Blueneck - Upstairs At The Garage, London
It is an unfortunately sparse crowd upstairs at The Garage on this blustery Friday night as Hanging The Star take to the stage. Led by the sultry Alx, their music is the aural equivalent of a late night in an expensive but seedy bar. Laid back and dirty, they prove to be quite a mesmerising proposition, easing through originals as well as their recent winning reinterpretation of Katatonia’s ‘Right Into The Bliss’, an almost unrecognisable but excellent cover.
It's a very rare treat indeed to be able to see Blueneck live, and even though I fell in love with the band some eight years ago with their debut this is the first time we've crossed paths. That fact makes it all the more galling that the room is still half empty as they hit the stage. But despite this disappointment, the Somerset sextet produces a set of outstanding beauty.
Blueneck play the moodiest of post-rock, full of emotion and peril. Never have I seen a live performance that is so powerful and yet so fragile. Even in full flow, the delicate vocals and complex structure ratchet up the tension as you fear it all may collapse in on itself at any moment. But it never does, and leaves the audience breathless and exhausted by the end, but also elated at having witnessed something very special.