LIVE: Beach House – The Ritz, Manchester

Far Out headed to The Ritz in Manchester to catch a live performance from a Baltimore duo who appear to be at the height of their powers at the present time.

After treating us to their first new music in three years in the shape of new album Depression Cherry, Beach House then shocked everyone last week with an impromptu unveiling of Thank Your Lucky Stars – a collection of nine more tracks that came out of the same sessions.

Frontwoman Victoria Legrand has confirmed this is no add-on to Depression Cherry and should be considered the band’s sixth album proper.

But tonight its predecessor dominates the set – with the show opening in the same manner as the recent Bella Union release with an enchanting version of ‘Levitation’.

Flashy stage props, audience interaction and thousand-strong singa-longs will never be what you are going to get from this band, with much of the gig passing in understated fashion. However, Legrand’s beautiful swoon and some deft finger-picking from partner Alex Scally do all the talking that needs to be done.

There are a couple of numbers from the new(er) record, however, with a sold-out and admittedly packed-in crowd being given the privilege of hearing ‘All Your Yeahs’ and ‘One Thing’ on their inaugural live outings.

There are also a couple of highlights that take us back a little bit, dipping into what still seems like their finest work to date – 2010’s Teen Dream. ‘Silver Surfer’ and ’10 Mile Stereo’ electrify the audience as the backdrop changes from near-complete darkness to a star-filled sky – presenting Legrand, Scally and the rhythm section that back them up as more than silhouettes for the first time in the evening.

The main set comes to a mesmerising end with the lead single from 2012 album Bloom. ‘Myth’ feels like it is slowly cascading over the audience as its unmistakable piano loop comes to the forefront.

At times it has been pretty difficult to work out whether Legrand and Scally have been enjoying themselves or not, but as they arrive for an encore that begins with an interlude featuring only the pair of them, it is clear that Beach House are a band who thrive on their subtlety. They simply make an unrivalled sound.

Patrick Davies


 

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