District Attorney. Bobkis. 14.9.19

Stripped down from their usual nine members, tonight’s six strong version of Nel Unlit prove that reduced numbers doesn’t always have to equal a reduction in sound as they blaze their way into a highly individual universe of sounds.  Part folk, part traditional and part abstraction, Unlit’s use of changing lead vocalists and instrumentations combine to produce moving, and highly literary, musical experiments.  Standouts Firefly, Apple and Words by candlelight all sound great and offer huge interest in next years’ debut album in a sound highly influenced by Arcade Fire and Flaming Lips.
Stepping away slightly from experimentalism, headliners District Hero approach tonight a little more head-on than their support with a more direct sound and performance style.  Firing off their indie guitars from the word go the Hero’s style of Jam-esque aggressive pop works well; landing best with John fords blues and Borrowed light, both of which play with rock and indie and pop sounds to produce interesting experiments within traditional pop structures.  Interestingly it’s the solo, acoustic, number St Catherine’s which steals tonight’s show with it’s James Taylor sounding loveliness, wist and personal longingness.  Tonight’s biggest takeaway was that for all the instruments and experiments of both bands, the most impactful moment was the most gentle, straight forward, one.   

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