Monday, September 30, 2013

Esben And The Witch, live @ Six D.O.G.S (Athens, September 27, 2013)

If you're familiar with the two albums released so far by the Brighton, UK, trio Esben And The Witch you might expect an ethereal, gothic atmosphere to their live shows. Surprisingly, as we found out at their first ever Athens gig on Friday, the band favors an all-out sonic attack on stage, bringing their live sound closer to the guitar wall-of-noise of shoegaze.

The dark, chilling melodies of "Wash the Sins Not Only the Face" and "Violet Cries" are still the center of the band's sonic universe, of course, but the guitar takes a much more prominent role on stage, giving tracks like "Marching Song" or "Deathwaltz" a heavier, more rocking live presence.

The harder live sound, however, cannot upstage the band's greatest strength, Rachel Davies' magnificent voice. Alternating between guitar and bass, Davies adds to the sonic mayhem created by guitarist Thomas Fisher and drummer Daniel Copeman, while maintaining a  crystal clear voice, a siren's call that enchants in the midst of Esben And The Witch's sonic tempest.

So, after a shaky start on Wednesday with Iceage who left us wanting for more, the week's unofficial Matador fest came to an end on Friday on a high note. Esben And The Witch's hour-long set also finished without an encore, but as the impressive "Smashed to Pieces in the Still of the Night" was coming to an end, it was obvious that it would be very hard to top it with something else. Check it out below, along with another of the evening's highlights, the band's Matador debut "Marching Song":

Esben and the Witch - Marching Song (live @ Six D.O.G.S)

Esben and the Witch - Smashed To Pieces In The Still Of The Night  (live @ Six D.O.G.S)

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