– NIGHT & DAY CAFE, MANCHESTER 25th November 2015–
It’s hard to completely get a handle on Whyte Horses, and that, in itself is quite revitalising. There’s a definite mystique that surrounds them – a band with minimal online presence, having released a few songs over the past twelve months and live performances are also somewhat of a rarity since the band emerged – but secrecy breeds intrigue and the anticipation hits a peak once they’ve taken to the stage amongst swirling kaleidoscope patterns on the walls of Night & Day. As these visuals would suggest WH are an outfit that oozes warm psychedelic fuzziness and sixties sunshine on a French coast line – it’s easy to imagine them sound tracking a Wes Anderson flick. They’re not without their precedents – remnants of blissed out pysch-pop from Melody’s Echo Chamber to bleats of current Stealing Sheep. However, refreshing originality endures with songs such as ‘La Couleur Originelle’ and ‘The Snowfalls’ which are decorated with contemporary instrumentation, dreamy melodies and shimmering guitars whilst managing to steer clear of any psych routine. There is a darker side amongst the shiny haze; with ‘Morning Clouds’ breaths melancholy and subtle sadness but gives the set a welcome dynamic mood swing.
With their base in Manchester, tonight is a homecoming gig of sorts on the penultimate night of their UK tour. With a warm reception from the plucky crowd, WH are lively when performing, channeling the energy of summertime but still they don’t deviate from their air of mystery in between songs – seldom engaging directly with the audience – the effect is frustrating, intriguing. This persona of theirs makes us believe that it’s perhaps more about the records than the gigs. And why shouldn’t it be? When comparing the two, the upcoming album Pop or Not, to be released in spring 2016, will be much more open to listener’s interpretation than a live performance as it is the record that lives on in the memory. That’s not to say tonight’s feat has been nothing less than a stellar achievement, still leaving room for new interpretations and creating fresh outcomes for all to enjoy – truly a sign of a band that will live on, at least in this writer’s memory.
Read the review on Silent Radio