Live Review
THE BESNARD LAKES, THE GARAGE, LONDON
The Besnard Lakes
The Garage, Islington
London
19/08/10

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

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