– Gorilla, Manchester –

The Weather Station

The Weather Station

Tamara Lindeman, front woman and driving force behind the Canadian band The Weather Station, stops for a chat with the crowd towards the end of their excellent gig here at Gorilla. Looking longingly towards the corrugated roof of the venue, she tells us “we look at the stars and dream, but what we have down here is more important”, a reminder that getting together in large groups of people to forge a connection over music has been a hard won privilege over the last two years, and we should cherish it. It’s gigs like this one that remind you how delightful it is to join a group of like minded strangers in a big room to see performers bring to life music, music that hasn’t been played live much recently, music that moves you.

The band are here in support of their last two albums – 2021’s stunning ‘Ignorance’, and this year’s surprise piano ballad lead “companion” album ‘How Is It That I Should Look At The Stars’, (there she is, up with the stars again), a gentle meditation on life and love. It’s ‘Ignorance’ that’s the main focus here though, with only the beautiful, sparse ‘Stars’, and ‘To Talk About’ aired from ‘…Stars’, the latter a gorgeous, encore closing duet with her band member, beginning with the charming line “I am lazy, I only wanna talk about love”, it’s relentless elegance a perfect close to the evening. The songs from ‘Ignorance’ sound brilliant, elevated by the live band and given a wider, dare I say it “Springsteen-ian” new life. ‘Separated’ is turned into a soaring, funky disco number, all driving four to the floor drums and synths, the crowd breaking into a gentle shuffle, Lindeman having a dance of sorts too, stalking the stage in a lounging fashion. ‘Loss’, again propelled by the drums, takes off with Lindeman’s voice soaring, synths and keys buzzing like prime Future Islands of yore.

It’s the mid-to-end run that absolutely elevates this gig onto another plane, one perhaps that Lindeman has been looking up to the sky towards recently. It begins with the stage bathed in red light for ‘Ignorance’ highlight ‘The Robber’, I mean, what a song, what a fucking song, it slinks, slides, soars, thrills. This segues into ‘Atlantic’, with some of the lyrics of last year like “thinking I should get all this dying off my mind, I should really know better than to read the headlines”, a lyric still very pertinent in these times of illegal, immoral, unnecessary war brought to us in minute detail 24/7. It’s followed up with ‘Parking Lot’, another Weather-banger elevated by the live setting, before she brings it all down to an astonishing end with ‘Subdivisions’, mesmeric, when she sings “what if I misjudged, in the wildest of emotion, oh I took this way too far” really hitting home. If any run of songs at a gig I see this year manages to top that, it will be an incredibly impressive feat.

A day later and I’m strolling through the streets of east London marvelling googly-eyed at the impossibly big red full moon on display thinking about taking a useless bad picture. But Lindeman’s words are rattling around my brain. I return my attention to the conversation my friends are having; what we have down here is more important.

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