By Gig Monkey
Songs of Praise presents Lucy T, Russian Blue and Hello Lazarus - The Vic, Swindon - May 3
No, Gig Monkey has not gone all Aled Jones on you and started listening to Christian music. Songs of Praise at The Victoria in Swindon is for those who worship at the altar of new music. The promoter’s admirable ethos is to bring new music into the town and mix it up with the best home grown talent.
Most of the crowd had initially assumed that openers Lucy T were a female solo artist. But this Berkshire based quintet was actually a shouty, noisy pop-metal hardcore act. Songs were melodic, the sound was hefty but the real treat here was the stagecraft. It is not often that you see a band at this level put so much thought into a show. Some of it was a little Spinal Tap but it was nice to see a band making the effort. Highlight was the light box on the floor that activated whenever it was stood on. Very Rock ‘n’ Roll.
Bizarrely named after a breed of cat, Russian Blue hail from Devizes via Bristol. Their sound is a complex style of indie music, seamlessly blending melody with detailed playing and choppy time signatures. It was a real treat for connoisseurs of technicality and tune alike, in the vein of Two Door Cinema Club et al. It is not often you can be nodding your head and tapping your toes at the same time as having your head pickled!
Headliners were Bristolians Hello Lazarus. Muscular, melodic and marvellous, this trio pump out a huge amount of noise. There was a lot always going on with their music, and although there are similarities to bands like Biffy Clyro, Hello Lazarus have their own thing going on. And it was all done with humour, including the band styling each other’s hair before the show (with fantastically camp results). They were one of the most focused, tightest and accomplished bands I have seen for a long while
So, if you like to try something new get yourself down to one of the Songs Of Praise nights. They are free, are in one of the best venues around and are a great opportunity to challenge and experiment with your tastes in music!