Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen
The first Snow Day of the winter (in this postcode, anyway) and the sleety flakes drench your coat and turn your hands red-cold. You don’t even realise how much you crave the warm hug of fifty effects pedals until you’re standing there, dead still, a fuzzy cocoon wrapping round your burning ears while condensation streams down the windows.
Singer Tamaryn is a statue of cool constancy as the air around her is bent and warped by guitarist Rex John Shelverton’s lapping soundwaves. You’ll know the duo’s formula, over-trodden in recent years – Kevin Shields’ hazy guitar, Mazzy Star’s distant sweet vocals, Cocteau Twins’ drum-lite dreamscapes – but Tamaryn execute the package with a confidence and control that just about propels them past pastiche. Then again, this Wall of Sound aesthetic always sounds miles better on record than in a pokey Shoreditch bar. Like a mug of the season’s mulled wine, the first tastes are rich and satisfying, spreading warmth to your toes and kneading your shoulders. But by the end it’s a familiar story, the soporific sweetness hanging heavy behind the eyes as you look in vain for an armchair to doze in. Revellers may enjoy a post-punk chaser to cleanse the palate.
By Chal Ravens
Originally published in issue 24 (vol 3) of Loud And Quiet. December 2010