Review: Outfit @ Hare & Hounds, Kings Heath – 28/01/2014

Outift are a band of charmingly-crafted conflicts. It’s most evident in their debut full-length album Performance which was released last August and which explores the concepts of loneliness, identity and dissatisfaction with the self. Some of its most intimate instances are restlessly despondent but there are also moments of sanguine buoyancy; complexly textured and building movements which pinpoint motivation through the smog.

Tonight Outfit perfectly fuse the two throughout their live performance. Thank God I Was Dreaming bleeds into Two Islands through a sprawling industrial soundscape which then breathes into downplayed romantic melancholia. Explanations are shared between frontman Andrew Hunt and Tom Gorton on keys (‘this song’s about going to a lonely party’ – Performance) and (‘one about what you are and what you’re not’ – Spraypaint) as the set builds back up to the blistering layered electronics of Nothing Big (‘the moment that nothing at all matters’) and Want What’s Best – two of the band’s most perfect and uplifting moments. They close with the climatic Elephant Days.

Outfit are bookish self-analysis at its best. Tonight, set in pitch black bar a couple of well-picked beams of light which highlight the arresting self-contained solitude in which its creators construct, it’s an almost perfectly-judged set save for the exclusion of one of their most existentially glorious moments, Everything All the Time (from 2012 EP Another Night’s Dreams Reach Earth Again), for the inclusion of just the one too many downbeat mantras. Overall, it’s simultaneously one of the most intricately beautiful and exciting live performances you’re likely to see this year.

Photo: Jenna Foxton

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