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A review of...
Proper Ornaments live at The 100 Club, London
Delightfully, and assuredly, Camberwell’s Virginia Wing use all that at their disposal to ensure their opening slot tonight is anything but – much less a sense of supporting act nerves or trepidation and more a belief of equal billing, and rightly so. Recently described as “slowly perfecting a strain of chilly kraut-psych”, an unnervingly good summation of what they do, it’s a beguiling and compelling showcase of what promise might well lie on new album Measures of Joy, which, on the strength of tonight’s introduction, is definitely one to seek out.
We first came across Younghusband a few years ago supporting Diagrams at Hoxton Bar and Grill and got an immediate sense that something brilliant, wild and noisy was stirring – last years’ debut Dromes didn’t disappoint, and was praised in these pages for its clarity and sense of melody amongst other things. Tonight those latter themes remain remarkably evident – through the clamour of distorted guitars, driving drums and pockets of synth-y organ, there are tunes, songs, hooks, and ideas – there’s an even greater sense that this is a band who’ve grown to the point of knowing exactly what their plan is and now they’re firmly going about mastering and delivering it. Cohesive and unfaltering in execution, it’s charismatic stuff indeed.
It’s perhaps unlucky that they were given the third slot considering how difficult an act the other two bands were to follow - I found nothing quite as interesting in Proper Ornaments' performance, or their music, as in that of the previous acts. They’re still a very good band, mining, sort of, at the seam where the early mop-topped Fab Four meet Shoegaze – all hazy harmonies and hair, each songs a 3-minute pop-song sized nugget of psych, the bring an enjoyable end to a very rewarding evening.