Live Review: Inkubus Sukkubus, Seventh Harmonic, Last July, In Isolation, 27/06/2011

By on 28 June 2011

Inkubus Sukkubus, Seventh Harmonic, Last July & In Isolation
The Purple Turtle – London
27th June 2011
By PETE WOODS

With sweat literally dripping down the walls, it was much safer to rely on the old drum machine tonight, but fair play to openers In Isolation for going against the grain and featuring a human sticks-man.

The group comprising of ex members of Every New Dead Ghost and Die Laughing started off at a gallop with guitar driven songs that were both dynamic and forcefully delivered. There was a good glistening guitar sound and rumbling bass, but by the time we swung into ‘Head-Slain’ I’d come to the conclusion that the angst-ridden vocals of singer Ryan Swift were not going to win me over and if anything, were detracting enjoyment from the instrumentation itself. However, ‘Single Rotations Of Love’ was downright catchy and had a poppy ballad feel about it and ‘High Art’ was apparently being featured in a new upcoming film called Zombie Hood.’

Speaking of which, where is there a zombie when you need one? The singer’s vocal chords were a prime munching target. By the last number ‘Berlin,’ came it was obvious others in the crowd were into the emotive delivery, with the powerful anthem-etched, stadium-rousing delivery it’s obvious In Isolation aren’t going to be feeling so alone for too long.

Ah, that’s more like it a drum machine! Although for me Last July is an unknown quantity, it’s not long before they have the audience and myself bopping along to their infectious sampled beats. Twisty turning guitar riffs are laid out with singer Alixandria Corvyn bouncing around grinning, evidently happy that the crowd have warmed to them straight away judging by the rousing cheer that goes up at the end of opener ‘Autumn.’ Keyboard player Dvae Stanton (yes, we too have to wonder if his parents were dyslexic) keeps the tempo up and even at boiling point (something we know all about on the hottest day of the year so far), especially as the group serve up a pounding rendition of the Front 242 classic ‘Headhunter.’

Rave elements and techno bounces pervade their own numbers and the booming keyboard refrain and bittersweet vocals of ‘Glamorous Parasite’ particularly stand out. If you’re heading to DV8, the singer urged people to come and check them out even if they were sharing the bill with Gary Numan from a different building! Well, they’re certainly worth the jog and doing just that.

 

 

Seventh Harmonic

Seventh Harmonic are a pretty big draw tonight, especially as it had been ten years or so since they last played in the UK. The group feature, amongst others, Caroline Jago of Sol Invictus and Ann-Mari Thim of Arcana, which should give you a strong indication that they’re a rather special project. Playing tracks from the past as well as from the brand new album ‘Garden Of Dilmun’, they were incredibly interesting both aurally and visually.

With a projector beaming images behind them it was a bit of an overload to the senses. We had both Ann-Mari’s rafter-hitting operatic vocals to contend with as well as the violin clamour of Eilish McCracken, along with various percussive instruments that were either softly slapped or militantly banged. The music itself could be both mellow and soothing or strident and very much in the face. Some found the vocals too much, and to be fair, they were epic and there was no escaping them anywhere in the venue. It was the sort of performance that would have been better suited to somewhere like The RFH rather than a small North London club, but even here the PA coped admirably making songs such as ‘Bidding Grief Farewell’ sparkle. Finishing with a flourish, ‘Equianimi’ gave a delirious Middle Eastern twist, it wasn’t just the heat that had us momentarily transported to the Saharan desert. An enchanting performance.

 

 

Candia McKormack

And so onto the pagan delights of Inkubus Sukkubus who’d done well to get so many out on a Sunday night. For the next hour and a bit they didn’t disappoint in the slightest. A huge round of applause went up as singer Candia danced onto the stage, flowers in hair and a big grin on her face. The onslaught of guitar, bass and vox was at first too much for the speakers but knobs were tweaked and things quickly settled down, sounding fantastic.

The stormy anthem that is ‘Vampyre Erotica’ bit down hard and had the joint rocking. Who needs real drums when you have a tambourine anyway? Guitarist Tony really had the chance to rock out on the groups chosen cover of the night and I doubt anyone in the venue didn’t recognise ‘Paint It Black’ within the first couple of bars. ‘Night Angel’ from the latest album ‘The Dark Goddess’ overpowered with its punchy chorus and sinuous guitar parts. Visually things were again backed up with the screen showing everything from topless Mangaesque demons to fairies dancing around Fly Agaric mushrooms.

Apparently Facebook fans had voted to choose a song for the group to perform in an acoustic fashion and I honestly don’t think they could have picked a better one, ‘Pagan Born’ sounded absolutely gorgeous and sent shivers right the way down the spine. The tempo was quickly whipped up as we were taken off to Mexico’s ‘Viva La Muerte’ for ‘Love Eternal,’ which almost had this writer heading straight for the tequila and shuffling around like a zombie for ‘City Of The Dead.’ The hits kept coming thick and fast and the group were determined to fit as much as possible into the allotted time. With last trains approaching and the broomstick out of commission it was time to fly but not until the classic ‘Wytches’ finalised an all round great night.

Pictures by Pete Woods

About Miranda Yardley

I'm Miranda. Bite me.

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