Live. Gunning For Tamar

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Live. Gunning For Tamar, Wot Gorilla? and Salvation Bill.
Saturday March 16th 2013 at The o2 Academy, Oxford.

Ambition is a funny thing. Too desperate for success and there’s a chance you’ll burn up under your own lofty targets but fly into the shadows and you might disappear without a trace. Icarus flew too close to the sun but Oxford’s Gunning For Tamar are too well equipped to have their wings clipped now.

Taking the first steps towards their own fanciful flight are Salvation Bill. Playing their first show under the Salvation Bill moniker, this Oxford four-piece has traipsed around the circuit in various guises before settling on this lineup and name. Practice breeds perfection and Salvation Bill make an impressive and lasting introduction to the world with their harmonious blend of southern rock, folk quirk and crazed-pop sensibility. Energetic and approachable, Salvation Bill capitalised their nervy charm and used it to fuel their excitable and surprising set that saw a (literal) howling bridge close their duo of murder songs that finished their debut live outing.

Gunning for Tamar may be known for their angular rock songs but compared to the dodecahedron recklessness of Wot Gorilla? they may as well be writing in a straight line. The Halifax band take math-rock to its outer limits, with their discordant mash of riffs against liquid time signatures technically brilliant but also recklessly fun. Playing a mix of reworked classics alongside newer songs Wot Gorilla? prove that their constant struggle to achieve the best is a battle they’re undoubtedly winning. Their onstage enchantment is a wonder to behold as all four members seem lost in their own world yet gravitate toward one another with flawless precision. No band can come close to the magic that Wot Gorilla? conjure, always reaching for their technical limits and beyond to craft a dizzying mix of sunshine and vibrancy.

Gunning For Tamar are a band on the ascendency and during their headline set at Oxford’s o2 Academy they gave a clear, impassioned presentation on why. Starting with a glorious, ten-point lesson in their own brilliance before a masterclass in commanding a stage led onto a riotous extra-credit funk conclusion. The physicality of the band is also a bewitching prospect; Joe is the epitome of arena rock while Dan counters this with indie abandon, Ben is constantly pulling away with punk snarl while D’Arcy somehow ties it all together with hardcore flair. Blatant opposition may lay at the heart of Gunning For Tamar’s style but success has never been questionable. The tracks from their latest EP, Camera Lucida are their most accomplished yet. Yogging kicked things off with calm reflex before taking you tumbling down their rabbit hole. Lights, Daggers and Faces danced with aggressive disco groove while How To Set Fire To Your Hands attacked with a knowing prowl that understood less is more.

Honest about their aims and armed with the hard-working ethic to fuel this ambition, Gunning For Tamar are flying skywards but it’s not wax holding their wings together. It’s incredible songwriting and a perfect delivery.

Gunning For Tamar are going out on a 40 date tour, so there’s no excuses not to bask in their radiance.

Read more on Gunning For Tamar here.

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~ by justdip on 18/03/2013.

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