The Roadhouse
Friday 24/02/06
Live Review


Behind the makeshift merchandise counter is a pretty blonde huddled into a huge winter coat, looking like she'd rather be anywhere else but this dingy and chilly bar. On closer inspection it turns out that the lady in question is Victoria Cecilia, one-third of alt-rockers Gliss, who are gradually making waves in the British music press. She says she enjoys working behind the desk as it gives her an opportunity to meet people, and it turns out she isn't the only one; the remainder of the band Martin Klingman and David Reiss casually admire the support acts from amongst the audience and are equally approachable for conversation.

When Gliss take to the stage, it's quite clear they've a challenge on their hands. The far from capacity crowd keep their distance from the stage, some remaining in their seats, and it's left to the band to entice them. They play an impressive half hour set featuring songs from their American EP and UK singles, intertwined by Klingman encouraging the spectators to move forward, which, they eventually do. He replicates his almost-fragile singing impeccably on stage, while the sultry Cecilia provides complimentary backing vocals. The band also play a reverse game of 'musical chairs' – every time they finish a song there is a change as to who plays which instrument. Far from being a novelty, it allows them to maximise the styles of each member, such as when Cecilia impressively plays drums and keyboards simultaneously. Gliss conclude their set with a brilliant rendition of "Blue Sky", and a raw and powerful "Halfway Gone", but it's the killer bass and haunting riff of "Kick In Your Heart" that really strikes home. Fantastically dynamic, it shows all three members to be accomplished musicians.

With their full-length album set for release in May, the band are planning to be back in the UK for another round of touring, which is great news for those who missed them this time around. Gliss are an exciting and inventive prospect on record, and even more so on stage, where they inject their performance with fantastic energy.

Alex Lai

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