Gig Review: The Besnard Lakes

Grrr. The combination of Bristolian public transport and late(ish) gigs in Bristol can be infuriating sometimes. Sunday night was one of those times. It sucked balls.

Twin Falls were the first of two support bands, and they were really quite nice. They had several guitarists (of various sorts) and a female singer, but no drummer, which I felt actually worked to their advantage. It meant their songs were almost ambient, and drifted along very pleasantly. Apparently, we were told halfway through their set, the band usually do have a drummer, but on the evidence of their set, they don’t really need him, as the absence of a beat actually made Twin Falls’ music stand out from the norm. I suppose they were a bit the same from song to song, but in a half hour support slot, that can actually help create an atmosphere, as occurred here. A good little set, would see again (without the drummer).

Final Flash were more energetic; their amusingly haired bass player in particular was rather sweaty (He looked a little like Moss from the IT Crowd, but with a mustache). I can’t to be honest remember all that much about their set, but it was enjoyable, and as mentioned, energetic. Fine stuff.

After Final Flash finished, I began to feel wary, as I knew we would have to be leaving to catch the last train in just under an hour. But hopefully, the band would be on quickly, and we’d get most of their main set (I wasn’t too fussed by the encore). However, as the band set up, at a fairly leisurely pace, I became more and more impatient and annoyed. 40 minutes to go, 35 minutes, 30 minutes, 25 minutes…

Eventually, the Besnard Lakes did come on. And to be fair to them, they were very good for the time that I did manage to see them (about 20 minutes). They started with ‘Like the Ocean, Like the Innocent’, going straight into ‘Devastation’. These are two of their finest tracks in my opinion, and they were well played. ‘Ocean’ builds momentum nicely over about 9 minutes, whereas ‘Devastation’ cuts straight to the chase. The latter received a particularly noisy outing at the gig; I’ll admit that this powerful noise felt good to my frustrated self. Great song though, much enjoyed. After that there was a song I didn’t know, and then we were dragged away by external forces…

I’m sure the Besnard Lakes continued to play a great gig, and I’m disappointed not to have seen more of it. There were some negatives; sometimes when frontman Jace Lasek sings falsetto unaccompanied, it sounds a little too much. Definitely better when his voice sits at the front of the band’s very fine music. And he does look a bit weird, with his seventies hair and glasses atop his hefty frame. But these are minor issues, and they don’t lessen my wish to have seen more of the damn gig, though they had more effect on my companion: ( )

I’m not blaming the band for taking their time (they set up relatively quickly), more the venue for not bearing in mind that some people have to leave by a certain time. I like the Fleece, but if you have three bands playing, why not start one of them playing soon after the doors open? The venue opened at 7:30, but Twin Falls didn’t start for over an hour. It would have been perfectly possible for the Lakes to have finished a full set by about 11, but apparently the Fleece isn’t too bothered whether out-of-towners see much of the gigs they pay to see. I wonder how many return the next time….? Fortunately, I won’t have to deal with this ball-sucking situation again, as I will soon be moving to Leeds, where I will be able to walk my way to many gig venues, and stay till the bitter end every time without fear of spending £50 on a taxi to get home. Win! Good riddance, missing the end (or in this case the middle and end) of gigs!

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1 Response to Gig Review: The Besnard Lakes

  1. But I want to see the end of gigs too!

    I’m amused you could – a/ tell the difference between songs, b/ knew what they were and c/ knew there was one that you didn’t know.

    It all sounded the same to me.

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