Audrey Horne, The Mercy House & Sahg Live
@ NQ Live Manchester, UK
Originally published on Ghost Cult Magazine’s website 14/07/2013
Following the acclaim Audrey Horne have received following the release of current albumYoungblood it’s a shame that more punters haven’t chosen to venture down to NQ Live for this promising triple bill.
Sahgdon’t let the sight of a half empty venue phase them. The room is sounding huge tonight suiting the bands classic rock tinged doom to a tee. Embellishing opener ‘The Executioner Undead’ with a snippet of the Thin Lizzyclassic ‘The Emerald’ doesn’t hurt either. ‘Firechild’ suggests good things to come from the band’s as yet untitled fourth album with the combined vocals of Olavand bassist Tony providing some spine tingling harmonies which suggest their finest hour could soon be upon us.
Londoners The Mercy House are a recent addition due to Ancient VVisdom needing to pull out a couple of weeks prior to the tour. The quintet’s downtuned guitars recall Loud Love era Soundgarden yet as the set wears on, the lack of varying tempos and the screeching vocals become quite the irritant. A sub standard version of Rage Against The Machine’s ‘Freedom’ does little to help their cause. Singer Drew has a mean vocal range yet when the over the top histrionics are discarded the songs have very little to say for themselves.
Enter sharp dressed headliners Audrey Hornewho possess both stage presence and musicianship in abundance! Every band member is a hive of activity oozing star power from every pore. Numbers from current platter Youngblood are doled out with the crowd cheering and pumping their fists straight from the kick off. The twin guitars of Thomas Tofthagen andEnslaved six stringer Ice Dale are phenomenal and Toschie is impossible to ignore, getting into the front row’s faces and throwing shapes while delivering huge vocal harmonies atop the mountainous fretwork which give songs like ‘It Ends Here’ their kick. ‘Cards For The Devil’ is another with a scything Judas Priest phrasing leading to a dynamic chorus. The crowd lap up everything the band throws at them with Toschie diving into the audience who fling their arms around him in joyous camaraderie. A constant blur of kinetic energy with an abundance of hooks and personality this may be a small club but it has the feel of a stadium tonight. While their name may refer to a character from mysterious David Lynch film and series Twin Peaks, their music is no high art expressionism just pure modern heavy rock played with a bucket load of heart and soul.
Audrey Horne, The Mercy House & Sahg
NQ Live Manchester
May 1st 2013
Photos: Fabiola Santini