Freya Beer: Manchester Night And Day – live reviewFreya Beer
Manchester Night And Day
21st November 2021

As the crunching chops of Marc Bolan’s classic 20th Century Boy end the set with a curveball cover of the T.Rex classic, Freya Beer, the 21st Century girl slips away into the shadows. Like the great god and pagan priest deity, Marc Bolan, she is an ethereal and fascinating presence. Her crunching post-punk is laced with art, poetry and imagery so, of course, there had to be a nod to Bolan in there. He was also the impossibly glamorous, self-created, poetic, art elf who gatecrashed the pop charts but in reality was a high art literature creature who somehow managed to make his poetic music a mainstream toy – can Freya Beer do the same? 

She certainly has the striking self-made image. She has the songs and is also immersed in her own artful dedication that is vital for such transformations. Her Instagram page is like an art gallery of shapeshifting images and her music matches this adventure. 

Creating a magic out of the ether like all great artists, Freya Beer, who is from the South Coast but has now moved to London, has created her own personal wonderland of music and a style to match. Her personal goth glam noir could come from a scene in a David Lynch movie and is perfectly framed in Night and Day tonight which has the same pulsating Twin Peaks glow. Her music mesmerises in the same way, a mixture of crunching post-punk minimalism with the vision of Dolly Parton. There are dynamics and crunching guitars, there is space and there are rolling drum patterns all creating a cinematic wonder for her hypnotic, plaintive voice to curl around the magic, mystery and melodies of her dark energy femme fatale songs.

Steeped in art mystique and a poetic love of literature she combines the genius imagery of prime time Ginsberg with the raw pithy prose of a Bukowski plus the wonder of life, death, sex and nature embraced by the never-ending pantheon of the romantic poets. She is also equally enamoured with the power of painting and art and uses the broadest of broad palettes to create her own darkly romantic world and music like she is the painting herself and a sonic siren stepping out of a Pre-Raphaelite painting like one of her favourites, Proserpine by Rosetti about the greek goddess trapped in the underworld for six months – or Freya trapped in the underground!  The drama of paint via the medium of guitar, bass and drums – the visuals are entwined with the music to create the full art piece.

Live this is the broad palette painting cranked through classic amps, full of those mystery emotions. This is a raw red velvet of Cinerama and Dreamtime that brings the songs from her current Beast debut album to a twitching life. It takes the fascinating and captivating dark shadows of the gothic and swirls it before adding the larger than life high styling of glam and the heartbreak at the core of country and then feeds it through the discipline of the razor-sharp dynamics of post-punk. 

Her beguiling set of songs all underline the birth of a major talent flickering in the butterfly flame and at the start of a long dark art adventure. A Pre-Raephelite pop priestess operating in the glimmering thrilling (Nick) Cave shadows of drama and song!

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Award winning journalist and boss of Louder Than War. In a 30 year music writing career, John was the first to write about bands such as Stone Roses and Nirvana and has several best selling music books to his name. He constantly tours the world with Goldblade and the Membranes playing gigs or doing spoken word and speaking at music conferences.

2 COMMENTS

  1. I agree John, what a talent and such huge potential!
    First heard Dear Sweet Rosie on 6 Music and a chill went down my spine (but in a good way!).
    I booked two tickets for this gig before the first lockdown, a long wait but even better than I hoped.
    In the intervening 18 months several new great songs and an album have been added to her playlist.
    My first visit to Night and Day, but not my last (coincidentally we were stood right behind you during the set, but I didn’t realise it was you till you turned round – very glad I followed the trail to this review via your instagram – it just confirms everything I thought about Freja’s future career).

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