Woods - Bush Hall, London
The unassuming entrance to Bush Hall in West London belies the beautiful surroundings inside, with the red draped backdrop and chandeliers providing the perfect setting for tonight’s display of psychedelic freak-folk. First up however is West Yorkshire’s own Spectrals, who provide a jaunty, upbeat dose of hazy surf-pop for the throng of people sitting down in front of them. Having released a selection of 7 inches and limited cassette releases, they bring that lo-fi charm to the stage as they run through some blues-tinged tracks which seem to have the crowd transfixed as they sit cross legged at the front. (Rock and roll! - Ed.)
This is the first time Woods have made it over to the UK since the release of the latest album At Echo Lake and with news of an imminent new record on the way entitled Sun & Shade, it’s good to hear a mix of tracks both old and new. Reduced to a three-piece for the majority of their set, they still succeed in crafting their unique little world of folk acoustics, classic-rock guitar squeal and the unique sounds emanating from the magic boxes of G. Lucas Crane. His strange headphone/microphone contraption sends waves of swirling electronics and manipulated voices through the crowd, and gives the each song a psychedelic depth.
Airing tracks like the brilliant ‘Suffering Season’ and ‘To Clean’, founding member Jeremy Earl’s voice shines through. His soft vocals are the perfect foil to the folky melody, and his guitar skills ain’t too shabby either. When the band return to the stage for an encore, they bring on Ben from support act The Doozer to play drums and launch into a wonderful rendition of ‘Keep It On’ from At Rear House, before descending into a whirlwind of distorted, psychedelic noise and feedback. The freak-folk flag is flying high tonight.