The Horrors must be ruing their own timing, as well as their exclusively black attire, as 5,000 fans swap a Summer’s evening for the sauna-like Brixton Academy this evening to see the band headline their biggest London date of their career.
However, there is a heady euphoria to Faris Badwan and co’s latest album ‘Skying’ that is somehow in keeping with the glistening foreheads and clammy air in abundance this evening. It has certainly had an effect on Badwan himself, who chats freely throughout - more than we’ve seen him say in nearly ten or so performances previously. Perhaps a pre-show Calyppo gave him a confidence boosting sugar rush.
It’s good to see The Horrors open up personally, as their music has certainly become more expansive over the years. ‘Skying’ album cuts such as ‘Moving Further Away’ and ‘Endless Blue’ add soul to the murky bluster they perfected on 2009’s ‘Primary Colours‘ and, combined with a nod to Kevin Shields style volume control, sound monumental tonight. It is hard to imagine that this is the same band that just years previously were trust up in more hairspray and makeup than a backstreet drag club but The Horrors are a band that love to defy odds.
It is the group’s second album that provides the highlights this evening, however. The zombie-fied Phil Spector romp of ‘Who Can Say’ hits straight into the heart of the hardcore masses gathered front and centre whilst the expansive, jittering soundtrack to a robot uprising we hear on ‘Sea Within A Sea’ is aided by an epilepsy-inducing lightshow. The more rotund, elder statesman audience The Horrors have surprisingly picked up along the way averting their eyes into their lager as the music shakes their body.
As the set ends with a positively monumental ‘Still Life’ you can’t help but think of Blur, Stone Roses, Foo Fighters et al. Whilst it is understandable that festival organisers are keen to play it safe with their bills someone needs to take a punt and book a fresh, original and untried band to top their Summer event soon. On this kind of form, The Horrors fit the bill perfectly.