TVAM bring their intense electronica to Liverpool and Getintothis’ Steven Doherty reports back.
When I am (inevitably) elected to high office, the first thing I shall do is to make it illegal to talk through a band’s quieter songs, even the support band.
Such is the fate to befall White Flowers tonight at EBGBs. The Preston duo, who have just released their Glimmer EP, open to just a smattering of people, and initially take some time to hit their stride. But when they do it’s quite the ride. In the 80’s, they would have been labelled ethereal. Gothic vocals, combined with sleek, dreamy soundscapes make for a really interesting start to the evening.
So onto TVAM.
Wigan musician Joe Oxley, who has been making music under this moniker since 2014, is part way through his first UK tour in support of his recently released, critically lauded Psychic Data album.
Fleshed out to a duo for the live dates, they take to the stage either side of a TV stand on wheels, which looks like it’s come straight out a secondary school hall. This remains the central focal point for the evening along with a larger screen backdrop, playing videos to accompany each track, with the two musicians happy to skulk in the darkness.
They flick the play button of the VHS (ask your parents) and so begins the audio-visual assault on the senses. They combine the intense electronica with sometimes disturbing imagery (the ghostly white suited dancing man on We Like Fires will give you nightmares), the harshness of which is enhanced by the grainy look of the tape, whilst lyrics flash on screen.
The first roar of the evening is reserved for early single Porsche Majeure, whilst Gas and Air follows with the crowd ‘s bopping now in full flow. 2015’s single No Explanations hits like an old school punk song, all squally guitar and heavy drumbeats.
The closing salvo of 6 Music favourite These Are Not Your Memories (Psychic Data was also the stations’ album of the day recently) and the absolute battering ram that is the Public Service Broadcasting-esque Total Immersion, complete with it’s space travel footage, is nothing short of immense, leaving part of crowd open-mouthed, but still dancing.
The band come off-stage and are instantly mobbed at their small merch table, the chatter on the way out being universally positive, with people seeming genuinely overawed (and rightly so) by what they had just witnessed. This is an live show (and album) worthy of your attention, and if the world is a just place, it will find a massive audience.
Pictures by Getintothis’ Chris Everett