Friday 7 December 2012, 12:29
Purity Ring, Doldrums
Stiff Kitten, Belfast
Friday, 30th November, 2012
On a rather frosty evening we being treated to an aural and visual spectacular with rising electro stars Purity Ring making their Belfast debut in front of a small but dedicated audience in the Stiff Kitten.
After a little Charlotte Gainsbourg setting an early alternative ambience, Montreal trio Doldrums, in front of a sadly empty Stiff Kitten, take a few moments to settle and fly into an absolutely bombastic set. It’s music without a genre. There are a dozen different sounds happening all at once - a musical cacophony.
As the room livens with new arrivals so does the set with the ultra kinetic ‘I’m Homesick Sittin Up Here In My Satellite’ proving a real highlight. Despite the limited audience Doldrums play an incredibly assured and confident performance. With their ostentatiously majestic final track ‘Egypt’ we are convinced this trio have a busy future ahead of them.
There is a brief interlude before Corin Roddick and Megan James AKA Purity Ring take to the stage. They dive right into ‘Belispeak’ with Roddick controlling and overseeing proceedings with a real sense of purpose and swagger. The first worry of the evening is that Megan’s youthful voice runs the risk of being drowned out although these fears soon dissipate with ‘Fineshrines’, a track that is lyrically intimate and musically involving. It’s a perfect symbiosis and it is performed with immaculate poise.
The light show often acts as a third member of the group, accentuating the music with Geiger-esque eggs hanging over the stage illuminating and extinguishing in time with the music. The effort put into the overall live performance is plain to see and the audience feels all the more involved for it.
The tempo drops with ‘Lofticries’ and ‘Cartographist’, tracks with so much bass the room shakes. Megan James’ ethereal vocals taking on a menacing tone that anchor the songs and have the audience enthralled. This chill out session soon makes way for the clipped synths of ‘Saltkin’ that stutter and mutate before rising to an phenomenal crescendo with Megan’s voice adding a real sense of purpose to Roddick’s production.
‘Odebear’, ‘Crawlersout’ and ‘Ungirthed’ bring 8-bit tunes and sweeping synths to the fore, with the duo working in tandem with the precision of a swiss watch. Fans of HEALTH, Salem and Passion Pit will feel right at home with soundscapes that make you wonder if this is really a debut and they haven’t been perfecting their sound for years. A performance of this quality deserves a bigger audience.
The evening draws to a bittersweet close with ‘Shuck’, a funereal dirge that Roddick elongates, agonizing the audience with the knowledge that Purity Ring are soon to depart, having captured the audiences hearts hook, line and sinker.
Pic: Luke Joyce