Esben and The Witch
1 a.m., Andy's Bar
Brighton's Esben and the Witch is not entirely unlike an electronic version of Shiny Around The Edges -- Shiny's Jenny Seman and Rachel Davies even have a similar stage presence. And so it was quite fitting that Esben and The Witch followed that Denton band on the 35 Conferette bill at Andy's last night.
For the last set of the night at the venue on the square, the band set up on the carpeted, elevated stage, and the packed venue jibber-jabbered over top the miscellaneous streaming tunes blaring on the speakers.
And, right away, Daniel Copeman made himself at home, his black leather shoes sitting off to the side of his guitar, while he set up his equipment in a mismatched pair of socks. Davies, meanwhile, was very H&M-clad, sporting a red guitar and matching red keyboard.
Then, they started their set.
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The entire room became engulfed in dim, blue, lights, as the band began to play. Davies draped herself over the mic, long brown hair covering her face.
The room was throbbing as the three-piece drearily launched into "Argyria," the first track of their debut album, Violet Cries. And it sounded every bit as supernatural as on the album, even if Davis was having technical difficulties with her mic. But she ran with is, singing un-amplified for the last bit of the song. Her mic was fixed shortly after, but she never seemed to mind.
The band really did feel quite comfortable: Not even halfway through the set, both of Copeman's socks were completely off, and he swayed around on stage barefoot, totally in the zone.
As they continued along, the band seamlessly transitioned in and out of tracks off Violet Cries, taking quick breaks only to switch instruments or take a swig of whatever they were drinking. Good thing, too: The crowd at Andy's was fully transfixed on the band, sucked in by the murky beats and ambient soundscapes, swept into a zone of their own.