Act: The Orielles
Venue: SWX, Bristol
Date: 2 March 2020
What to do on a cold, windy Monday night in Bristol? My hopes weren’t too high but a quick scan of the internet confirmed The Orielles were in town to promote their new album, Disco Volador which had only been released a mere three days beforehand on Heavenly Records. Ticket duly purchased, I wandered down to the venue, SWX which is only a few yards away from Rough Trade records where the band played an intimate gig in 2018 in support of debut release Silver Dollar Moment.
The venue, SWX, was mobbed and quietly anticipating the arrival of the Yorkshire 4-piece and their intricate, whimsical and melodious blend of disco, pop, indie and electronica.
Early in, however, Henry Carlyle Wade was hampered by guitar problems which led to a somewhat stilted Let Your Dogtooth Grow. Wade, though, carried on gamely and was soon throwing shapes and strutting about the stage, clearly determined to enjoy himself and ensure the show went on with the minimum of fuss.
It’s often said that the rhythm section have to be in complete harmony and with sisters, Sidonie on drums and Esme on bass/vocals, that was evidently the case tonight, the siblings providing an oscillating backbone to the songs and allowing them to expand and grow in the live environment.
New song Bobbi’s Second World was a prime example, a 70s laden cop show style disco funk number, fueled by a bass-heavy riff, rhythmic drums, sonic guitar, outer space keyboards and sweet vocals. Three and a half minutes of blissful pop.
The set list was mainly centered around the new album and these were well received by the Bristol crowd though perhaps the biggest cheer was for Sunflower Seeds from the debut album which has been firmly established as a fans favourite. It’s languid, spaced out haze going back and forth before speeding up and back again, a dream-like euphoria which the crowd lapped up.
Last track, Sugar Tastes Like Salt, is an epic. The crowd swaying and dancing to the beat. Overall, a top gig and not a bad way to pass the time on a cold and windy Bristol night!
Disco Volador is out now on Heavenly Records and available at all good record shops.