27 February 2013
Upstairs At The Garage, London
With an excellent new album Youngblood to promote, tonight’s show at the intimate Upstairs at The Garage was a one off UK date to celebrate Audrey Horne's latest album’s release. Youngblood is an album that see’s the Norwegian’s moving away from a sound which recalled at times the alternative rock of Faith No More and Stone Temple Pilots and now embraces influences from 70s and 80s rock and metal. It is also something of a grower, rewarding on repeated listens, with the hooks burying deeper. Unsurprisingly given this gig is in its honour, we are treated to almost all the songs from it, with only The Open Sea omitted.
Kicking off with video track Redemption Blues, the first thing to hit me was that the sound was excellent compared to previous shows I have encountered at this venue. The band seemed pumped up for the occasion with some immediate guitar posturing from Thomas Tofthagen, pointing his guitar skywards.
Purple lights flood the stage as we were taken on one of three visits to Audrey Horne’s previous self-titled album with Bridges & Anchors. The crowd were clearly more familiar with past material but did not seem to resent the saturation of new material. Following Youngblood’s title track, frontman Toschie asked the crowd, “Do you like that album? Do you like it? Do you love it?”, each was greeted with a cheer to which Toschie responded “Then we love you all too!”
The 70s rock flavoured Show & Tell was one of many highlights and the fact that the band were playing without keyboards that are integral to the recorded version didn’t hamper its impact. Tofthagen, Ice Dale and Espen Lien lined up swaying their guitars in unison as Toschie hopped on top of the monitors.
Other highlights included the Deep Purple influenced There Goes A Lady, the feel-good Pretty Little Sunshine and The King Is Dead with Tofthagen playing a killer solo then wiping his guitar strings across the hanging PA.
As This Is The End progressed, Toschie decided to get more familiar with the crowd, venturing down from the stage. With members of the audience quickly trying to take photos and film him he took hold of someone’s iPhone and filmed himself as he made his way through the crowd. He was still in the crowd for Threshold, the oldest track played tonight and the only selection from 2007’s Le Fol.
Having returned to the stage he asked, “Do I look cooler up here or down there?”.With a resounding vote to get back in the crowd, he was back mixing amongst us for Straight Into Your Grave before a triumphant Blaze Of Ashes where he was joined by Ice Dale and Tofthagen.
Toschie confirmed that the band would be back in London at the Camden Underworld on 2nd May and based on tonight’s performance it’s a show not to miss.
Audrey Horne setlist:
Redemption Blues / Bridges & Anchors / Youngblood / Show & Tell / Cards with the Devil / There Goes a Lady / Pretty Little Sunshine / Firehose / The King is Dead / This Ends Here / Threshold / Straight Into Your Grave / Blaze Of Ashes