DRAB MAJESTY + SRSQ: Soup Kitchen, Manchester. 19/09/2019.

20 09 2019

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If ever there was a dream line-up, then this would be one of them: Drab Majesty AND SRSQ together. Playing a venue that I adore, even if it was an absolute sweat box last night. I missed the first song of SRSQ’s set because I am shit at catching the tram from my flat to town, but that’s irrelevant.

Kennedy (who is SRSQ) was part of a band that I was obsessed with; Them Are Us Too, and to see someone who was part of a band who have left a lasting impact on me live, was something to truly treasure. There is the same passion there, and it is just a beautiful thing to be immersed in. For me, the music Kennedy makes as SRSQ is so ethereal and so delicate. I adore her vocals so much, and how Kennedy has this impressive power within their vocals that are just a thrill to witness. The way Kennedy controls the room with this gorgeous voice and haunting songs just leave you covered in goose bumps. For me it is songs like Cherish that show us just how effortlessly brilliant Kennedy is, and how every fibre of their being is exposed on stage.

 

 

Kennedy uses her voice how a guitarist would create fury with their instrument. She does it all on her own, and you cannot help but be in awe. Her music has been a massive comfort for me recently, with my Grandma dying very recently. I have used her music to escape a little, and to see these songs live just got me. If it can hit you in the gut, then you’ve found a band worth holding on to. Kennedy tells stories and takes you off into another world with her music, and the way she does it in a live setting is just nothing short of beautiful, in its truest and purest form. Only One was the song that just moved me the most. It made me think of listening to Zola Jesus for the first time- they both have this power in their voice, and this tone that is just unlike anything else. It can make you cry almost instantly because it is that soothing and perfect. I hope she comes back to the UK and does her own headline tour because her set was just a joy to watch.

Now it is time for Drab Majesty to take to the stage.

A couple of months ago, Drab Majesty released the chilling new record, Modern Mirror. This is a record that is dripping in synth-filled songs to hit you right in the soul. The songs were made to hit you right in the pit of your stomach. So how do they do this live? Effortlessly. So easy. Deb and Mona D are two exceptional musicians who just have this stage presence that leaves you so intrigued and moved by what you are witnessing. Their songs are euphoric symphonies that make you feel as if you have found yourself in the underworld where Deb and Mona are your leaders.

As someone who has frequent panic attacks (and they are ever increasing) I find bands like Drab Majesty and SRSQ so calming. It is the relaxed tone in the vocals, and it is the purity in the sound. It just eases me. They open their set with A Dialogue, which kicks off their new record. The perfect opener to their set. I’ve waited a hell of a long time to see this band, and I can honestly say it was one of the most moving shows I’ve been to. Something I really admire about Drab Majesty is that their music feels like it could be in a film, and they make you feel like you are part of it. There is so much fragility in the music, and I love it so much. I love how they are unafraid to be gentle in their music. The Other Side broke my heart, but to see it live was just remarkable.

 

 

It was such a joy to see both bands last night, and to see them both command the stage in ways that show us that less is truly more. In an ideal world, I’d watch their sets every single day and be in a constant state of bliss. They all make you want to create this dark, moving music to release all that you’re carrying. You can see for Kennedy that there’s a fair bit of release when she performs live and Drab Majesty have this hypnotic and stoic stance on stage, but there is so much emotion within all of them when they perform their songs. You can truly see how much it means to them, and given that most of this tour is sold out- it shows us just how much they are loved. It was so good to see the venue packed for Kennedy’s set. There was just a lot of love and respect in the venue for both sets, and to see this was nothing short of wonderful.

I can only urge you to see both bands whenever you can. It will feel like the most perfect out of body experience, and you will feel like both bands are in control of how you move during the show. You’re their puppet, and in this instance it really isn’t a bad thing. As hard as it was for me to leave the house last night and go to the show, I’m so glad I did. This is what I needed at this moment, what comes next now I have no idea but I have this to hold on to for a little while.

I can only reiterate that you just need to see both bands, and allow yourself to be immersed in such beauty and ethereal synth magic.

 





THEM ARE US TOO.

5 12 2016

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For Cash. With love.

I have endless pieces of paper in my room and notes on my phone about bands I’ve listened to, and need to write about. There’s one band in particular that had come to my attention but I had stupidly not done anything. I’d put it aside until I felt I had the words. A tragic circumstance brings me to this. If you’ve read about what happened in Oakland, you will know that the world lost one of its most beautiful and most angelic souls- Cash Askew from the wonderful band, Them Are Us Too. I wish I had written about them sooner but more importantly, like anyone else- I wish that what happened didn’t happen. Upset to one side, I’m going to write about the music. That’s what can and will pull us all through.

Them Are Us Too are the other side of what I regard as my perfect band. Of course I love anything that sounds like it was kicked out onto the streets of New York City in ’76 but I also absolutely love bands that sound like Cold Cave, Tamaryn and Depeche Mode- anything like that will easily get my attention and will always have it. Them Are Us Too remind me of so many bands I love that fall into this category. Entirely dreamy, gentle and just a beautiful way to escape whatever is in your mind. Everything that they stand for and all they represent is entirely beautiful and I hope that wherever Cash is now, she is spreading the joy she left here and the beauty she brought to there. Sometimes you just hear or see something, and this overwhelming feeling hits you. That’s what I got with Them Are Us Too when I first heard them. I felt like I had stepped into a world that not everyone knows but once they experience it, it’s a feeling that lasts a lifetime.

I’ve spent my day at work listening to Them Are Us Too, and I’ve had what I wanted to say about them swirling in my mind all day. I feel that they are a band that, words will never be enough to truly describe them. There are no words great enough to describe how their music makes you feel as if you are having something similar to an outer body experience. The sounds and the vocals are so soothing, so gentle on the soul. You are hit with a wave of acceptance when you listen to them and for me, that’s such a huge and rare thing to find. I didn’t know Cash but as a fan, these words are my tribute to her. At only 22 years old, she made the world beautiful with the music she and Kennedy made. They both created this world with their sound that bands who have been going decades strive to find. They did it almost instantly.

I think with bands like Them Are Us Too any genre you attach to them is just entirely pointless. You can mention slight influences but for me, I don’t want to listen to something that succumbs to the label that they are given. Cash and Kennedy didn’t fall into that trap with their music. Remain is one of the most underrated records over the past couple of years or so. It has something so deep inside of it that just makes you feel like you’re the only one who has heard it. You feel as if you’re the only one who knows them. You feel as if they have sneaked into your room and gently dripped their hypnotising sounds into your ear. No one will believe you when you tell them such beauty exists. Kennedy’s voice takes you off into a dream, and you don’t want to come back from it.

The heart aches. The mind is working double time. Nothing makes sense now. It just feels strange, the bad kind of strange. The world doesn’t seem as bright as it once was. We have the music. Repeat.

Before I wrap this up, I’d just like to mention how Remain is one of those records you play when you want to feel at ease, when you feel the need to turn off from the world and onto something else. It possess sounds that are made to be heard at 3am when the world is sleeping but your mind is racing. More than ever before, they are the kind of band I am leaning on for my own personal internal battles. Every sound, every word, every note, every little detail is a caress to the soul. I know it is a generic thing to say but they truly are a gentle band.

For the love Cash, for the memory of Cash and those who tragically lost their lives- play the music as loud as you can and find your own version of home in it.

We have the music. We have each other x

 

*photo by Kristin Cofer.