– GORILLA, MANCHESTER –
Thank you to those who bought The Silver Globe! Jane Weaver merrily says a few songs into the set, her blonde hair half-covering the facial glitter around her eyes. It’s strange to hear an artist thank their audience, in a quite genuine manner, for a purchase made in the age of Apple Music and Spotify. Weaver’s name has definitely reached more ears since the release of her critically acclaimed 2014 album The Silver Globe, one such accolade being Piccadilly Records’ coveted ‘Album of the Year’.
Therefore much of tonight’s focus is on this release, despite Weaver having a back catalogue of five other albums. The krautrock-inspired ‘Argent’ sets the spacey tone of the night with Weaver’s ghostly vocals floating delicately over driving guitar followed by the first of the night’s grandiose synth solos, decanting into the spaces between vocal and guitars.
It’s the delight with which the band psych out that makes them a sight to behold. The music may well be influenced by 70’s space-wave and trad-folk but there is nothing beard-twirling about the precision with which they perform. Like the mean age of the band tonight – it’s a mature performance. No arrogance, just a quiet sense of control.
Moments like ‘Electric Mountain’ has prog-rock guitar bashings (à la Hawkwind’s ‘Star Cannibal’) that descend into swirling synths without ever losing it’s simmering edge.
The slow spellbinding flow of ‘Arrows’, reminiscent of Angelo Badalamenti’s Twin Peaks theme, has us captivated whilst Weaver coos, ‘Still the same/nothing without you’ – perhaps missing a companion of old, perhaps another world.
The night really peaks during the teasing ‘Don’t Take My Soul’ with the crowd pleasantly grooving, finally letting go and getting lost into the ether with some mimicking Weaver’s spiritual gestations.
One thing that prevents Weaver from fully beaming us up to the mothership throughout the night is the absence of the beautiful harmonies that define The Silver Globe; on the upbeat numbers they allow the vocals to strong against all the background wizardry going on elsewhere, and on the ballads they are the nigh-invisible presence that give you goosebumps and make your arm hairs stand on end.
Backing vocals aside, along with her band of stalwarts, Weaver has created a rejuvenated new language in electro-pop. Where does she go from here? Outer space doesn’t seem high enough.
Read the review on Silent Radio