Live Review
The Besnard Lakes
The Garage, Islington

Your Dad, or even your Granddad, would approve of The Besnard Lakes; but don’t let that put you off. Although singer Jace Lasek could very easily be on the books of a Robert Plant look-alike agency, and the band look as though they’ve stolen most of their stage clobber from the costume department of Almost Famous, their music is rich, shimmering and expansive. It’s a blast of energizing, fundamentally engaging rock’n’roll, and the packed out Garage is swimming in it. There are chord changes which wrench at the gut; psychedelic, sense-assaulting wig-outs; passages of drone-rock laced with pure harmonies; and, on ‘Chicago Train’, a delicate flute line which hovers over a song so sweet it carries you away, enveloped in a cocoon of melodic beauty. ‘Disaster’ is equally beautiful, with boy-girl vocals weaving intricately in and out of each other before descending into a fiery, visceral whirlpool of guitar and drums. After a longish set it’s a predictably drawn-out ending to the show, the band barely visible in a pea soup of dry ice while a thudding bass line underpins the storm. The Besnard Lakes grab you by the guts and rock your soul. Tell your Dad to be careful.

By Chris Watkeys


Originally published in issue 21 (vol 3) of Loud And Quiet. September 2010