Presumably keen to carry on into the New Year riding the end-of-2017-momentum that saw them release impressive indie-soul crossover singles ‘Forger to love’ and ‘Lucid’, St. Buryan played the Little Buildings like a band with a point to prove.
A unique live sound, somehow the five piece Saints manage to blend the most interesting elements of the 80s UK soul revival (ABC, Wet Wet Wet) with more traditional indie hooks and song structures. Central to the tight-rope they walk is frontman Ben Mackett, all high cheekbones and good looks, who’s Martin Fry meets Simon Le Bon strong vocals and interesting melody lines provides enough pop-soul to keep the band on the ‘right’ (see ‘interesting’) side of indie. It’s a vocal style which works well for the band and complements their strong musical proficiencies; the combination resulting in interesting, high-concept tracks, producing multi layered guitar parts and strong, danceable, grooves.
A cover of Natalie Imbruglia’s ‘Torn’ feels out of place in the set-list, particularly in the way that it moves the band’s sound away from ‘indie-soul’ to just ‘indie’. It’s heart-warming though that the evenings only ‘dip’ belongs to someone else’s signwriting. With ambitions to be more artistic than traditional, the Saints would do well to regularly review their soul influences and stay away from the empty promise from the indie crowd.
Overall the Buryan’s produce a sound, and a show, which is equal parts danceable, upbeat and crowd pleasing and which the sold-out crowd lap up.
This is a great show by a band choosing an interesting path; long may they stay interesting and unique.