19th February 2019
Review by Claudia Black
Photography by Claudia Black
”This review is going to be short and sweet!! Not because I have nothing to say but because what I have to say does not need loads of words.
This gig has to be one of the best gigs I have seen in ages!! Starting out the evening was a band called Some Ember. On their Facebook page it says that there are two members but tonight the stage only has Dylan Travis on duty. I’ve never heard of Some Ember before but on first impression I am reminded of a much less abrasive Author and Punisher crossed with Depeche Mode along with a sprinkling of Talk Talk and Ulver. An interesting mix of musical references I think! The set was short but what I did experience was worthy of further listening! Once I have done that I’ll post something here. As an aperitif to the main act Some Ember went down well!!
Kaelan Mikla were superb!!! In every way!! This had to be as satisfying as seeing Heilung and Jo Quail at The Islington Assembly Hall in November. Tonight for some reason the sound in The Electrowerkz was spot on!! Mostly when I see bands at this venue I leave feeling not totally fulfilled because the sound is either flat with no separation or too loud with feedback. Everything seems to meld into one big wall of sound that bombards my ears and not entertain them. Tonight however was a different story!! Was the engineer on his game? Was he a Kaelan Mikla fan? Or was it one of Kaelan Mikla’s own guys on mixing duties?? I don’t know but what I do know is that the sound was great!!
Apart from one hiccup where the mike went silent for a moment the whole aural experience was nigh on perfect!! It melded the performance together with the visuals and the atmosphere!! These 3 Icelandic muses have a quality about them, they have a self assurance and charisma on stage that’s thrust out into the audience who absorb it and feed on it in one hour of symbiotic bliss!! I just love the hypnotic magic, the mystical and the earnestness that I witnessed on that stage!! ”Kalt” was superb, ”Skuggadans” sent goose bumps down my spine, ”Draumadis” was a misty and dreamy track that instantly has me dancing and wishing I had more space to express myself in a floaty manner! ”Naeturblom” is the track that’s reminiscent of The Cure from the ”Disintegration” era. ”Andvaka” is one of my favourite tracks, a track I played to death when I got home because I could not sleep!! And the more I played it the more I needed to play it!! Simple evocative bass line underpinning a brighter and more metallic sounding synth piece does it for me!!
Like I said earlier Kaelan Mikla were superb, superb because it was also a tight and to the point performance not riddled with unnecessary chatter between songs. Everything flowed from start to finish with seamless fluidity. Just like the Heilung ritual you don’t need the proceedings ruined by frippery. ”Hello, we are Kaelan Mikla and we are from Iceland” was all I needed and that is what I got!! The venue had a good crowd in and reading the energy after I think they had as good an evening as I did!!! Both the beginning and ending of the evening was bookmarked with ritual burning of incense and the songs ”Gandreid” and ”Daid Er Allt An Drauma” respectively. If you’ve not been to a Kaelan Mikla show before I think you should buy a ticket and check them out because it will be money well spent!!”
”After all, this is Kaelan Mikla and they are from Iceland!!!”