This review first appeared in The Flyon 23rd March 2012.
Pale Seaswould be forgiven for a feeling of melancholy or sadness tonight – it’s the last night of their UK tour, and while it’s only been a week long, the four piece have crammed in shows across Manchester, Leeds and, er, Halifax, playing both new songs and some old tracks from their days as Netherlands.
Instead they – as well as the packed basement of the Sebright Arms – are in high spirits. Their set is a curiously hard-to-pin mix; sometimes their dreamy harmonies and gentle strumming suggest a kind-of-folk, other times their music is moody bedroom-rock with tribal drums being battered relentlessly.
While their digital releases have felt ambient, gentle and often fragile, on stage a real ferocity rears its head. Singer Jacob Scott is more aggressive in expressing his heartache on new single ‘Something Or Nothing’, “You told me that you would be there/ But then, when is life ever fair?”
In contrast, ‘Amour’ is slow and ambient, with drummer Zeelah Isabella Anstey’s soothing vocals soaring over the acoustic guitar. It’s an incredibly intimate moment, and proof that poignant lyrics needn’t be the propulsive force behind a band when their instrumental segments are so slick and liberal in equal measure.
Judging by tonight, the band, who seem shocked at the overwhelming reaction, should expect their fanclub to swell with each show. And their recent decision to work with Jimmy Robertson and Demian Castellanos (Florence & The Machine, The Big Pink) could see these quiet Seas getting all the more turbulent very soon.