Devin Townsend’s Casualties Of Cool – Live Review

By on 10 September 2014

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Last week, Devin Townsend brought his Casualties Of Cool project to London to play an intimate set in the Union Chapel. Amy Harris was there, and here’s what she thought of the experience…

Casualties Of Cool
Union Chapel, London
4th of September 2014

Devin Townsend has carved out quite an amazing, eclectic and astounding body of work over the years and as a result has an army of fans who are dedicated, open minded and most importantly, completely and utterly justified in their adoration. His music has ranged from stupidly heavy (Strapping Young Lad), emotional and powerful (tracks like ‘Storm’), tingling ballads (‘Ih-ah!’), catchy and almost pop like (‘Life’) and outright silly and fun (‘Bad Devil’). He has the ability to cover a range of styles and still maintain that one unique element that lets you know from the first chord who’s behind it, and why it’s going to be amazing.

His brain, by his own admission is a confusing and crazy place, hence the vast differences between the relentless stream of albums and the fact that the next show that DTP are putting on is at The Albert Hall, all based around Ziltoid the alien – it’s difficult to second guess him at any given moment. That in mind brings me to Casualties Of Cool, a project that saw the release of the album by the same name on the 14th of May this year. A total departure from anything we’ve heard from him before, this is a beautiful, chilled out country record featuring a very talented singer and musician by the name of Ché Aimee Dorval. So this evening, we are in for a very special show.

The venue is perfect, the Union Chapel in Islington is a huge beautiful church with a high domed ceiling, ornate and beautiful details are everywhere and the acoustics are amazing. The stage is small but the room is so big that the perfectly designed lighting casts haunting and dramatic shadows from the ground to the roof. They open with ‘Daddy’ which is also the opening track on the album. There’s not much talking between tracks as each one melts right into the next, and every so often Devin asks Ché to thank the audience which she does so in a shy and endearing way. Her earthy and soulful voice perfectly compliment Devin’s, and their harmonies fuse together and create pure spine tingles.

The rest of the band are fantastic too, using extra percussion and effects, and all seem to be so content on stage making these amazing sounds. Devin has always had an eye for working with brilliant musicians and this band are no exception. Four tracks in comes my personal favourite ‘Flight’ and like everyone else in the room, I am mesmerised. The applause after every track is a stark contrast to the peaceful and calm music, with thunderous applause and woops of appreciation which then go to complete silence in anticipation of the next amazing track. It was quite something to see such a venue full of bearded, pierced and tattooed metalheads in the grips of such delicate music! Of the 15 songs on the album they play only 13 and close with ‘The Bridge’.

At the end everyone gets to their feet and clap like maniacs, all aware that something quite special has happened, and I am so glad I was there.

WORDS: Amy Harris

You can find Devin Townsend on Facebook

About Kez Whelan

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