Live Review: These New Puritans, O2 Academy

Posted on 16 April 2010
By Greg Baugh
  • Share:

Tonight’s show is strangely under populated, which is unusual for a band that has received critical praise for recent long player “Hidden”, you would have also thought that recent support slots on The XX sold out tour would have helped to boost their profile.

Those that are in attendance tonight are treated to a forty five minute set, which considering they have two albums, is rather short.

The band play the majority of “Hidden” tonight, with only three tracks from debut “Beat Pyramid” being aired, with the band entering to ‘Time Xone’ they begin with ‘We Want War’.

The most immediate thing that hits you is the sheer velocity of the drums, with the delayed horn samples creating an ominous atmosphere, which when intertwined with the dancehall-esque groove created something genuinely interesting.

While the use of sampling is strong in TNP’s live arsenal, it fails to represent the nuances and dynamics of the recorded tracks, which is the inherent problem of their live show.

Songs such as ‘Orion’ and ‘Hologram’ lose their most interesting musical aspects in a swamp of heavy bass and pounding drums, which in turn led to the performance feeling rather flat and at times, samey.

A mixture of both organic and sampled instrumentation would have added colour to the performance, like on the record, and have helped to recreate the individual identities of the tracks.

While the lack of live instrumentation does limit the bands live sound, there is a nice juxtaposition of dry sounds with the more ethereal sounds the band used. This was exemplified during the encore of ‘Elvis’, with the delayed vocals being swathed in reverb giving the impression the vocals were being beamed directly from space.

Photography by Matt Thomas: