For a town locked into its nostalgia-fest of tribute and cover bands, there is still the occasional gem to be found amongst the denim clad purveyors of classic rock and the Ellie Goulding wannabees, and The Cadbury Sisters coming to town is a show that stands out from the pack immediately. And so there I was, at The Vic, a wonderful line up of music in front of me and a pint in my hand, watching music the way god intended…live, not via the wonders of the Internet or TV.
Opener, George Wilding, looks every inch the rock start before he has even done anything. Tall and painfully thin, with a tousled mane and Chelsea boots he looks like someone put Marc Bolan on the rack and stretched him out. But past the image he quickly proves that he has the goods to back it up and what follows is a set of wonderfully poetic songs put to some very talented guitar work. And with his immortal words “ He thinks he’s Edgar Allen Poe, but he never stole a traffic cone” still ringing in my ear, the first full band of the night launch their first song.
Wasuremono make music that sits between the gossamer side of shoegazing and the more intricate side of progressive pop, an intricate weave of subtle bass lines, chiming guitars, fluid keyboard washes and melancholic vocals that could be the missing link between Ride and Arcade Fire. When they want to really drive a song they can pull out all the stops but their real selling point is the sky-scraping ethereality and otherworldly atmospherics that exists between the notes.
Having always been tarred with a folk brush, the Cadbury Sisters announcement of a new, more commercial direction must have had the “folk-police” up in arms, but this show proved that it was clearly the way for them to go. Still retaining their core sound of beautifully complimentary harmonies, their more rustic undercurrent has now been replaced by beats, bass lines and backing track and the result is nothing short of glorious. Revelling in a sound that is obviously closer to their heart, they head into territory occupied by the likes of Bat For Lashes and even re-interpret some of their older songs via their new sound. It’s a sound that should see them shift from fringe festival favourites to a bankable dream-pop concern.
But if this all seems too exotic, too left field, too far outside your comfort zone, don’t worry, remember that this is Swindon and there will be a slightly above average Green Day tribute act along any moment.