Review by Olivia Wedderburn
These New Puritans managed to transform Gorilla into a dream like sound chamber as they played through their new album, occasionally instigating a track or two from their younger, and stylistically very different LPs. The mysterious lyrical and emotive progression of the bands third album proved the elegance and sophistication that have come with TNPs journey into neo classical post rock. Using sound effects to create an all encompassing experience, the viewer could not help but be drawn straight towards the music, you could barely hear a person speak as to not damage the experience that was unfolding.
After the first two tracks, both off “Field of Reeds”, it was perhaps welcoming to hear “Three Thousand” however you could definitely see the similarities that lie subconsciously between all of TNPs albums. All though a far cry from their new neoclassical approach, the rock and roll acoustics of the track was nostalgic of when they first came into their own artistically and critically in 2008. We can look at These New Puritans development positively as they have spanned genres in order to create the ultimate elusive passage way, their use of jazz instruments combining with synth is proof of their ability to evolve with new music yet still hold on to the dynasty that got them there.
The crowd responded very positively to the atmospheric nature of the show, silence cracked by applause after ever slow and moody track. The lyrical genius weaved over the dream like sensuality of the orchestra shaping each song. The scape of the gig, with its crescendos and diminuendos, resulted in an invaluable experience. It could be argued that the show felt almost futuristic, but only in the most simplistic manner and the emotive nature of the front man created an eery and beautiful experience. They are progressive, triumphing the emotions of the day to day with hardened instrumentals and commitment, butting to shame those of similar genres who cannot emulate the ghost like beautiful nature of These New Puritans.
Their return is welcomed, they seem to soak into Manchesters aesthetic seamlessly and they felt very at home on stage, if somewhat apocalyptic in their nature. It seemed as if no time passed at all by the time they fell into their encores, ending with classic track from Beat Pyramid, “Infinity ytinifyl” and title track of the new album “Field of Reeds”. An altogether very cathartic show, These New Puritans are back with a vengeance, and it leaves the question posed where they are going to develop from here? With the absence of Sophie Sleigh-Johnson, I wasn’t sure how the band would work, as the strength of her presence did intertwine very well into the bands core sound, but the presence of guest-singer on “Field of Reeds” Elisa Rodriguez managed to create a very exciting twang in the bands stage presence. Her jazz like styling complimented the jazz orchestra parts of the show, which actually had quite a heavy presence. #
Although the show was short, it was sweet, and the anechoic aspect of the performance made it a very personal and honest experience.