Esben And The Witch - Nottingham Rescue Rooms 5th February 2011 Live Review 2011
Nottingham's own Spotlight Kid have blossomed out from the 'collars up' shoegaze of former bands Six By Seven and Model Morning and into something much more interesting. Sure, there are still nods to the typical purveyors of the scene, but like A Sunny Day In Glasgow and Matryoskha they have eschewed the script laid before them and created something much more vital.
Something which, so far, Trophy Wife have failed to do. Their tiresome electro-tinged indie takes the very worst parts of Foals and the mock-baleric workouts of Delorean and latter-day Ruby Suns; the plodding tempo, the endless repetition, the uninterested vocals. Single 'Microlite' sounds exactly how it does later on in the post-gig clubnight, and floats by with as little attention.
With the heartbreaking demise of HTRK brought with the suicide of bassist Sean Stewart, Esben And The Witch have become the premier female-fronted triad of percussion led, thousand yard stare kraut-goth, and whilst their recently released début full length 'Violet Cries' may be at times disappointing in its lack of venom and velocity live they are an absolute maelstrom.
As on record any attempts to pick a highlight are futile; such is the unrelenting wave-after-wave nature of their music. They begin with the pounding rhythms of krautrock godfathers Can and Neu and inject the cloistering guitar bursts of Mount Eerie circa 'Winds Dark Poem' as vocalist Rachel wails (Siouxie And The) banshee like in the middle distance. There is no stage show nor audience interaction, but this is only to be expected for such a band.