blanket and Pijn at Chester's Live Rooms: Live Review
Words and photos: Anthony Firmin
It’s quite surprising how quick you can get from Stockport to Chester; it only takes a little bit longer to drive there than it does to the centre of Manchester which is ridiculous, and Chester’s Live Rooms regularly pops up on many bands itinerary because it is a cracking venue.
First up are Branch To Root who are playing to a cold room which isn’t helped by there only being a few people scattered about, although the band does have a small contingent of rather vocal supporters at the front. Musically they straddle a slow line between post, alt and indie rock, it’s a quite melancholic feel and is thoroughly enjoyable. The only low point is the bassist’s flat singing whilst the high point is Home which is impressive with it’s Pink Floyd feels.
Onto more familiar territory with the collective that is Pijn. Not knowing which version you are going to get keeps you on your toes and for this tour we get added violin and the sound is epic. Veering from post-rock to metal with a splash of Hawkwind to boot, it’s a journey that bobs along nicely with the TV screens at the back helping us along, keeping us on track. The violin weaves it’s way through the heavy riffs and vice-versa, it is intriguing and draws you in; curse those violin strings and their mournful and sorrowful sounds!
Along with many others, my introduction to blanket was on the Zeal & Ardor tour, their anthemic post-rock with pop sensibilities grabbing me and making me a committed fan. Tonight is no different although they now have more control over the delivery, with their own light show and a couple of TV’s making this an immersive experience.
Musically it’s the same as before, well, it’s better now. The songs have a more seasoned feel, even with a couple of new songs thrown in - the short but sweet Ghost Man delving into their indie side. And feel is important, their music is like being wrapped in their physical namesake, it makes you feel snug and warm yet euphoric at the same time. The sound here is perfect too, adding to the sense that this is something special as it is the last night of the tour.