Live at The Cluny 2, Newcastle
I've been a fan of Lorelle Meets The Obsolete for a while now, certainly since their 2014 album Chambers, but whilst I've thoroughly enjoyed their recorded output this would be my first experience of the band as a live outfit. The location is the newly re-configured Cluny 2, which is packed out, dark and fitted with an excellent sound-system that can just about handle the contrasting calm and intensity of, what turns out to be, a stunning live show. On record the band are essentially a duo, comprising of Lorena Quintanilla and Alberto González, and whilst their studio sound is by no means small-fry, for this tour they've expanded to a 5 piece and it's a different beast altogether. They look properly cool (which is not something I say very often about the sort of bands I go and see) and their live sound sits somewhere in the midst of The Velvet Underground, The Brian Jonestown Massacre, New Order and Spacemen 3. Many of the songs seem to be jammed out and expanded upon which makes for an immersive live show, but also one which provides in interesting different take for the attendees familiar with their catalogue (which I'd imagine is 99% of the audience). Things get tasty early on in the set with a superb rendition of their classic "What's Holding You?" (from Chambers), with a predominantly one note bass-line being complimented by some expertly conjured feedback and relentless motorik drum beat. It's a sound that manages to be both spaced out and aggressive in equal measure. This is swiftly followed by "Lux, Lumina" and "Acción", two highlights from their brand new album De Facto (which actually came out on the day of the gig). It's the best album of their career so far so it's no surprise that their set mostly sticks to that new material. But again, the expanded live arrangements give them a more garage/organic feel than the more electronic mood of the record. Even when they do veer away from the new material, like for a superb rendition of "La distinción", you can see that the band have carefully selected the songs that will fit with the spirit of their current live sound. So much so that it's actually quite hard to pick out a highlight of the set, because although there are definite pauses (and even some nervous thank you's from Quintanilla) between songs, you come away with the feeling that this was one long druggy jam, and what's not to like about that.