While Angels Watch + Black Light Ascension + David E. Williams @ Electrowerkz, London

11th of July 2015
Review by Ann Sulaiman
Photography & videos by Ancient Winds


Despite the loss of Hidden Place as headliner, and the (bluntly shameful) low attendance from the London neofolk scene, a night of good music was still enjoyed at the Electrowerkz venue in Angel. With support from American chamber/pop artist David E. Williams (plus cameo from neofolk singer Andrew W. King) and local dark wave act Black Light Ascension, fun was had by everyone who came along, as well as the bands themselves.

David E. Williams

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After a delay following open door times, the show eventually began with David E. Williams. Seated onstage with his synth keyboard, he sang simple yet pensive numbers “The Emperor of Ice Cream” and “The Official Picnic Song” to give a taste of his more sombre work.

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Which isn’t to say that Williams himself was dreary. On the contrary, the man was full of good humour as he invited the audience to dance along with him to electro track “Sarah’s Booted Boy”.

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This carried on when he then introduced musical guests Lloyd, Jane and Andrew W. King respectively, on vocals for songs “What’s Your Scene Jellybean?” and “Ballad of the Green Mountain Boys”.

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Black Light Ascension

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Shortly after, darkwave act Black Light Ascension came onstage. Though tempting to draw comparisons at first glance (so to speak) between them and electro legends Depeche Mode, the differences are made clear by the duo’s post-punk influences and dressed down sound.

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While this might not arouse much interest on paper, the reality was that it hooked the audience (who came to the gig) into a trance with its hypnotic bass riffs and dreamy synth. Everyone who listened found themselves dancing along, in spite of themselves.

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From “Your Time”, “Club Death” to the likes of “Shadow of Broken Swords” and “The Dream”, Black Light Ascension delivered arguably the strongest set of the night with their music, thus far. Who can protest against a band who make you want to dance in earnest?

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While Angels Watch

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After this came final act of the night, While Angels Watch. Somewhere between folk music and post-punk guitars, owing to the use of a harmonica and flute, this middle ground made them a curious choice for headliner.

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In itself, the band’s set was largely decent and well played, with songs “The Watcher” and “Angel” receiving a fair share of head-bobbing approval from the crowd.

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At the same time, the lack of a full line up (no keyboardist) due to personal issues and technical sound problems meant that While Angels Watch weren’t firing on all cylinders that night. A pity, since it would be interesting to see what they are like when at full performance.

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Very special thanks to Pax Romana Promotions for organizing this great show.