The Lamb, Devizes
8 February 2013
Gentleman’s Relish are a wicked combo, a spiky pop duo of tight guitar evolves, countered by neat percussive candy. Those quirky poetics of lyric, comically charged and made further so by the drummer’s Bill Bailey mannerisms. A lot of sweet action indeed: that switch-a-roo guitar slashing in an angelic upstart-esque insistence as the syllables broke across your head in a bank of warm jets. The howler monkey finale raising a surreal Pearl’n’Dean wah-wah, the cherry topping to their rather short set; really looking forward to another EP appearing from these boys really soon.the crowd second it with a resounding “Fuck, yeahhh!”
The chiming celebrations of “Ghost Mountain you and me” follows, all strummed drone goodness, secondary guitars weaving the loose drum forays. Charlie’s vocals ascending as the instrumentation continues to pyre build, then, as if a match is struck, incendiary, ember-chased in afterglows. The deliciously jaded pop sensibilities of “Sans Soleil” and “Only Hollow” get an outing too, their veering currents and dual vocal bleeds the perfect prescription to ousting the grey winter gloom. Bright couriers indeed, track after track eating happily into my head like termites of sussed up pleasure collapsing into off-cuts of noisy growls and tipping ambiances. Songs that bleed passion, expectation… fuzzy abandon… “Song for Junko”’s blazing oomph making me lose it completely in crazy arm flails and body swerve.By the time they finish, the crowd crammed into this tiny space is absolutely crazy for more, which the threesome gleefully oblige in a yawning Bolan-esque Tungaska of an encore. This new material is their best yet, and no doubt eligible for a Mercury Prize nomination or two.
Thank you Sheer Music, for bringing some much needed va-va-vooom to sleepy old Devizes…