Purity Ring + Born Gold, The Institute, Birmingham 27/04/2015


Purity Ring
You can’t fault the energy of Born Gold’s Cecil Frena tonight, as he pogoes up and down with his guitar, to the rave beats and high synth chords that he and his band mate produce.Things do begin to get a little strange though when he starts singing avidly “I want to be naked” and the distinct possibility of him making good on his proclamation becomes apparent. Thankfully he sticks to pogoing around fully clothed, warming the crowd with his zaniness.
The stage setup for fellow Canadians, Purity Ring, with squares of rope lights hanging on each side and crystal shaped lights on wooden poles planted in the middle, resembles a lighting catalogue spread for a certain Swedish flat-pack manufacturer. Above this, a large moon like disc is suspended adding a nocturnal feel. As the moody dubstep of ‘Stranger Than Earth’, growls out from behind the crystals, initiated by Corin Roddick, Megan James glides on dressed in a futuristic, chaste white dress. The crystals then reveal themselves to be elaborate sampler pads that flash purple when struck. Each track of the set triggers a change in the lighting effects, with ‘Obedear’ introducing lasers, which in turn reveal themselves to be shot from a light harp, as the crystals flash green like kryptonite. Putting so much emphasis on the effects could suggest a distraction from the quality of the music, but with Roddick supplying the sounds that range from huge bass drops to delicate and soft sounding chimes, James always manages to find space for her vocal.

Purity Ring
For most of the set she stays at the front of the stage, but for ‘Lofticries’ she ventures into the mesh of lights, creating a synergy between the effects and the music and bringing to mind the theatricality of Bjork. ‘Fineshine’, best described as electro RnB is met with the biggest cheer of the night before James disappears into the shadows, reappearing above Roddick’s head and striking the now revealed gong that is the moon.  She lets her hair down literally for ‘Bodyache’, manipulating the green lasers from the light harp and firing them into the crowd, the creases in her gloves resembling circuitry. Futuristic and experimental, the duo, like their stage effects, reveal more than first impressions would suggest.

Andrew Gutteridge

Music obsessive and wild swimmer. Compensating for the toil of the daily grind by living a diluted rock star life through reviewing and gig-going. Brought up on the Eagles and Fleetwood Mac and forever caught up in the myth behind the legend. Finding a voice and hoping that people will hear.
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Andrew Gutteridge

Music obsessive and wild swimmer. Compensating for the toil of the daily grind by living a diluted rock star life through reviewing and gig-going. Brought up on the Eagles and Fleetwood Mac and forever caught up in the myth behind the legend. Finding a voice and hoping that people will hear.

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