Review: The Grafham Water Sailing Club + Victor + Prayers + Noir @ The Sunflower Lounge – 07/12/2013

At local level, there are gigs that you get excited about and there are gigs that you don’t. Tonight’s event is wholly the former, the bill having been handpicked by its headliners and Brum Notes favourites, The Grafham Water Sailing Club.

noir live portrait credit rob hadleyOpening up the evening are new kids on the block, young four-piece Noir who play a set of material drawing heavily from britpop with a smattering of a sound a homage to the West Midlands over the top. Still super young and inevitably finding their feet, it’s an incredibly impressive live performance for their years (which even combined still don’t number many) and a promising start for the boys – check out Feel.

Prayers are next and there’s certainly a consistency to what they do – it’s ambient, it’s atmospheric but it’s lacking in any real gravity or hook. Though perfectly proficient as avictor portrait live credit rob hadleyband and undoubtedly possessing the requisite skills to progress, they’re left somewhat eclipsed by Victor whose distorted female- fronted heavy grunge is completely encapsulating.

Beginning with brooding crescendo of a tune, their new track Peace & Quiet, Victor progress through a set truly exciting both to listen to and to watch and they leave a thoroughly warmed up crowd for Grafham who play their first headline ‘hometown’ show to date.

As such, the industrial Bedworth four-piece have evidently lengthened their set meaning that the opening grafham live portrait credit rob hadleytrack feels just that little too long. However, gravitating around their board of electronics with live instruments to boot, the boys are not only an impressive live outfit but a unique one – a difficult feat to achieve these days. Stand out tracks tonight include, as ever, The Butcher of Barcelona and Pericolo and though they could still do with turning up the vocals, it’s a special performance from a special band whose newer material is just as wonderful as the old. Watch out for this lot.

Photos: Rob Hadley



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