L.A. Witch

L.A. Witch


I don’t revel in the idea of giving a band a bad review, but in this case I feel it’s necessary to highlight a few negative features of the support band’s performances, in order to emphasise my admiration for our headliners.

Locals Witch Fever kick things off in a boisterous and rebellious fashion, occasionally showing signs of instrumental promise despite the muggy guitar sound, and an ill-advised cover of Rage Against The Machine’s ‘Killing In The Name’. The vocals here seem too desperate and lack character or control, with words spouted seemingly just for the sake of it. I didn’t believe what I was hearing.

The quality-o-meter rises a few notches thanks to Inland Taipan – the singer/lead guitarist is undoubtedly skilled at both, but when she sings at a higher pitch the whole thing sounds off balance. Beautiful soulful and bluesy tunes sung in her deeper voice suddenly switch without warning to a different genre and emotion, rudely snapping you out of the blissed out state that you’d become accustomed to. It’s as though Cat Power and Mars Volta fans are fighting over the jukebox. Their big finish is marred by glitchy guitar effects and the musicians running out of synch. In places, they were very impressive indeed, but seemed to still be in the process of finding a winning formula to tie everything together.

In contrast, L.A. Witch coolly breeze on stage and effortlessly perform a dozen catchy psychedelic post-punk numbers, combining shimmering reverb-soaked guitar chords with deep and memorable basslines and frantic, relentless pounding beats. They make it all look embarrassingly easy and un-complicated. Affection for the band increases with every song and their finale ‘Get Lost’, a single from 2014, draws a huge reaction when introduced to the crowd, but is equalled in quality a number of times this evening.

Sade Sanchez’s naturally quirky, Mazzy Star Americana vocal style fits perfectly in the arrangement with held notes echoing over a guitar that’s been set-up to cover the Animals’ ‘House Of The Rising Sun’. ‘Feel Alright’ has been marked as a highlight, with a slower tempo in the middle, building tension for the return of the faster start. ‘BB In Blue’ impresses further still and I’ll go so far as to say the live experience of that song will be hard to top this year.

With just 3 singles to their name, a number of new tunes made an immediate impact during a superb set. They’re an extremely capable band whose style is easy to melt into, with the promise of a lot more of the same in the future. They’re most definitely my kind of thing and a debut album is hotly anticipated. I’ve not heard a packed Night & Day react so warmly to a band at this stage of their career for as long as I can remember.

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Peter Rea

I like to go see fresh new music at Manchester's superb selection of smaller venues, and then share my enthusiasm.