Live: Thom Sonny Green, Xylaroo, Mothers @ [PIAS] Nites, The Lexington.
There is nothing better than unearthing new music!
The feeling of exhilaration when you’ve heard a song or a band you never knew existed for the very first time. They can shake your world and leave you wondering how on Earth you could have survived so long without listening to them. The idea of discovering new sounds is like sampling flavours from around the world or your local restaurant.The concept of [PIAS] Nites is to mix diverse music acts and give them the chance to shine on the stage. It has slowly become an almost bi-monthly event at The Lexington, London and this time, the night was fulfilled with four different performers: the well known Alt-J‘s Thom Sonny Green, who previewed his debut album, the German-Italian-Irish mix called Fil Bo Riva, sisters Xylaroo and energetic Mothers. That’s why events from [PIAS] Nites regularly gathers a crowd of indie fans. Thom Sonny Green opened the night with his debut album High Anxiety, officially out on 18th August. The performance contained a heady mixture of sounds and visuals displayed behind the artist. Soothing sounds combined with disturbing images. The audience were hypnotised by a cocktail of art, captivating screens and womb enveloping music. The night went from the electric sounds of Green to an almost acoustic Fil Bo Riva performance. The euro duo entering and concealed by blue mist placing their show on the exact opposite side of the first act. With soft blue lights, two guitars and bass drum delivering a Tom Waits homage of singing, an ascetic way of making music gave the feeling of mystery and magic. Fil’s magnetic and deeply melodic vocal, linked to the weeping guitar played by Felix, took the gathered crowd on a different level of music perception. Time is ticking down for when this band will take the world by storm. The German-Italian-Irish mixture overwhelmed me with the magic of their performance, but it was the duo of sisters Coco and Holly Chant – AKA Xylaroo – who left me speechless and breathless.
The modern cliché of two girls and one guitar filled my mind in advance, admittedly with the wrong picture. With the view of two girls and a guitar appearing on stage, if I’d ever thought I’d seen it all before, I was wrong. Gone was the hippy-drippy bohemian woman lost love songs. My mind was ripped up, shredded and remoulded by Xylaroo. It was far from the image I’d had in my head once they took the stage: probably a girl or two singing, possibly dull guitar and sort of poetry, in a best-case scenario, possible an Adele clone? With a fear it would be the latter, I have to say again how wrong I was.The sisters Chant are far from being a dull or watered-down version of anyone that’s come before. Their performance was sharp, witty and full of life as they stunned the crowd with vocals harmonics. Xylaroo filled the room with music and laughter, giving one of the best new band performances I’ve ever seen. A mixture of their own material and some great covers, two highlights of the nights being: their own track Sunshine and a re-arranged cover of Gloria Gaynor‘s 70s hit I Will Survive. The performing duo gave the classic a crisp, fresh re-spray and left the crowd with goosebumps. The night truly belonged to them and bigger stages clearly beckon. [PIAS] Nites are the ringmasters for performers, building them up and finally letting loose Athens, Georgia band Mothers on the stage shortly after Xylaroo. The raw guitar band rocked everyone in the room, their set opening with a slow composition performed solo by Kristine Leschper. The sad love song left the crowd totally unprepared for the level of energy that was about to come, the band whipping up a storm with their own compositions and even if you were totally unfamiliar with them, the music tornado arrived. From the first song, I couldn’t resist the thought that their sound is strongly reminiscent by Portishead. Kristine’s characteristic vocals put the band on the same spectrum as the Bristol four-piece. But their music is much bloodier, almost grungy. Behind Mother’s unique sound unquestionably stand Drew Kirby (guitar) and Kristine Leschper. These two set up the tone for the whole performance leaving the remaining members Matthew Anderegg and Patrick Morales, cloaked in rhythmic shadow. Strong guitar and charismatic vocal is the essence of Mothers, the American four-piece is definitely one worth checking out. And if you are a type of music explorer, you shouldn’t miss the next [PIAS] Nites event at The Lexington, I know I’ll be there for sure!
[PIAS] Nites at The Lexington, 17th August 2016
Review and photography by Edyta K