As part of Jack Daniels’ JD Roots series, The Horrors have returned to crusty semi-coastal town, Southend-on-Sea – a place they’ve always been at odds with. An overwhelming minority aside, the townsmen of Southend are not music fans, and where hardly anyone knew of the band when they were bombing through 10-minute live sets in 2005, there’s a fair chance that just as many locals still have no idea a.) who The Horrors are, and b.) that they are in fact from the area. It’s just that kind of place. In part, tonight’s competition-winners-only audience appears to prove the point, bemused and static. They do erupt between songs though, awoken from the recurring onslaught of twisted noise carved mostly from the guitar of Joshua Third.
Bassist Rhys Webb seems immune to the brutal sound; a spinning top that baggily dances to highlights from ‘Primary Colours’ and ‘Skying’. Sadly, ‘Strange House’ remains the band’s neglected first born, though, even at a show this brash and loud, even back in the town where it all started. And perhaps that sums up The Horrors best – the band that never really belonged, and one that still refuses to conform.
By Stuart Stubbs
Originally published in issue 38 (vol 3) of Loud And Quiet. May 2012