Review // Ought @ Islington Mill

Words & Photos by Wes Foster

Deciding to omit most of their better known and recognisable tracks (from their More Than Any Other Day album) is a brave choice and definitely a high-risk strategy from any band. But it works, and definitely proves they’re more than capable of writing beyond one or two catchy albums. They show a diligence and intelligence in their songwriting not possessed by many and, although it may be slightly softer indie-pop, it has enough in the lyrics to transcend that and create something simply sublime. The writing has darkness to it, predominantly from Tom Darcy’s Mark E Smith-esque crooning tones.

With shows like these, the Canadian four-piece are ensuring they’re here to stay, albeit avoiding the crowd-pleasing clichés and instead opting for a darker, more intimate set that was entirely about what was happening onstage, rather than what they may have written before.

It’s fair to say they’re not the most animated performers, but they don’t need to be – their playing and tracks create such an atmosphere in itself that it’s hard to escape. Their new album, Sun Coming Down, is more of the same, but has definitely been allowed to take a slightly more leftfield turn – clashing guitars are allowed freedom to roam and it doesn’t feel quite so scripted. The music now seems to match the abstract, almost existential lyrics: everything seems to fit in a more organic way now.

The gig was promoted by Now Wave and took place at Islington Mill on Thursday 21 April, 2016.

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