Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Live Show - Braids

Where: Latitude Festival
Venue: Sunrise Arena

Playing at 11am on the smallest of the major stages, Braids played to an audience of about 400 people, as seen in the picture above. It was day one and Braids are first up to perform. The sun was high in the sky and the audience made there way to the Sunrise Arena, deep in the woods away from the other stages. Before this performance, Braids were already well known to me. I own a copy of Native Speaker on CD and believe it to be one of the top albums of 2011. This performance only enhanced my like for the band.

Opening with 'Glass Deers', they stood on stage with great presence. The middle class audience watched in awe as people began to leave due to both the heat and lack of understanding from Braids sound. The lengthy introduction reverberated around the woodland area, giving a great feel as the trickling delay hit me. The emotive vocals were great to hear so early in the morning, as the lyrics began the strong chorus of "I'm fucked up" . The high pitched vocals then hit you like a ton of bricks along with the backing vocal melodies which sound great with the looped synthesizer and minimal drumming.

'Lemonade' lasted for about 10 minutes, about one third of the total set was this song. It's the bands best song so I don't blame them. It sounded great with the guitar loop and then delicate vocals, the Dream Pop label was slammed straight onto braids, when I heard lemonade live, I began to see why. The outro lasted for about three minutes in itself, showing great musicianship with perfect timing and creating delicate soundscapes with a raised bass riff ending the song, received to great applause.

As my memory isn't the best, it's hard to remember what track followed, I believe it was 'Plath Heart', which was definitely played. it sounded extremely melancholy and it was a little weak compared to the studio recording. I think this is because the vocals require great effort and they just couldn't create the same sounds as they do on the album.
To close the short set, Braids chose my personal favourite track from the album, 'Same Mum'. The energetic vocals and steady beat kept the audience keen, with strobe lighting being used, but to no effect because it was day time. The clear vocals allowed me to understand what was being said, one clear lyric was "She'll be there with me maybe seeing guilt free, hitting off the acid", with the reverb and delay, this sounded absolutely amazing in such a small, open space in daylight.

The set was only 30 minutes long, the average for the 'smaller' acts and stages. They had great ability to recreate material from the album which sounded amazing. I read at 10.55am that Braids were playing, no mention of Braids was seen prior to me reading it in the schedule so I was very lucky, myself being a big fan of the band.

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