Thursday, 25 November 2010

Beach House @ Oran Mor, Glasgow

Beach House @ Oran Mor, Glasgow, November 20 (****)
live review for the skinny

Dream pop duo Beach House are a band whose live reputation is always going to be closely tethered to that of their albums; they’re perfectionists in the studio, so there isn’t much space for reinterpretation, and they’re permanently bereft, so they’re not much in a mood for energy. But in the darkness of Òran Mór, with a golden light fading in and out with singer Victoria Legrand’s breathy intros, fairy lights behind them twinkling like stars, and the aural haze enveloping each lovelorn song, they create a dramatic and intimate atmosphere.

There’s a stream of highlights from 2008s Devotion and this year’s Teen Dream, but the biggest moments come towards the end of the set. Heart of Chambers allows Legrand to really open up, roaring the melancholic chorus like it still hurts two years later, and mighty kick drums lend encore pair Real Love and Ten Mile Stereo an explosive edge. At the end of an evening of melancholy, the mimicking of Alex Scally’s skyscraping guitar line by the shimmering stars behind him makes for a stunning finale.

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