Live - No Ceremony///, Electrowerkz, London

Wednesday 9th October 2013

Due to the over familiar and ever infuriating transport system, we unfortunately missed the set from Salt Ashes, but made it just in time for the main support – Rainer. I knew little of the duo before the performance, and in truth I feel somewhat intrigued by them still. The pair delved into synth and sample infused electronica, fronted by the towering and beautiful 'Rebekah Raa', with beats from the more diminutive producer 'Casually Here'. It has to be said I enjoyed this performance, but it didn't come without it's quirks. Glitchy and sometimes intricate time signatures, married with haunting and engaging vocals, the set was difficult to get into at times. It seemed as though the crowd were waiting for that one song to elevate them into life, but unfortunately it never really emerged. I'd like to hear more production work from these guys before I make my final judgement. There is certainly potential, but maybe a three piece would be stronger.

So, on to the main event – No Ceremony ///.

I've been eager to catch this band live again, ever since I first laid eyes on them at The Great Escape festival in May. With this in mind, I turned up with an expectant crew, hotly anticipating a gig that would blow us away once again. And second time round, they were equally impressive.

By their standards, it was a fairly shy start from a band that have been picking up huge plaudits for a strong live show, but it didn't take them long to find their feet and start revving up the crowd. It's clear that they have been touring relentlessly of late, as they moved from song to song with a slickness of seasoned professionals, but with a likeability you might not expect from an act carrying the weight of a “buzz band”.

Without doubt, it's too soon in their career to ignore their biggest tunes. Nevertheless, I was still delighted to hear the catchy yet underground sounds of HURTLOVE and crowd pleaser FEELSOLOW. But even more impressive was their strength in depth, as the Manchester group kept the audience entranced from start to finish. A quick apology after their penultimate track (apparently a first live performance of the song) was the only give away that any mistakes may have crept in, but it was unnoticeable to the rest of us, who continued to enjoy an otherwise seamless set. At times where melodies were a little less defined, we were drawn in by cathartic walls of sound, following huge synth drops and piano hooks. Just how I like them.

There is a clear structure to many of their songs, with almost predictable (yet satisfying) electronic 4/4 beats, piano hooks and dreamy vocals, developing into something more expansive and hard hitting. Without the frills of a large scale lighting rig (which they deserve), they had the audience in the palm of their hand. This was an excellent gig, I only wish it had been a Friday night!

Review by Andy Chandler

Go here to read the No Ceremony /// album review.