With the Texan flag pinned proudly to their stage amp, post-grunge instrumental four-piece Explosions In The Sky played a solid hour-long set to a rammed London Astoria, to finish up their long delayed UK tour last night...
With the Texan flag pinned proudly to their stage amp, post-grunge instrumental four-piece Explosions In The Sky played a solid hour-long set to a rammed London Astoria, to finish up their long delayed UK tour last night…
Explosions In The Sky are four albums, two E.Ps and a Hollywood film soundtrack into their lives, and recreate their intricately layered sprawling soundscapes with highly reverential energy – so revered in fact, that the Astoria last night was hushed with a very serious tone in the air.
The band were meant to play the UK last year, but a serious family illness forced the boys to cancel a Summer tour including festival appearances at All Tomorrow’s Parties and Latitude. A previous tour was postponed because of cancelled flights due to weather of hurricane proportions. But no problems crossing the ocean this time, and the band’s fortunes appear to be on the rise. They’ve recently supported the Smashing Pumpkins in the US, and instead of just playing ATP a year after they were due to appear, they will now be curating a whole weekend of music having so far confirmed Dinosaur Jr, Animal Collective, The National, David Berman’s Silver Jews and Battles on their personally chosen bill.
Shuffling out of the shadows onto the faintly lit stage, the band’s two guitarists Mark Smith, Munaf Rayani plus bassist Michael James and drummer Chris Haskry kicked off proceedings from 2001 album ‘Those Who Tell the Truth Shall Die, Those Who Tell the Truth Shall Live Forever’. The ten-minute epic that is ‘Yasmin The Light’ receiving only a titter of applause – the audience completely, and slightly unnervingly, absorbed in the brooding song.
Surprisingly, EITS played only two tracks from their most recent album ‘All Of A Sudden I Miss Everyone’ (‘Catastrophe and The Cure’ and ‘The Birth and Death of the Day’) instead choosing to play half an hour’s worth of their breakthrough 2003 album ‘The Earth Is Not a Cold Dead Place’. Which was great for me, as it’s my favourite night time album to lie down, feel sad, and fall asleep to. In a good way.
‘Memorial’, ‘6 Days At The Bottom of the Ocean’ and ‘The Only Moment We Were Alone’ were all greeted like old sorrowful friends by the fans. The tracks so greatly crafted that the lack of vocals is barely noticeable, the guitars taking over as a voice of sorts.
Closing the show with ‘The Only Moment’, extended to over ten minutes with Haskry’s skillful ascending drumming, brought the show to a climax – but not a huge explosion, leaving most of the audience in a vague daze.
The encore, it would seem, is to come in May.
Were you at the show last night? What did you think? Let us know below…
For more information about the line-up and ticket details for All Tomorrow’s Parties, click here
The full Explosions In The Sky set list last night was:
‘Yasmin The Light’
‘Catastrophe and the Cure’
‘6 Days At The Bottom Of The Ocean’
‘The Birth and Death of the Day’
‘Remember Me As A Time Of Day’
‘The Only Moment We Were Alone’