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LIVE REPORT: The Horrors
Anna Wood , July 12th, 2017 00:53

At a small gig at Omeara, tracks from the new album from The Horrors nestle perfectly amid a greatest hits set. Photo by Shot2bits.net

Faris Badwan on stage

The Horrors were on magnificent form at a teeny gig in London Bridge last night, playing tracks from their new album V (due for release in September) plus a good dose of goth-rave magic from the previous three. New single 'Machine', a juddering slab of Numan-esque synth rock, opens the show and from there we are zigzagging through Primary Colours, Skying, Luminous and the new album for 80 sweaty, strobey minutes.

From V, 'Hologram' is full of pomp and thrust, almost a Bond theme (new album producer Paul Epworth also works with Adele and has possibly added a bit of his Skyfall technique). 'Weighed Down' adds some heaviosity – it's a luxurious downer of a song, with reverby psych guitar, synth claps and a touch of pedal reverb wigout to hammer us home. 'Something To Remember Me By' (the next single) is heavy disco, with rich seams of rave running through it – the hook is not unlike Lil Louis's 'French Kiss' and there's a fake bombquake ending that's almost out of 2 Bad Mice's 'Bombscare'. It's glorious.

The rave peak is at the centre of the show, when 'Mirror's Image', with its ace synth swirls and thrupping kick-drum and lurching whirling bass, is immediately followed by 'Sea Within A Sea'. It's a lighter version than we've heard live before – the guitar is playful, the whole thing feels fresher. It's like they've added a pre-echo of daybreak, and then you get the utterly cosmic daybreak when that beautiful 'Your Love'/'The Rip' synth arpeggio dawns halfway through the song. Rainbow lights are flashing, dry ice is pumping, hands may be in the air.

In his skintight shiny purple top and black choker with crucifix, Faris Badwan is a swaggering disco Nosferatu (they're a stylish lot, in dress and gait – Rhys Webb plays bass in his Bass penny loafers and stands legs akimbo like A Proper Rock Star, Tom Furse is an immaculate Clark Kent behind the keyboards) and he does anthemic rock singer too, especially on 'Still Life' and right at the end of the show. The last song, 'I See You' from Luminous, sounds at first a little bit pedestrian, a little bit of a comedown after the rest of the set, then it goes stellar with a crescendo that keeps on crescendoing, a rock rave goth electro noise bath with drums, bass, keyboards, guitar and bright white light.

V is out on 22 September. The Horrors tour the UK in October.

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