Bethan Shuff || December 2nd
I’ve never heard electronica/art music before. I ‘m still convinced that the first band on the bill, Umbrellabird, totally made this genre up, but if not then they absolutely own it. Opening with soothing keys and light cymbals, accompanied by a rhythmic bass, it seemed like Umbrellabird might have rocked up at the wrong gig. I wasn’t sure what to expect from them at a predominantly indie/rock gig, until an aggressive distorted bass and crashing drums jumped in to create a whirlwind of filthy tones. I ate my words. Umbrellabird had stolen the show before it had begun.
Each of their creations were full of emotion, some made you want to punch someone, while others had you sunken in thought. It’s incredible how music, even without lyrics, can do that. They even recreated Robert Miles – Children and put their own cool spin on it.
Fake War made their way onto the stage and performed a set of punchy, garage rock tracks with invigorating bass lines and deep vocals. Frontman Will Abercrombie’s vocals remind me of both Tom Clarke of The Enemy and The Cult’s Ian Astbury. Deep and somewhat soothing but rough and edgy. Anthemic drums fuelled every track as audience members shouted ‘You rock’ at the lads, who joked back with the crowd, wishing friends happy birthday and mentions of an after party at a mates mums.
After playing the O2 Academy 3 in Birmingham the previous night, the Arcadia lads returned home for another gig, and though exhausted, you’d never have thought it. A heavy instrumental, straight into Illusion and bass-driven Cabin kicked off the set before Seb introduced the track that everyone had been waiting for; their new release: Silhouette. Rebel’s Leah Hamer described the new track as: “a whirling, dusky piece of indie-grunge."
The middle of their set was bouncy and light in comparison to their heavier works as they played Tropic and a stripped back version of Realisation where James and Josh went off stage, leaving Jake playing guitar out of sight and Seb centre stage singing a slowed down rendition of the track.
That was all the calm before the storm as James and Josh re-entered the stage and Transparency exploded, going straight into a newly written, heavy drop-D track called Informants featuring apocalyptic drums and distorted guitars. Waste was one of the more popular tracks of the night which had the crowd down at the front jumping up at the barriers and screaming the lyrics back. As always, Arcadia finished the night with their rollercoaster of psychedelic riffs and crashing cymbals: ’95. The breakdown had Jake gritting his teeth while rapidly battering the strings of his Jazzmaster and Seb on top of James kick drum still playing his guitar, Josh cutting his fingers all over his bass and then Seb on the floor screaming into his mic. Every last bit of their energy was put into this song to finish off an absolutely top night from three class bands.
Arcadia’s single Silhouette is now available on Soundcloud, and is soon to be released onto all major music platforms.