The Social – October 1st
Tuesday night at The Social, and some shoegaze, C86, dreampop, disco, goth, psychedelia, it’s everything we have come to expect from Coves since their formation in 2011, is showcased to full effect. Ahead of their headline show at Electrowerkz on November 7th they are tonight playing as part of The Fix, having just made their new single Beatings available. On the strength of tonight, it seems Electrowerkz tickets won’t be available for long.
Usually it’s a brave move to open with your new track, but with Beatings Coves knew they were on to a good thing. It’s a brilliant track, full of beautiful strings and sketchy beats, glitchy synths and soaring wails, soft cooing vocals and powerful assertions, vulnerable verses and acidic cutting choruses.
The night sparkles but without sequins: there is more a dark and dense glimmer to proceedings. Spiralling synths and hypnotic riffs are loosely channelled underneath soft vocals. Boy/girl duos aren’t exactly sparse at the moment, but Coves transcend the simple fact of numbers and sex, weaving their subtle magic into this smallest of spaces. The venue is packed whilst they play hook after hook with barely a pause for breath.
Looking out from kohl rimmed eyes under her blonde fringe, Beck Wood is just giving of herself enough to be engaging and alluring, making the crowd feel part of the energy in the room, whilst all the while making it very much clear that the real dynamism in this room comes from her and John Ridgard, writer, guitarist and producer for the duo.
Flickers of electricity fly on the stage and off it, the vibrancy and acceleration of songs such as No Ladder and its super psychy Revolver era loops, or the consistent and compulsive bounce of Last Desire making you feel like you are part of the darkest but deliberately dazzling trip ever. As the crowd can’t take their eyes of the stage, the relentlessly hypnotic and the repeated chorus of Here Comes Your Light built and bristled, jagged guitar playing and passionate drums relentlessly growing as the lights flashed and flooded the room.
Dancing with ethereal energy, Beck moves with the crackling synths and giddy beats. On Fall Out Of Love she plaintive cries ‘take what you want and leave me standing here,’ bruised and battered, but the sudden entry of chaotic drum beats and euphoric melodies, tossed hair and carefully flailing limbs mean that you know she won’t be standing alone or crying for long.
Cast A Shadow starts as a proper rock song, and is one of the reasons references to The Kills or Cults abound. Always hypnotically unfolding and luring you closer, tonight its subtle magic is brought to the stage and oozing charisma. On record the sudden stops that remind of Tennis are less stripped back but no less powerful. The command and clout with which they rule the stage is clear on Run With Me, its relentless rhymes heightened by thrashing metal drums, the combination of instruments and their echoes testament to the talent and inventiveness of the band.
A few minutes after the gig a tweet goes out. The band have posted an image of them signing a record deal. I’m not at all surprised.