“Nobody here can make the feeling new.”
Second time seeing 2:54, second time seeing them in a church. It is fair to say that their eerie and ethereal sound is bloody glorious in a church, and I would fully back them playing these kinds of venues. Why? Because there is something quite beautiful about seeing a band like 2:54 in a church. I can’t actually put it into words what it feels like, but if you’ve listened to them you know what kind of environment they are perfect for.
Last week they released their second record, The Other I. As someone who is pretty much still obsessed with their debut record, I wasn’t sure if I was ready to let it go and move onto the next. Turns out I am, and I’m of course, obsessed with it. There is something about their music that makes me want to write about music constantly. Maybe it is because everything I adore about music is in their sound. Do I want it to sound a little creepy? Yes. Do I want lyrics that not only I can relate to, but are in awe of how they are placed together and sung? Yes. Do I want music to sound like I’m not where I currently am? Yes. Do 2:54 do all this and beyond? Of course.
The PA system blares out Tender Shoots. A delicate song to listen to through headphones, but through a PA in church, it’s haunting. I cannot remember the setlist, but I remember moments (made use of a happy hour in a bar beforehand, so go with me on this.)
I loved the little jam at the end of Scarlet which went straight into Sugar. Sugar for so long was a song that I played on repeat, then they made a video to it and it just went insane. It’s a song that’s got so much going on in it that my little head can’t get itself around. The drums on it. Oh man. More on the drumming in a bit. Some songs are met with a beautiful smirk from Colette who, on stage seems like this powerful being stalking the stage and commanding it with rapper-esque hand movements. Off stage, she seems the opposite. One of the most genuine souls I’ve ever met, but more on that later. The new songs are adored by the 120 or so of us in the room. I thought, how can they still be playing small venues like this? But the thing is, this is where they sound perfect. Last night’s show was the first of their tour, and anyone who has a ticket is in for a real treat.
The drumming. Alex is pretty much the best drummer I’ve seen live, and one of the best drummers I’ve heard on record. If you’re looking for a group of musicians to influence you to start a band, listen to 2:54 then go see them live. Church or no church, just please go see them. I hope a 14-year-old kid somewhere hears this band and starts something magical of their own. I’m however, 28 with no musical talent, it’s probably why I do this. Ha. Alex has this ability to make the songs sound more brutal live. 2:54’s sound is delicate but mixed with bold moments. Moments that just make you hit repeat all the time. He makes the drums sound like waves crashing around you, a prime example of this is during Creeping. I wish I had the money to do all of this tour just to see him drum. He’s nothing short of brilliant.
Hannah and Colette play No Better Prize together. Just Hannah on guitar and Colette’s blissful vocals. Her clarity when she sings is gorgeous, and you pick up on the lyrics much more. You pick out certain lines, and not only do you identify with them but you’re bloody grateful someone has said it. My favourite part of the gig was a cross between No Better Prize and South. I think I’m sold on South being my favourite off The Other I. It was Pyro but I’m sticking with South. I think the new bassist is called Rich? Sorry if I’m wrong. Anyway, he’s bloody brilliant. Bassists don’t get enough credit I don’t think. For 2:54, the bass really adds something haunting to their sound.
Their heavy sound mixed with gentle vocals is really what appeals to me. It’s like beauty and the beast (none of the band are beasts, I just mean mixing something ferocious with something tame.) There are a small number of bands I could quite happily watch for the rest of my time, 2:54 are evidently one of them.
At the end of the show, I hung around to buy myself a t-shirt (as always, I do my clothes shopping at gigs don’t I.) In complete shock to me, Colette recognises me. “You’re Olivia aren’t you?!” My ability to say something awkwardly daft thankfully past me by (thank you Happy Hour, thank you!) Her words about my writing meant a hell of a lot to me. Firstly, I never expect a band to read anything I write about them and secondly, if they do read it I wouldn’t expect them to remember! She said I write beautifully about the band. It’s easy to write about them because I just love them and I have done for ages! When you really believe in something, it is easy to put that across. I’m just someone who loves music in all its possible ways. Balls to the genre, I just want it to make me feel something. Her kind words are staying with me, and when I feel like stopping writing, I’ll replay them in my head.
I told her I sold my ticket for The Jesus And Mary Chain to be there last night. “I hope we were worth it” she said. You have no idea. Can February hurry up now please?!
Great post! I wish I could convey the same passion as yourself in my writing, but everytime I try I come across as a creepy old man (not helped by the fact that at an all ages gig I was asked whether I was there with my children!) Still, I did manage to have a reasonably intelligent conversation with Dee Dee at the weekend!
But, back to your post Everything I’ve read about (via yourself) and heard from 2:54 makes me want to hear more (although still no distribution deal in the US – Grrrr – at least we finally got PINS and September Girls) – Tell 2:54 they have to play LA!!!
If I could get them to play LA (and somehow follow them out there!) I would. They’re a band that are meant to be seen live, they are bloody brilliant. If you get to see them, you won’t be able to tear your eyes away from Alex. Best drummer I’ve probably ever seen.