Add in a killer rock band, and this concoction leaves you with one hell of a heavenly experience. That's what The Veils brought on the last night of Brighton's own Great Escape festival, and a holy setting it was indeed. …
As some of you may have read back in June, I saw The Veils at The Great Escape festival in Brighton, England. They performed in a cathedral on the edge of town, and it was one of the most inspiring live performances I have ever seen. So naturally I jumped at the chance to see them in LA. This London-based band consists of the brilliant frontman Finn Andrews, Sophia Burn (bass), Dan Raishbrook (guitar), Raife Burchell (drums), and Uberto Rapisardi (keys, synth). The band has certainly had its peaks and valleys, with Finn being the only original member, however with their latest album Time Stays, We Go, there seems to be evidence of their cognitive sound as an entity.
Opening for The Veils were LA's own Beach Party. This foursome really have a way of making you feel like punk rock is alive and well. They started their set with Geronimo, which seemed to be a favorite track amongst the sea of fans. With their impressive guitar solos and in-your-face lyrics, these guys are loaded with talent and could easily hold the title of Crybaby Punk Rock (movie reference intended). They're The Kinks with a dash of Ian Curtis, certainly an energetic performance to warm up the crowd for the Veils. They ended their set with their more psych-rock track Fun, which seemed to coincide with a little adolescent angst meets not giving a damn.
Checking out the stage before The Veils came on, it would seem like any other setup for a band about to perform; a low drumset, Hammond keyboard, Nord synthesizer, horns, bass, guitars. Then, as the lights dim and the energy shifts, here comes the cowboy you want to get to know and his gang...a few gentleman and a darling little lady picking gingerly on the bass lines as they kicked off the night with the compelling track Train with No Name. Finn, with his skeleton-like ﬁngers, grabs you with one note of his vocals by the heartstrings and whisks you away into his world- dark, grey, ominous...but somehow shows you a ray of hope on the horizon as the song transcends. He is a magnanimous performer, gracious with fans and emotionally provocative in a way that ends a shiver up your spine.
The band exits and the encore plea from the crowd was phenomenal. This show could go on for hours as far as most of us were concerned. Finn came out and graced us with two acoustic songs, the ﬁrst the ever-beloved Lavinia. A hush comes over the crowd as his sorrow spills into the unlit room, his notes like a rainfall. This reticent sadness is with all of us- Finn just gives it a voice. One can easily fall down this deep dark hole into a pit of ﬁre, and you don't care, because you have love and lust and an enormous plethora of integral emotions. This is what live music should be made of- it's an aura of distinct pleasure mixed with a longing for the unknown and the well-known. Lyrics pour out of Finn's mouth like thorns from a rose, painful, aching, and with purpose.
Ending the night with the massively popular Nux Vomica, it seems the battle for recognition from this band has been won, and won well. Giving a nod and a tip of his jaunty hat, Finn and his band exit the stage with a genuine thank you and bid farewell to their adoring fans. A night to remember would be a colossal understatement.
The Veils at the Troubadour, Los Angeles (08/08/13)