Red Sparowes, Crawdaddy – 12/10/10

After a fairly long wait Red Sparowes have returned to Ireland and again to Crawdaddy. But first is Legion Of Two, whose set is a slow burner as they play continuously, barely with any breathers, for their time and reach somewhat of a crescendo nigh the set’s end.

Then, Head Of Wantastiquet proves to be horribly underwhelming. Consisting of a grand total of one man with an electric guitar droning through a 20 minute set with croons placed sporadically throughout, it proves how so few acts can really pull off drone live and keep it interesting. The occasional amp blunder certainly didn’t help matters either but after that, finally – the headliner.

Red Sparowes are truly an enigma, a medium of melodic and hypnotic, ambient musical airs. On record they dazzle with ease but for such multi-layered art there’s always the fear that it will translate poorly live… not the case here.

Accompanied by aesthetically majestic projections, their songs assume a new essence live. Material from new record The Fear Is Excruciating, But Therein Lies The Answer are beginning to cosy up well with their seasoned tracks. ‘Giving Birth To Imagined Saviors’ marks the stunning highlight of the show with the likes of ‘In Illusions Of Order’ and ‘A Hail Of Bombs’ making a heady presence.

However Crawdaddy’s minuscule surroundings, though intimate, can’t justly hold their sound anymore or even them physically along with their gear. Bryant Clifford Meyer is essentially hidden away in the corner of the stage behind an amp. It’s a minor complaint though as while the new material glistens nothing can take slightly from older tracks either like the gorgeous soundscapes of ‘The Soundless Dawn Came Alive As Cities Began To Mark The Horizon’.

Meanwhile the cascading melodies of ‘Alone And Unaware…’ and the maelstrom opening bars of ‘We Left The Apes To Rot…’ make up the encore – a solid and wondrously cohesive display, to say the least.

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