Having only, this week, released their self-titled mini album, London based duo The Voyeurist decided to share their unique blend of cosmic gloom with Manchester gig goers.
Having listened to their album on loop (as is my thing with new musical obsessions) I have got rather hooked into The Voyeurist’s special blend of ‘90s genre bending. Their sound is both Joy Division dull (and I mean that in the most blissfully beautiful sense) and warehouse party high (again meant with niceness). I was interested to see exactly how they would to transpose such an introverted sonic space into a live setting.
The two-piece had barely stepped on stage when all sense of an outside summer soon dispersed. The fantastically high-ceilinged room at the back of the Castle seems to have the ability to transform itself around whatever act is performing within its walls. The room was very quickly somber-fuelled and awash with an overbearing blue light as lead singer Sarah Nag strutted sheer front woman joy in the form of melancholy but intensely serious brooding and swaying.
Tracks such as The Messiah, demonstrated the strength of guitarist Richard Rushton who miserably swoons over his guitar like he is reluctantly, but tenderly swaying a small child to sleep.
Nags vocal lines have a wonderful monotony that is deliciously addictive in its total lack of over-indulgence. Her treacle timbre always leaves you wanting to hear more.
The pair manage to combine grunge and warehouse dance, the two extremes of the ‘90s, with freshness of conviction that completely supports itself. The industrial basicness of their programmed sounds alongside Rushton’s squealing guitars really felt exciting anew. This alongside Nag’s starey intensity, interspersed with the occasional floor-pounding freak-out, really shaped their sound and stage persona. She is an attractively foreboding front woman while he is guitar-shreddingly gloom cool.
All made for a fantastically intense and quite steamy performance and should they play in town again, I would thoroughly recommend you go along to see them.
To get a taste of The Voyeurist’s beautiful down-beat gloom watch this video to Chase, which is off their current album.
Anne Louise Kershaw all images © Anne Louise Kershaw