Live. Arcane Roots

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Live. Arcane Roots
Tooting Tram and Social, 31st October 2014

Arcane Roots are a band who have always come with a degree of polish and sparkle. Their debut album Blood & Chemistry, a considered masterpiece. Their earlier work, though rougher around the edges, still revels under the careful hands of a band who want things just right. Their live shows have followed a similar pattern with the band building and controlling their own lightshows and a setlist that dances with the confidence of contemplation.

With trepidation I walk into the Tooting Tram and Social on Halloween, flanked by cobwebs, dolls and skulls, to find the three-piece tearing through a sludgy rendition of ‘Slow’. Maybe it’s just the sound at the back of the room. I venture forwards. An ominous roar has replaced the carefree skip of ‘Sacred Shapes’. Andrew is attacking both his guitar and microphone like it’s a fight to the death. Daryl is battering his drums with equal menace and Adam knows that between him and his bass, it’s last man standing. This isn’t the arena-ready band we’ve become accustomed too, but it’s brilliant all the same.

Instead of the delicate brushstrokes of blue and green, tonight sees Arcane Roots throwing red and black at a wall. It’s primal and beautiful. Airing two new songs, the tentatively titled ‘Veils’ and ‘If Nothing Breaks Us, Nothing Moves’ this charcoal reworking of their set makes sense. Arcane Roots, as mentioned earlier in the year, are using album two to find out just how far they can go. The songs still captivate and none of that magic is lost in translation. In fact, both the new tracks contain flourishes that dwarf anything the band have done thus far, both in terms of hooks and breakdowns. They also strut with the recently discovered awareness that pop goes really well with menace.

Closing with the appropriately haunting ‘Hell and High Water’ Arcane Roots draw a line under tonight’s show in superb fashion. The entire room cries out that refrain while the crash of the rhythm section rings out like a final plea to a sentient being. It’s an effecting piece of music that few bands are capable of. Arcane Roots undertook this tour to roadtest the new material and, I think, to remind them of why they do this. The exhausted bodies and beaming smiles should serve as answer enough.

You can find Arcane Roots on Twitter and Facebook

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~ by justdip on 19/11/2014.

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