14 May 2005

Thirteen Senses

First time I had been to a gig at Portsmouth Pyramids and I was pleasantly surprised. This is primarily a swimming pool and leisure centre complex but has a conference/function room of about 2,500 square feet. Five hundred bodies were crammed in to see four young lads from Truro, Cornwall heralded in some quarters as the next "Coldplay." Acoustically the room is fantastic, loud, crisp and clear. And I mean loud - this evening I felt my pancreas vibrating with the deep penetrating bass!

First support came from 'The Aviators' who crunched out energetic modern rock with plenty of 1970s 'Cheap Trick' swagger. Next was a mundane outfit of unidentifiable European origin called 'Leaves.' They were pale imitations of early 'Radiohead' and failed to ignite the crowd.

"Thirteen Senses" trotted on at 10:00pm with cheery waves. They launched into a set consisting of the debut album plus a couple of new ones. The album is heavily produced so I wondered how the songs would come across live without multi-layered guitars and vocals. I need not have worried, the boys from the West Country treated us to great stripped-back versions of their repertoire, bolstered by their highly accomplished musicianship.

Wealthy families or a generous Label, either way the stage gear was impressive stuff. The very latest Mesa Boogie amps, top Gibson and Fender guitars and a junior Pink Floyd light show. Nothing complicated here just heartfelt soaring melodies which tug at your soul.

For the most part this was one of those gigs where you stand back and nod in appreciation at melancholy lyrics and haunting music delivered with passion and confidence. No heroics just an honest performance. Only with the finale of "Thru the Glass" did the crowd get moving. But then this evening was more about love and tears than sweat and beers.

"Come on, come on put your hands into the fire...
...pull up, pull up from one extreme to another."
Thirteen Senses - Into the Fire

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