We Have Band with The Switch
Sound Control, Manchester
Thursday, April 1st 2010
Tonight is a homecoming show for one third of We Have Band. So it's no surprise that Dede, a native of Manchester, has invited her friends and family to join the party. Sound Control, a recent addition to the city's live music circuit, is packed from wall to wall long before the headliners are set to take to the stage.
The Switch, another band with local links, are tasked with opening the show. And they rise to the challenge impeccably. Their dark electro, with an XX chromosome in the form of their mesmerising vocalist Caroline Sterling, is reminiscent of Portishead and Massive Attack. Meanwhile, their standout track Cold City commences with a sample of Interpol's Hands Away, and gives the NYC Joy Division obsessives a taste of their own brilliant medicine.
The support, albeit impressive, could hardly be in sharper contrast to the upbeat sound of We Have Band. Their specialism is electro-post-punk-funk for fans of The Rapture, LCD Soundsystem, Radio 4, and other such legends of the Death From Above back catalogue. Breakthrough track You Came Out features a whistling solo from the Peter Bjorn and John textbook of songwriting.
Elsewhere, Hear It In The Cans replicates the 8-bit rhythms of Nintendo devotees Crystal Castles and Kap Bambino. And on their crowd-pleasing recent single Divisive, the aforementioned Dede trade verbal blows with her co-vocalist Darren, underpinned by the Level 42 indebted slap basslines of her bandmate (and husband) Thomas.
Disappointingly, these highlights are distributed too few and far between across an extensive set which encompasses their (almost) eponymous album WHB. The only notable omission from the setlist is their trademark cover version of the Pet Shop Boys' West End Girls. Towards the end of their hour-long performance their relentless energy tests the attention spans of even the most dedicated fans and relatives.
words: Benjamin Thomas
picture: Kate Goodacre
We Have Band's forthcoming UK live dates are as follows: Live At Leeds (May 1), Camden Crawl (2), Stag and Dagger (21), DQ, Sheffield (June 3), and Parklife in Platt Fields Park, Manchester (12). They will also appear at Glastonbury and the 1234 Festival this summer.
The Motel's interview with We Have Band is coming soon - watch this space!