Cult folk icon turned queen of pulsating, krauty electronics, Jane Weaver, is a Liverpool talent that Manchester is more than happy to embrace. Last year she won Piccadilly Records’ album of the year award, and showcased her new sound to a capacity crowd at The Deaf Institute, alongside Manchester’s finest Horsebeach. Tonight she’s back in the city, headlining the Gorilla and pretty much cementing her place as the North of England’s most essential artist.
Liverpool psych-folk outfit The Sundowners open the show by racing through a rampant, unhinged set whowcasing their self-titled debut LP which came out earlier this year, and whilst the 30 minute set doesn’t offer the pensive bewitching quality that a lot of today’s psych acts are beginning to matser, The Sundowners stick with post-Beatles melodies and breakneck speed, and it makes for an incredibly fun spectacle.
Opener, The Fallen By Watch Bird, is a motorik melting pot of kosmische drums and phasered soundscapes behind an evidently appreciative Weaver. The pleasantly brain melting tracks don’t stop there, either; tracks from her latest and most acclaimed album to date, The Silver Globe, dominate the setlist and so that gorgeous, hypnotic sound that Weaver and her band throw over crowds is upheld throughout the set.
‘Don’t Take My Soul’ serves to break up the acidity of the show somewhat, replacing overwhelming sonic manipulation with a silky, effortless (almost pop) song in which the psychedelic-tinged guitars merely creep behind Weaver’s encapsulating vocals. Her infectious, clean keyboard patterns take the baton for the time being, before fading into heartbreaking minimalist ballad ‘Cells’ with JW confessing “your face could be something to care about” over a spawling synth soundscape.
This is the second time I’ve seen Weaver live this year, and it still amazes me how effortlessly cool she is. Backed by a band of sonic mavericks, you couldn’t wish for a more comfortable performer. Electronic, driving masterpiece ‘I Need A Connection’ closes the main set with its complete cosmic melt down, before a flawless three song encore of ‘La Pomme d’argent’, ‘The Pain’ and ‘Stealing Gold’ signal the end of a genuinely hypnotic show pulled off flawlessly by one of the North’s most exciting exports.