Braids // Live Review

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Electrowerkz // September 3rd

braids live

Photo: Howard Melnyczuk

Braids’ album Flourish // Perish is amazing; hands down one of the best of the year. How such a complex, beautiful piece of electronic mastery could possibly be translated to a live show boggled my mind all day before rolling into Electrowerkz to see their first London headline gig of the tour.

Now a three piece, old school friends Braids are another of Arbutus Records’ genius signings. There really must be something in the water in Montreal. With Austin Tufts on drums (both electronic and analogue), Taylor Smith on synth, laptop and xylophone while providing backing vocals to Raphaelle Standell-Preston’s absolutely awe inspiring soprano lead, the band opened with ‘Amends’ to a transfixed crowd.

This second album has been a real transition for the band and they bravely played unknown new tracks as well as album favourites with energy, elegance and ease. Austin absolutely pounded down on his drum kit during ‘n Kind’ while Raphi, a picture of composure, produced a fire engine red guitar – confessing afterwards “I’m glad that we learnt that song, it’s been a bitch to learn.”

When she announced that the next song would be their last, the crowd boo in dismay. She apologised quietly then took back her apology as “it’s a Canadian thing to apologise all the time” before going on to explain how happy they are to be here and how much they’ve been looking forward to this show. For one so overwhelmingly talented her humble speech is disarming. As Braids close with ‘Together’ Raphi sings “I’m upset with myself.” Well no one else here is, love.

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Buy: Braids – Flourish // Perish

Live: XOYO – December 3rd