3 November 2018

Things almost conspire against our attempts to have a night out at the Soup Kitchen. After seeking alternatives for the word ‘dark’, fortune favours the brave and fortitude  wins out in the end.

 An early start, a late arrival, a malfunctioning camera memory card and 10pm curfew plus the Manchester Christmas lights switch on. Oh and it rained. Enough to invoke the feeling that the Gods were having some sport; the dark horse had legs. All  that was needed was a murky and haunting soundtrack. Thankfully our targets, Jaye Jayle and Emma Ruth Rundle were in town and plenty had packed into the Soup Kitchen  for not quite light relief but a deep, meaningful and much  more palatable alternative.

Jaye Jayle, led by Evan Patterson, delivered a set of what bandcamp calls their “ of neo-folk economy, Krautrock-esque repetition, skid row’s darkest blues, Mid-Western rock nihilism and Tangerine Dream’s analog oscillations.” With the latest No Trail And Other Unholy Paths album to unfurl, they provided  an intense  palette cleansing sorbet of a set.  Having said that,  the thick and sticky grooves took a hold while Cemetery Rain was given a fizzing electronic embellishment whose roots may have not been too far from where we stood. Part Gothic, part experimental, part blues roots, they’re a delightfully unfinished article.

Morphing into Emma Ruth Rundle’s backing band, a two for the price of one, her highly rated On Dark Horses album  – a full page in the LTW mag devoted to her – serves as the bulk of the set and frankly after a spellbinding and thoroughly dense Dead Set Eyes to begin with, I could have trudged my way  home happily.  Still, there’s more than enough to ponder as the lyrics pour languidly and decorate the flow of reverbed guitar and a bass so opaque that it comes over as a forceful wave.

Whether she plays solo with the guitar effects creating a miasma of therapeutic auditory stimulation or with the band who seem so in tune with their mission, there’s a hypnotic,  visit to the shrink, quality about her fascinating performance art. The themes are menacing, possibly even devastating, but as much as we’re taking in, Emma Ruth Rundle is unburdening. Mass therapy – it’s the new black.

Paraphrasing that stunning opening, what doesn’t kill you keeps you alive is a thought that keeps playing through my head as I meander back to the tram. Surprisingly, although maybe I shouldn’t be,  I’m feeling  a bit lighter. The world that could and often is, such a dark place, seems less so tonight. Thanks guys.


The Emma Ruth Rundle website

You can also find her on Facebook  and Twitter

You can find Jaye Jayle on Bandcamp

They are  also on Facebook  and Twitter


All words  by Mike Ainscoe. You can find more of Mike’s writing on Louder Than War at his author’s archive. He can be found on Facebook and is currently revamping his website…






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Mike has been contributing to Louder Than War since 2012, rising through the ranks from contributor to Sub Editor and now Reviews Editor. He brings his eclectic taste to the table with views on live shows (including photography) and album reviews, features and interviews from rock to metal to acoustic and folk.


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