryingly there are those moments when Editors spring to mind, The Price of Love one such example, but it doesn’t matter to a crowd only too willing to hail their new heroes.

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