The Big Pink @ The Electric Ballroom, Camden 15/10/2009

October 26, 2009 by  

Big Pink

With their d?but album ‘A brief History Of Love’ providing the soundtrack to chemically charged weekend warm-ups across the country, tonight’s sold-out homecoming show at the Electric Ballroom in Camden should be a toast to their recent chart triumph and a performance good enough to silence the critics.

By the time The Big Pink make it to the stage, there is hardly room to manoeuvre your pint to your lips and the level of expectation couldn’t be any higher. Under a veil of dry Ice and low key lighting Robbie Furze and fellow Big Pink member Milo Cordell take the stage and begin to unfurl their murky swamp of droning guitars and contorted effects onto the crowd. Their dark mixture of shoegaze and processed beats bode well, but seem to be lost on most of the crowd who remained fixed to the spot and wondering what their ?20 was spent on.

Front-man Robbie Furze diminutive stature did not help matters either. Amongst all the dry ice and shadowy lighting the singer was barely visible and his meek vocals failed to travel the length of the venue. He remained sullen and still throughout, only breaking briefly between a few songs for some mumbled crowd interaction, which did little to lift proceedings. His band mate, keyboardist and general sonic-alchemist Milo Cordell, was the complete opposite. As he frantically pounded away at his keyboard, with hair draped over his eyes, his presence eclipsed the front-man’s static performance and diverted everyone’s attention to the Big Pink’s only strength -their expansive sound.

However, this facet of the Big Pink’s musical artillery has it’s pitfalls. Hidden in the wall-of-sound brief album highlights could be found, namely the sublime ‘Velvet’, but most songs just seem to melt into one expansive sea of overdrive and electronic beats, leaving most of the crowd slightly bemused. The night ended expectedly on recent single ‘Dominoes’, which finally managed to stir some movement in the crowd, but ultimately it exposed The Big Pink’s biggest frailty. For all their shoegaze posturing and expansive psychedelic soundscapes, the majority of their songs lack their own identity and fail to leave a lasting impression.