The Organ
Soul Tree, Cambridge
29th March
Live Review

The Organ

It's my first time at the Soul Tree, and I'm greeted by a young chap outside throwing up after every 10 paces. Maybe this is normal, but I can't imagine royalty getting the same reception. I stroll inside and take a gander.

The venue is split onto two levels. The lower holds the stage with a fair degree of standing room to look on at the performers. The second tier balconies over the middle of the first, and on three sides gives you great views of the stage. My first impression is that this is exactly the kind of place that The Organ will feel at home in. It feels moodily atmospheric, dark, intense and somewhat intimate.

A strong following of roughly 120 people have flooded in by the time the girls get onto the stage, after Sketch takes a last sip of her wine and Smyth, Cohen, Webber and Stocks knock back some of their beer. There's a feeling of being part of a special group, that the band are still underground enough for us all to be proud that we made it here without being followed!

It's only when they begin to play, belting out "I Am Not Surprised", that I realise just how well produced the album was. The Organs are definitely a live act, and that has clearly been held onto when recording "Grab That Gun".

There's little talking in between songs. As soon as the applause dies down, they fire into the haunting "Love, Love, Love". Lead Vocalist Sketch is in reflective mood. She looks shy at times, others a tortured soul but always portrays the emotions of her lyrics.

As they perform "A Sudden Death", "Sinking Hearts" and "Basement Band Song" you realise that there is no need for any discussion, everything is conveyed through the music and you have an educated enough audience to appreciate and digest this.

I mentioned before when reviewing the album, the band are attuned to each other and are comfortable performers. And they believe what they're playing, it's quite intense. Serious faces are only swapped with grins when Organist Smyth miss hits her tambourine, but it's soon swallowed up within the music.

The tunes just keep on coming like "Brother" and "Memorize The City" And before you know it, we're at the final track of the night. Sketch picks up an acoustic and a guy in the front shouts "Rock and Roll!", "Yeah but it's a folk song." She quips back as they wind up the set.

A good performance, and true to the great facets of their full length debut. If you get a chance, try and catch them before they head back off to Canada, but don't tell too many people, they'll be our secret.

Elliott Bambrough