Surrounded by a halo of glowing light, Grizzly Bear project their
swelling harmonies into the darkest corners of Manchester Cathedral. In these surroundings
it’s easy to get carried away, as the sea of faces immerse themselves in
the dreamy psychadelia of ‘Lullaby’ bathed in blue light,
peering out from behind pillars with a rash of camera phones in hand.
Others are content to stand and stare as the Jesus and Mary
Chain distortions of ‘Knife’ sound as if they echo up from a distant underwater jukebox.
Insistent keyboards chime back from the vastness above as singer Edward Droste rocks back his heels, steadying himself for impact.
‘Two Weeks’ provide the moment of pure unadulterated bliss the crowd are longing for though, eyes closed in rapture.
‘While You Wait For The Others’ then shoots warm rays to carry out into the dark winter night,
singer Daniel Rossen seeming unabashedly joyful as their voices play off each other.
Covering The Crystals’ ‘He Hit Me’, the band give it an added ethereal quality, piling on layers of harmonic distortion,
making domestic violence sound oddly beautiful. And yet while
Grizzly Bear are unquestionably touching,
they do seem to be holding something back. We’re just don’t know what.
spell of this duo. There is of course nothing to look at – just two figures at a table of wires,
not even in front of a light show – but that doesn’t stop us facing forward like a sonic-worshiping cult,
because however loud your home speakers can go, there’s no recreating
Fuck Buttons’ live sound.
As well as being borderline uncomfortably deafening, the walls of static the
band produce are Artexed far thicker with anticipation than recent album‘
It’s a game that rewards the patient, as tracks soar past their 10-minute
marks, roaring like fighter jets overhead.
And, seemingly, everyone here has their assaulted ears on the prize. We’re not dancing but Fuck Buttons have our undivided attention until the very last rush of
distortion has stopped buzzing around our brains. That’ll be some
time next week then.
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