Live Review
SIAN ALICE GROUP AT THE GARAGE
Sian Alice Group
No Address1
London
08/04/10

The beauty of Sian Alice Group is their uncanny ability to create a beguiling, mythical experience with their music. Their genre-defying combination of intensity and fragility creates doom-laden dreamscapes to transport the listener through the looking glass to another world. But this is no Wonderland. This is the tulgey wood of Carroll’s Jabberwock – a dark, dangerous place devoid of colour with only singer Sian Ahern’s delicate siren song to pierce the murky gloom – deadly, treacherous, but irresistibly alluring. Tonight they transcend the hindrance of a poor PA to create a wholly different beast. Ahern’s gossamer-light vocals are all but drowned in the mire amid a dirge-singing bass and the ceaseless, intoxicating pounding of tribal drums, creating a mystical trance state that all on stage become lost in. It builds to an enthralling and frenzied climax in a cacophonous melee of clashing instruments and dervish-like flailing from the waifish, winsome vocalist. So compelling is it that the fever spreads to the audience – nodding, stamping, pogoing, just-plain-moving to this uncontrollable urge like evangelical acolytes. You half expect folk to fall to the floor speaking in tongues. Like I said, they create an experience, and an undeniably haunting, graceful and spellbinding one at that.

By Phil Dixon

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Originally published in issue 16 (vol 3) of Loud And Quiet. April 2010