As pioneers of the 2013 indie-psych scene it seemed like Splashh could have had it all. After playing a tour of medium sized venues they seemed to go missing in action. But back with a new album, it seems the band, who now have an extra member, have used that time away to their advantage. And tonight’s show at Patterns, the first night of their UK tour, is to prove that.
First band on the bill are Strange Cages. Hailing from Brighton, the 3 piece instantly impress with their psychedelic riffs and powerful stage presence. Having worked with Theo Verney, musician and producer, it’s no wonder they’ve such a distinct sound. Think Yak meets The Cramps. This is a band old before its time and I can’t wait to see what’s next for them.
The second support act are FUR, another local band but with a very different sound. Effortlessly smooth vocals accompany melodic guitars. Despite some technical difficulties the band pull off a confident set. Single Creature is so catchy you could almost sing along by the second chorus. Catch both bands on the BIMM stage at Truck Festival this summer.
At just gone nine, Splashh take to the stage. Opening with Lemonade from their 2013 debut album Comfort is a wise choice for the Aussie/Brit band. As reactions from the crowd suggest most people here are here to listen to some old favourites. Unfortunately poor sound is an unwelcome start to gig as frontman, Sasha Carlson’s, vocals struggle to be heard. It’s to my (and probably the bands) relief that by the second song the sounds problems are fixed. And the effortlessness that made Splashh so great back in 2013 is very much still alive.
Splashh are here to debut their new album Waiting A Lifetime which has indeed been a long time coming. Rings, the first single from the album, introduces us to the electronic beats and shoegaze inspired refrains that submerge throughout the album. See Through is simply doused with influences that reach from TOY to Ride, and these recur throughout the set. Gentle April is a masterpiece that could be from Scottish rockers The Jesus and Mary Chain.
Splashh manage impressively to venture into the genre without becoming too self indulgent. Their electro pop beats creating an innovative and very catchy sound. Sadly, some tracks do fail to translate as well from the record. Look Down to Turn Away fails to deliver the same build up that is so crucial on the album. And unfortunately the crowd loses interest for a while as talking almost drowns out the song at some points. To be fair this is fairly new ground for the band. It is unlike anything they have done before. But they do manage to pull it back for the mesmerising and drum heavy ending to the longest song on the album.
Perhaps more engagement with the audience may have prevented these instrumentals from being lost on the crowd. Waiting A Lifetime is the track that gives its name the album and is a personal highlight of the set. It’s so Sonic Youth it hurts and the crowd love it.
Despite wanting to win over the crowd with the impressive new album, a few old songs do make their appearance. Headspins and All I Wanna Do are a welcome throwback to their beach-psych days, still managing to blend effortlessly with the new material. An extended version of Need It is the perfect way to round off the evening as distorted vocals and reverb of the first album meets the shoegaze style of album two.
Before we knew it the night was over. It is safe to say that Splashh have left a lot of people wanting more. Waiting A Lifetime is one of the most exciting albums I’ve heard in a long time and is just as good live. Let’s just hope they stick around for longer this time round…