Spiritualized: Warwick – live review

Warwick Arts Centre
4 November 2012 

Their show in Leeds left our photographer stunned but as Spirtualized’s tour continues their Warwick stop unfortunately fell a little short of the mark for our reviewer there.

I was really looking forward to this one, I haven’t seen Spiritualized for about ten years and that was in Amsterdam. They were excellent.

I’ve heard all the albums since and was very enthusiastic about this year’s release, see review here, so I was expecting something very special.

What I got though was a bit different.

The hall at Warwick University Arts Centre holds thirteen hundred, I would guess that there were about three to four hundred people there, sat in pockets or stood at the front. It wasn’t an inspiring turnout and, as it’s my home town of Coventry, pretty shameful to be honest. As a result of this I found that the sound was hollow and echoed around the hall, my friend who was stood at the front said it was better there but where we were it was not at all good.

The band were in black, Jason was in a white t-shirt and shades and the two backing singers were all in white. After a Velvet’s sounding warm up they went into Hey Jane. The song is my favourite off the new album and is good. The backing singers make it sound better and when the band spiral off into one of many freak out jams the waves of sound bounce around the hall.

All the songs move up and down and around themselves, all part of Jason’s grand psychedelic plan. Some songs work into wild freak out breakdowns which remind me of a more sedate Sonic Youth, others are sublime in their simple beauty. The music is throbbing and repetitive and at it’s best when it’s very quiet.

There is nothing new here, and to be honest, why should there be? The crowd came to see Spiritualized and they did.

I can’t help wondering though, whether a full smaller hall would have been better and maybe something that sounds a little different too.

A good gig, just could have been great.

All words and image by Adrian Bloxham. You can read more from Adrian on LTW here.

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