Myrkur and Jo Quail at Gorilla: Live Review
Jo Quail, cellist extraordinaire, effectively uses loops and processed sounds to create music that is more like a soundscape. Whilst White Salt Stag conveys an image of the chase with its sense of urgency, Gold is about the earth, like a scene in a remote part of the Peak District on a grey dismal day it is dramatic, you can hear the planets heart beating, New piece Mandrel Cantus from her excellent new album Exsolve is exceptional live and has evolved as a work “it changes every time I play it” she explains.
The crowd here are giving Jo Quail a warm and enthusiastic response to her long form pieces which hopefully will encourage her to return to Manchester in the future. The final piece she plays is Adder Stone, a spiritual piece about a body of water that has a deep meaning to her, with its four sections it is compelling listening as it breathes into life, partly evoking memories of Kate Bush’s Ninth Wave.
Myrkur were last in Manchester supporting Epica earlier in the year, their performance was much talked about too so there is a lot of anticipation for tonight’s performance at Gorilla. We caught part of their performance at ArcTanGent and what we witnessed was impressive!
And there is some controversy too, Ms Myrkur - Amalie Bruun - has quit some social media because trolls can’t handle a woman singing black metal and have been posting hateful comments along with death threats. However the reality is this show starts with more of a series of Scandinavian folk style songs with the band supplemented by Jo Quail whose soulfully mournful cello fits oh so perfectly within the music of songs such as Jenta, Flickan and Ramund.
Following a solo performance and an extended taped intro piece the band return for a more electrified set sans Ms Quail whose looping cello would have fitted in nicely with The Serpent and Ulvinde, needless to say both were sublime. The guitarist and bassist are now wearing black hooded tops and look like they should be in Zeal and Ardour whereas Ms Myrkur has changed to white.
Dybt I Skoven ups the ante a notch and comes across anthemic but sadly Onde Børn sounds a tad flat, it seems to have lost some of its power in the mix, Jeg Er Guden restores the balance with lots of heads nodding away in time with the music and Elleskudt manages to keep the groove going for a more than appreciative gathering.
The pairing of Jo Quail and Myrkur was a genius decision and the combination of the two made for a great evening.