The Veils @ KOKO, London
The lights dim, before Finn Andrews even takes to the stage his presence is palpable. As The Veils make their appearance, the atmosphere is charged and the rising anticipation in the crowd can be felt. The hunger of the crowd is juxtaposed by the bands cool calm assurance as the opening song fills Koko like a thick heavy smoke.
If you’ve heard Axolotl on their latest release, then you can appreciate how Andrews so cleverly commands hearers’ attention, enveloping us within minutes into his world, right alongside him.
This show feels incredibly personal, as though we have been invited not so much to see him perform, as to hear Andrews exorcise his demons and wrestle with his internal life before us.
The 2016 release Total Depravity was recorded in Los Angeles, London, New York and Porto, but when The Veils launch into stand out tracks like Low Lays The Devil, which feels like a confessional of some spiritual struggle that’s alluded to, but never quite spelled out for you, you’d be forgiven for thinking this sound was born in some lost dark bayou in the deep south.
As this is the front end of their tour for Total Depravity, it comes as no surprise that these songs dominated the set list, but from what I could see and hear, that was more than welcome. Longstanding fans of The Veils will no doubt be unsurprised at the depth and diversity that characterises these new tracks, perhaps a mark of Andrews’ maturity as an artist.
I think even newcomers to the London based indie/alternative band would be hard pressed to listen to such a diverse body of work and not come away with something that they’d find themselves listening to on repeat.
That he continues to push beyond the boundaries of expectations, and still embody a sound in each track that remains faithfully and entirely his own is probably how Andrews began being compared to icons such as David Bowie in the first place. As The Veils work through their set list I hear beautiful nods to artists from Radiohead, check the vocals on Swimming With The Crocodiles, to Phil Collins, Bowie & Jack White, icons each, but at no point does it feel as though this isn’t breaking ground.
Since the early age of 16 Andrews has been turning heads in both the professional entertainment industry and among followers alike. For over a decade The Veils’ work has been used in tv and film, but next year Finn himself will make the cross over and join the cast of what, in 2007, Time magazine hailed as one of the “Best TV Shows of All-TIME”. Critically acclaimed director David Lynch has announced that Andrews will be part of the new series of the cult classic Twin Peaks, that is slated to air in 2017.
I have little doubt that whichever way Andrews is involved, it will serve the credibility and creativity of the new series, but I can’t help but hope that we’ll get some original music created exclusively for the show.
The Total Depravity tour still has 13 shows left around Europe, America and Canada before appropriately winding up in New Zealand, the home of Finn’s youth. If you get the chance, go and experience this incredible show first hand, and in the meantime the latest album Total Depravity is available now.
Live Review by Richard Harris and Photography by Ariel Majtas
The Veils at Koko, London , 25th October 2016.