Live. Tall Ships

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Live. Tall Ships and Emperor Yes.

The Fleece, Bristol. Thursday 28th February, 2013.

There’s a definite sense of occasion about The Fleece. Revered and striking, this Bristol venue has a long history of supporting upcoming bands on the cusp of greatness with tour posters from the likes of Muse, Radiohead and Pulp hung with quiet pride behind the bar. There’s another side to the die of excited buzz tonight. The grand unveiling of Tall Ships 2.0.

In perfect stead to exploit this anticipation are Emperor Yes. Feeding off the energy in the room and intensifying it under their gasping crush of shuddering electronic breakdown and fiery pop command, this London piece tear through the room with rampant efficiency. Ablaze with vibrancy and the joys of playing live, Emperor Yes take great pleasure in disarming the room with the skewed jubilance of their weighty ro-pop. Lyrics dance above the self-replicating chaos, picking apart human flaws and escaping into the natural order with gleeful wit and light-hearted honesty. The beaming smiles of Emperor Yes were the only tell-tale signs of their inexperience in the live circuit, slick and bewitching their bouncing, free-spirited electro shimmers found resonance and resolve within the room, as the first show on their debut national tour celebrated a resounding success.

Success is something Tall Ships are becoming accustomed too. Two thousand and twelve closed on the Falmouth trio reaching an envious peak in their three-year career with the release of their debut album, Everything Touching alongside a lengthy UK tour and headline slots at The Reading & Leeds Festival. Tonight sees them heading out with unrelenting desire and rapacious want as they aim higher. By bringing long time collaborator, James Elliot Smith, on board for live commitments, Tall Ships are now armed with enough arms and fingers to bring the grand vision of Everything Touching to life. And what a life it is.

From the powerful tremble of T=0 to the warm embrace of Oscar, Tall Ships play like they have everything left to prove. Chemistry stutters with newfound aggression and pace while Phosphorescence sways with upbeat abandon, interspersing huge waves of atmospheric crashes with reflective and subdued emotion. As expected a fourth member brings in another dimension to the live sound, the surprise comes with the crippling blows of the fully realised.

The extra member also gifts Tall Ships the ability to perform instead of play. Freed from the confines of their own ambition, they tease with playful polish as their rugged rock soundscapes, cut with a plethora of influences, stride with purposeful creation and enticing allure. Questioning existence and applying hard-nosed facts to the free-spirited unknown of love, Tall Ships present a quirky take on life that’s delicate beauty is handled with intelligence and artistry.

There’s a glorious vision behind Tall Ships’ craft. The band craves perfection and as they enter the second chapter in their grand tale, it’s even harder to fault the passion behind the product or the finished masterpiece. In years to come, it will be a Tall Ships poster sat proudly above the bar.

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~ by justdip on 03/03/2013.

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