Menu | Rating System | Guest Book | Archived Reviews:
A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

  The Drop  
  Stoke Newington, London, UK  
Reviewed by:
  Indoor Miner  
Photographs by:
  Indoor Miner  
Performance Rating:
Sound Quality:
Overall Rating:

"I've got a spare ticket if you want to come down," said a mate. Turns out he’d put an advance order in for Disconnect From Desire, the forthcoming new album by School Of Seven Bells (or SVIIB as they appear to be known these days) and this entitled him to tickets to a showcase 150 capacity gig in North London. Well it might have been a bit last minute, but it seemed churlish to say no!

Arriving in Stoke Newington for the first time and finding the street we were looking for, I felt unable to pass the pub on the corner being somewhat desperate for a drink after a hot and humid journey on the tube and train. A quick pint was enjoyed before we continued on our way, seeing the sights of the bustling Stoke Newington as we went, guided all the time by Google maps. On and on we went until we appeared to be reaching a park area, past where we should have been going. We checked the map but to no avail. The venue wasn’t where Google said it was. There was nothing else for it. We had to do what grown men hate to do: ask for directions! This we did (OK, Mike did the asking!) and we were directed back from whence we came – to the pub where we had enjoyed a cool lager a short time ago. It seems that The Drop was in the basement there. All the time I had thought it was the beer calling me as we had passed when it was obviously the music all along!

Of course, seeing a band in a small cellar with the musicians mere feet in front of you is always the best way to get your live music fix, although I wouldn’t necessarily choose it on one of the hottest days of the year. Still, it was only a short set consisting of – yes, you guessed it - seven numbers, mainly off Disconnect From Desire, so it hardly reach the passing-out stage. Now augmented by a live drummer, SVIIB opened with Windstorm, treating us to some high quality pop, sung mainly by Alejandra Deheza with some vocal contributions from her almost impossibly beautiful keyboard playing sister Claudia.

Alejanda on vocals.

All the time, the swirling, shoe-gazey guitarwork from former Secret Machine member, Ben Curtis provided cloud cover for the melodies to dance their way into the ether. Indeed, Windstorm and the other new numbers - Bye Bye Bye, Joviann, I L U and Heart Is Strange - were more than enough to suggest that Disconnect From Desire could be a bit of a cracker. SVIIB then treated us to a couple of tracks from their fabulous debut album, Alpinisms (although not, alas, the very wonderful Chain), ending their set with My Cabal and a lengthy Sempiternal/Amaranth which would be sure to appeal to Krautrock fans.

The rest of SVIIB.

My only complaint concerned the drums. Not the fact that SVIIB have gone down this route, but that they were occasionally leaden which was made all the more noticeable by being high in the mix. However, as the man with the sticks is presumably still finding his feet, hopefully these rhythms will soon become more fluent and driven. Still, this is a minor gripe. SVIIB, with their motorik beats, great tunes and harmonies are to 2010 to what Stereolab were to the mid-90s. And I can think of few higher compliments than that.

Related Links:

Also on EvilSponge:
  Concert: Tue.11.Nov.08


Return to the top of this page. | Return to the Concert Review menu.