Koko is a great intimate venue with its tiered viewing areas it still retains a huge amount of its original character and music hall looks. I just arrived in time to see the support-Baba Naga. They were a good choice creating a good lead in to the main event. Their guitar driven inward focussed ,shoe gazing style was the perfect run up to the main event. They layed down a wall of sound for 30 minutes which had a semi hypnotic effect.
Following a 30 minute gap The Horrors appeared pretty much on time and played for a straight hour. I’ve seen them about 4 times i think now. Unfortunately I didn’t see them playing songs from the first album and they avoided them here playing songs from the new album V and from the previous three albums. Live they are much rockier than on vinyl, CD,download etc. The bass really drives some of the songs and alternates between various styles including funk and possibly a little reggae. Overlaid on this are rock solid drumming and swirling guitar , whilst the keyboards punctuate and deliver some of the most characteristic and recognisable elements of Horrors tunes.
The Horrors have missed their time I feel. The post-punk and gothic nature of the first album replaced by more experimental musings , which probably lost a lot of early fans, does not seem to have continued to develop. My expectation was a journey like that undertaken by the likes of the Cure or even David Bowie on their first few albums, constantly re-inventing themselves and challenging the audience. But that’s not happened here in my view.They should be able to sell out Koko a couple of times over. They are an extremely competent group , great execution of their songs , maintaining a little roughness in the live show.
But somehow for me they lack some emotion or real connection with the audience. Can’t quite put my finger on it and I think its unfortunate as they have taken risks and been creative but it hasn’t really paid off.
Interesting to see what happens next.