Review by Tom Frodsham
Sunday night at Deaf Institute and the stage is set, the room filling with eager
ticket holders here to see none other than Cold Cave. A very intimate space for an
artist whose music is powerful and captivating- a perfect setting to appreciate the
atmosphere of each track. I wouldn’t say the room was packed but there was a
good solid turnout to see the US act.
Cold Cave is front man Wesley Eisold, with his band mates playing keys and
providing backing vocals. Elaborate electronic, synth heavy music that sounds like it
could be an act from the mid Eighties. The act is sometimes referred to as the “Dark
side of New Wave”.
Just as the show was about to begin an alarm went off. Poor guy, I thought. Just as
he’s about to begin his set we have to evacuate. Well no actually, it was just a good
old-fashioned “technical fault” with the keyboard that went on embarrassingly too
long. Not the best of starts or introductions to his stage entrance. To be honest, I think
this glitch threw Eisold’s focus a bit. He didn’t seem to get into his stride for the
first 4 or so tracks. “Confetti” was a great number to lift the crowd. It was only after about
twenty minutes that Eisold truly got into his groove and performed like an electrosynth master.
Dressed head to toe in his signature black uniform, he captivated the
crowd with his moves and haunting voice. It felt intense, dark and eerily sinister; but
not to the point where the music excludes you. More like the wave of
power the music holds brings you in. His tracks nearly all had a tainted melancholy to
them. Think Joy Division for our generation.
With each track he got more confident with his surroundings and fed off the audience
who ate every beat pouring out of the music. Other stand out tracks of the night
include “A Little Death To Laugh”, “Meaningful Life” and personal favourite synth
heavy treat “God Made The World”. There wasn’t any mention or exclusive plays
of new material from upcoming LP “Sunflowers”. Mainly material from the last album,
the nostalgia themed “Cherish The Light Years”. If you haven’t heard it before, make
sure you get on YouTube now for a route through the music, as the tracks are sublime.
Cold Cave have performed in glorious Manchester several times now and I’m sure
after the reaction this devoted audience gave there will be many more to come. Keep
an eye out for their music as with each album they get more coverage and more
followers. Rightly deserved.