Alunah open the set with Bricket Wood Coven from the new album. The rhythm configuration of Jake Mason on drums, and Dan Burchmore on bass, powerfully united with the two guitars, propels this song along, with the deepest of wall shaking riffs. The song has a fabulous instrumental section led by some great funky bass work, complemented by Dave Day's beautifully sustained guitar notes, that weave effortlessly over the top.
A highlight early on in the set is Sophie's soulful and passionate singing on Heavy Bough. There is a real swing to this song, conjuring up a definite sixties West Coast psychedelic vibe. To get a sense of what this wonderful band is all about, you should catch the official Napalm Records video for the song on You Tube.
Scourge and the Kiss has a marked melodic sensibility, where Sophie closes her eyes, holds the microphone stand, and reaches for the most emotional of vocals. Dave's soloing here is very lyrical, and adds a real sense of sadness and yearning to this amazing live reading, of what is one of the highlight tracks on the new album. The coming together of the band on the core monumental riff, would give Black Sabbath at their best, a run for their money!
There is a joyfulness too about this band, as they smile at each other during the set, and even the staff behind the bar at Audio are swept up, and start head banging.
The Mask of Herne, sees Sophie, in a sweet moment, attempt to wave away the dry ice enveloping the stage. This song shows how in sympathy are Sophie and Dave's guitars, as they lock perfectly into the opening doom laden riff. Jake's drum patterns here really accent the song, such that they become more like a lead instrument in the song, and his cymbal work is just amazing.
The feedback ending to the set as instruments are put down, and the sound is allowed to reverberate around Audio, is an apt atmospheric end to this powerful and stunning gig. Alunah deserve your attention, their mixing in of a range of musical influences into doom, is completely captivating and so creative, and especially so live. Add to that the unique spellbinding voice of Sophie, and her lyrical vision, and you have something very special at play here.
They are touring in April and May, including Dublin, Limerick, Cardiff, Bristol, and Edinburgh. Don't miss them!