School of Seven Bells @ The Zoo

School of Seven Bells‘ debut album, ‘Alpinisms‘, has been on high rotation round these parts in recent weeks; it’s a pretty good modern shoegaze album, although being the modern age it’s way too long, especially so for a debut album, and would have benefitted by losing a 3 or 4 songs, possibly the ones where they sound too close to The Cranberries for comfort.

In the live setting it’s just the three of them – identical twin sisters Claudia and Alejandra Deheza and ex-Secret Machines‘ guitarist Benjamin Curtis – and the use of a drum machine and bass backing track means that the songs tonight sound just about identical to the record.  I’m not sure if they have played with a full band before or whether it’s just a sensible and obvious money saving option for touring overseas, but even though the Deheza twins sing really beautifully together, it sounds very sterile and gives an overall impression, at least from a purely musical point of view, that you may well have just stayed at home and listened to the album on the stereo.  It’s a shame as the songs themselves are excellent, as for the most part is the album, but they would benefit substantially from a looser arrangement and structure, one that allows them to expand and explore, really take their sublime, dreamy, ethereal harmonised vocals to a new level, instead of being hindered by the strictness and military rigidity of the drum machine and backing tracks they’re using.  

For a change, and a very pleasant one at that, it was the best lighting I’ve experienced at The Zoo for a long while.  And, from a photographic point of view, with good lighting and a pair of exceedingly attractive female identical twins you can’t go wrong…

More photos on Flickr.

3 Responses to “School of Seven Bells @ The Zoo”

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