The Verse’s Lorenzo Ottone reviews The Horrors at the Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts on 28th September 2017.
It’s the Halloween weekend and there could be no better treat than seeing The Horrors playing an intimate show in Falmer’s futuristic Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts.
The crowd is a mixture of old fans who had probably seen the band rise a good ten years ago, university students and long-haired psych revivalists in Beatle boots and big buckle belts. Obviously, more than one washing-deteriorated Skying tour tee can be spotted within the audience.
Skying is the record that gave the Southend garage-psych band a national and international affirmation in 2011. Possibly one of the latest masterpieces of British indie, undoubtedly pleasure and pain of the band.
The last six years haven’t been the easiest for The Horrors, whose releases have inevitably been compared to their 2011 album. 2014 LP Luminous was commented on by the band itself as not being their best effort, so Faris and bandmates had to gamble everything on their new release, V.
Released in September, V, has been critically acclaimed and some have even suggested it could be The Horrors’ best studio work. The band are proud of it and you can tell that by the gig’s setlist.
All tracks except three are taken from V and it makes sense. The Horrors have rediscovered the power of drum machines and synthesisers and are now in their Depeche Mode phase. The band’s new wave inclination has never been stronger and every song is turned into an extended synthetic psychedelic jam without losing the pop side, in the best late 1970s tradition.
Faris phrases lyrics like a majestic crooner, in a way halfway between John Cooper Clarke and Jarvis Cocker, when he rises above the crowd leaning on stage amps, especially during new single Something to Remember Me By.
The band is tight on stage. The instruments blend together perfectly building a wall of sound mastered by years of touring. Old numbers including breakthrough single Sea Within a Sea and Skying staples Still Life and Endless Blue. These receive the highest appraisal from the crowd and are given an utter new wave touch making them fit perfectly in the performance.
It was the Halloween weekend so a special treat – in their debut album, The Horrors had recorded a cover of Screaming Lord Sutch Jack the Ripper – was expected. However, a performance lasting only one hour and ten minutes felt like a Halloween trick, not a treat.
Despite the set length, The Horrors proved to be finally back, fresher and more creative than ever – and that’s what really counts.