Gig Review: Our Girl @ Think Tank?
Released a couple of months ago, Our Girl’s debut album ‘Stranger Today’ received wall to wall plaudits for it’s spirited attempt at combining, and modernising, grunge and shoe-gazing guitar sounds while uniting them with dreamy pop melodies.
Stylistic cousins of My Bloody Valentine and Best Coast, the album was a triumph for it’s raw, precise and dangerous sounds, as well as it’s moments of tenderness.
With one challenge met (writing and creating a great debut) another, perhaps even harder one, comes along in the form of recreating the sounds live and living up to people’s raised expectations.
How do you recreate an almost perfect debut album driven by layered guitar sounds and hard-to-reach vocals without needing to employ an army of extra musicians? Seemingly by turning the volume up and using heavy modulation of course...
Our Girl’s live success is driven by two factors, well three but we’ll discount the songs for a moment: heart-breaking sounds that only distorted loud guitars can make and soulful and dream state noises from Soph Nathan’s voice.
When combined they form the basis of a live presence that blends together high art, musical complexity and killer tunes; reminding us that precise guitar techniques alone do not create a live show, they must be backed up by unique melodies and something interesting to say.
The gig’s highlight ‘I Really Like It’ is perhaps the perfect encapsulation of Our Girl’s combination of intense anger and inner sadness,and an indicator of their song writing success.
Starting as an arpeggio driven light guitar sound, the track soon builds into a rollicking wall of sound and an attack on someone who isn’t treating us correctly.
Angry in it’s delivery, the track is both soft and yet heavy, loud and quiet, loving and full of hatred.
As Our Girl showed during their gig in Newcastle, their strength is in their ability to show both sides of a character; the one we want others to see, and the one we try to hide.
Both sides were explosive to watch.
Photography by the author