13th November 2014
Review by Victoria Fenbane
Omnia are a bunch of pagan earth warriors, from Holland with a very good grasp of social media. I know of them from their appearances at German ‘goth’ festivals, where the schwarz szene crosses over with paganfolk acts. They have also built up a very loyal following via the internet, which has led to a debut UK tour of three dates (London, Manchester and Glasgow). The Garage is an ambitious venue for a debut but the venue is comfortably full of excited fans.
In London Omnia were the only act of the night and the show started very early. It would have been useful if this has been better advertised, however they played a 2 hour set in total which more than made up for it. It even included songs from Steve and Jenny’s side project OMNIA Poëtree such as Nick Cave’s ‘The Mercy Seat’ and Tenacious D’s ‘Fuck Her Gently’.
As a band who posts nearly daily on social media about their seemingly idyllic hippy lives, everyone was aware that the band had returned from Mexico worse for wear with fevers but this was not evident from their performance.They powered through the long set which covered material from across their back catalogue while featuring a number of tracks from the diverse new album ‘Earth Warrior’.
The reggae influenced title track of which was a great sing-a-long for the crowd. It was a very interactive show with a lot of banter and general chatter from front man Steve Sic. It switches from eco warrior hippy musing, to ranting about how all of us there are different from the norm, yet the same as each other and getting a shout out to the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (a marine conservation direction action group) who had a stall at the gig. He was taking advantage of playing to an audience with the same first language as him (he is from Cornwall). They seemed to know a fair few of the crowd already which also contributed to a great atmosphere.
The band utilizes a diverse set of instruments to create their music, all of which is acoustic apart from an electric piano (apparently for the purposes of touring – they pointed out to maintain their eco credentials). The conventional drums (Rob van Barschot) and acoustic guitar (Satrya Karsono) are accompanied by Slideridoo (think a digareedoo crossed with a trombone) played by Daphyd (the Crow) Sensm. Jenny switches between harp, electric piano and Pneumatic Bodhrán, while Steve plays numerous weird looking instruments including an Irish Bouzouki, Bodhrán and various flutes and whistles. They play such a tight set that some in the audience suggested parts might be mimed but they tour so extensively they are just very practiced. It was amazing to see such quality performances close up.
After a non-encore where they freshened up during a drum solo they disappeared off stage before 10pm, when the venue curfew was 11pm. They used this time to conduct a lengthy meet and greet with fans after the show. Many of which got signature on the hordes of merch the band had shifted, including well designed t-shirts, leather cuffs and piles of CDS. Their performance and message certainly made me part with money. Hopefully they will be back on these shores very soon to continue spreading the love and great tunes. In the meantime get your ears ago this: