Pinkshinyultrablast: The Lantern, Colston Hall, Bristol – live review
Pinkshinyultrablast | Fever Dream
The Lantern, Colston Hall, Bristol
5th October 2015
Still hot on the heels of the success of their debut release Everything Else Matters, Russian five-piece Pinkshinyultrablast brought their brand of ethereal shoegaze to Colston Hall’s Lantern in Bristol as part of an extensive UK tour. Louder Than War’s Nick Canessa was there.
In the video for Pinkshinyultrablast’s latest single ‘Kiddy Pool Dreams’ in which their music is introduced to a series of unbeknownst listeners, a gentleman is asked what he thinks of the track to which he replies: “A lot of energy, no soul.” Without a doubt, Pinkshinyultrablast have energy – their thrilling take on a genre fixated by cash-grab comebacks, stagnant copycats and style over substance is wholly fresh and original – but to say the band have no soul would be a misunderstanding. Embarking on their second UK tour in the space of a year, their cosy performance at Colston Hall’s Lantern is a staggering showcase of just how much love these Russian rockers put into their sound, unanimously flooring everyone in attendance.
Fever Dream warm up the ears and heighten the senses with a lengthy support slot of fuzzy, feedback-drenched shoegaze. Compared to the trio’s light-hearted studio output, catching these guys live is a far heavier and disorienting affair. The tall, grand build of the Lantern pushes their volume to the limits, each and every song so gorgeous and deafeningly intense that it’s all too easy to get completely lost in their sound. In a set so faceless and hypnotic there’s no real stand-out moment, but the catharsis experienced throughout their hour-long performance is definitely worth shouting about.
It’s not long after that Pinkshinyultrablast take to the stage as lead singer Lyubov shyly brings her earplugs towards her. This simple observation sets the tone of what’s to come – the heady intensity Fever Dream conjured up has already been topped by the sound of guitars screaming in unison, fighting for attention. There’s a unique drive to Pinkshinyultrablast’s music – while textured and atmospheric, it’s faster and more immediate than most bands within the genre they’re confined to. Taking cues from the math-based tendencies of acts like And So I Watch You From Afar, they create just as much excitement from their ecstatic riffs as they do from their angelic ambient sections resulting in a performance brimming with emotion.
New material fills up the majority of the band’s set and garners a deservedly warm reception. It’s overtly strange to now call songs from their debut album Everything Else Matters “old favourites” (the album was released earlier this year) but the addition of tracks like ‘Umi’ and ‘Holy Forest’ propel the audience’s adoration of the band to tipping point with demands of an encore met with wilful enthusiasm. As the masses exit the room, the unforgettable look of sheer awe spread across their faces is testament to the experience of seeing Pinkshinyultrablast live – it’s all energy and a whole lot of soul.