From Brooklyn to Brudenell, Big Thief graced our favourite social club with support from Katie Von Schleicher. Von Schleicher’s haunting vocals transfused with powerful bass melodies rapidly attracted the swarms and by no time The (revamped) Games Room was full. Whilst Von Schleicher’s and bassist Adam Brisbin’s intelligent harmonies were strikingly original, they were intersected within songs that were tantalisingly reminiscent of those sung by Big Thief. The band, this time just made up of just Adrianne Lenker (guitar, vocals), Max Oleartchik (bass) and James Krivchenia (drums) welcomed us with four songs from their 2016 album Masterpiece.
Lenker’s line ‘this place smells like piss and beer’ resonated around the room now spilling out with people, jostling and sloshing pints of warm ale. Once settled, Lenker’s delicate vocals in Paul encapsulated the audience through its rapid build ups and soft vocals solo. As if to challenge this, Lenker proceeded to plunge into an exquisite extended guitar solo in Real Love. We were almost toppled over with the sheer force of talent released by Lenker, who just about gave everyone time to regain composure as the tempo steadied and seamlessly transitioned into the crowd pleaser Shark Smile from the new album Capacity.
Lulled into a false sense of security, we were emotionally propelled back again as the disturbing lyrics of Shoulders, drenched with passion, crashed over the audience. The evocative melody to Pretty Thing was mesmerizing as Lenker’s line ‘you’ve got lips like sugar’ melted into her microphone and oozed through the crowd. The rich imagery in Capacity united the audience again with visions of fluttering birds only to be cut by a slow and steady drum beat. An atmosphere like no other filled the room. Tension grew. Over the unremitting, pulsing drum, a jarring and sporadic guitar melody was introduced. Once everyone was sufficiently incited the vocals brought us back together as the lyrics of Mary rolled together, creating a beautiful trickle of sound that moved gracefully with the guitar.
Big Thief ended and left the stage swiftly, leaving everyone with a baffling and confusing contradiction of emotions.
Photo Credit: pastemagazine.com