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Live review...
The Valentine's weekend for some can be a death sentence, while others see it as the most important day of the year. So get out and experience a climatic revelation in your discovery of Canadian rock band Wintersleep. The boys are presently touring the UK and lucky for us they decided to stop off at Belfast's Auntie Annies with something special.

As the band made their way to the stage they received an appreciative, yet apprehensive reception. It was their first gig in Belfast and from their quiet demeanour they exploded into their opening song 'Miasmal Smoke & the Yellow Bellied Freaks' with such confidence and enthusiasm that the audience was immediately gripped.

Loel Campbell's thunderous onslaught of the drum kit helped drive forward the melodic value of both Paul Murphy's and Jon Samuel's vocals. Spaced out guitar riffs, solid bass notes and evangelical style keyboard sounds helped penetrate the minds of the awe induced spectators; who stood firmly in front of danger.

Wintersleep's ability to drift effortlessly between songs through the use of dynamics created a shock and release system that was evident with the pairing of 'Oblivion' and 'Search Party'. Their set was structured with such precision that the intensity of the experience was reached with 'Nerves Normal, Breath Normal'. Whilst most other songs finished with a crisp clean stop, this particular track dragged along for several minutes as the band's reluctance to leave the stage was obvious.

As the audience cried out for more the band returned to the stage for one last song. Their overall performance was impressive as they created an explosive but at times delicate atmosphere that engulfed the audience into a cocoon of unifying warmth and happiness. If at all possible, go and see Wintersleep while their UK and European tour continues as demand for this band will most certainly increase.

Sean Connolly

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Gig Details
Venue: Auntie Annies
Location: Belfast
Date: 13/2/2009

Related Links
+ Wintersleep
+ Auntie Annies