Gig review – Archive, Electric Ballroom, 30 November 2016

Having spent quite a bit of November going to jazz gigs, I had a change of musical scenery via Archive at Camden’s Electric Ballroom.  Archive are a British band, apparently better known on the continent than in the UK.  I hadn’t heard the band before but was expecting good things from this trip-hop/techno/rock band.


The band played, at least initially, behind a thin veil and in front of a video screen on which they projected a range of images, from scrolling text to rotating skulls (they must have know I was coming!).  The combination of music and images was a powerful cocktail.  For a sense of what that was like check out the video below (for the impatient among you, skip to the three minute mark!).

Just like in the Wizard of Oz, the veil was eventually drawn back.  Having been initially overawed with the combination of music and visuals, I felt slightly let down my what followed, with half of the visuals disappearing along with the veil.


The band played a number of tunes from the recent album The False Foundation.  The best of these were the slower tunes like the opening track of the album Blue Faces, and Bright Lights.  The harder tunes didn’t do a lot for me but, to be fair, the audience seemed extremely satisfied with everything they heard.  I’ve subsequently spent a bit of time with the new album and have quite enjoyed what I’ve heard.  Not enough though to warrant buying the album or going to another gig. However, having had my expectations well and truly managed another gig might be more enjoyable.