The Horrors @ Forum Theatre 3/2/12
February 6, 2012
Posted by on
It’s a very exciting time of year for live music. With both Laneway and Big Day Out in town for the last week, there has been a plethora of sideshows to attend. After their amazing third album, Skying, last year, The Horrors have developed a bit of a cult following. The group have gradually moved away from the garage punk that dominated their first album, to a new psychedelic rock that has led to their increased fame.
I hadn’t been to the Forum Theatre for a few years, but have always loved the venue. The architecture is more suitable in a Greek church, and there is ample seating towards the back, with booths and tables for those less energetic fans. Unlike our usual gigs, we arrived early to catch the first opening act, a solo set from one of my favourite Melbourne artists Jack Ladder. After his stunning album last year, his set was stripped back, without his accompanying ‘Dreamlanders.’ But the solo arrangement of Hurtsville and Cold Feet were truly a treat for the small group that had made the effort to arrive early.
We retreated to the seats for the second act, a rather one-dimensional garage rock group out of Perth called Allbrook/Avery. I found their music a bit repetitive and without any real defining qualities, and found myself more immersed in our conversation than the performance in front of us. Despite my indifference in the performance, I was a little disappointed with the crowd behaviour. At least one punter elected to heckle the drummer, obviously disturbing her for the remainder of the performance. The singer then proceeded to abuse the patron for the remainder of the set. It was curious to say the least, but would be best to pus to the back of our minds.
The Horrors appear on stage wearing matching white shirts with small crosses around their necks. It’s a look that has come to define the band, a touch emo within a touch of class and arrogance. In the earlier years, it seemed they put more effort into this look than into their music, but after two stellar albums, their output finally matches their appearance. It was a truly marvellous show from the Essex lads with a split between Primary Colours and Skying songs. Perhaps indicating their belief that they have outgrown their early days, there was no tracks played from Strange House, but I personally did not feel too aggrieved. They opened with Endless Blue, complete with mellow opening before the booming entrance of the drums, and played through singles I Can See Through You and Changing The Rain. Lead singer Faris Badwan has a particular brooding presence on stage that keeps the crowd in awe. Although they’ve since ditched their gothic stage names, their on-stage personas remain, which was no more obvious than in the epic Sea Within A Sea. Closing the main-set with one of my favourite tracks of last year, Still Life. It was a pretty impressive performance even before the encore. They finished with break -up anthem Who Can Say and Moving Further Away which featured a ‘feedback solo’ from Faris. It’s very interesting to see how the band ahs changed over the last few years and I cannot wait to see them again.