Veronica Falls at Whelan’s (review & photos)
Veronica Falls played Whelan’s last Thursday, April 18th.
Veronica Falls were in no rush to take the stage, and the set itself ran in the same vein; easy, blithe, and carefree. Originating in London, the quirky indie-alters are securely part of a heritage of distanced bands in that their unorthodox sound is characteristic of a certain sphere of folk-whimsy music. Opening with ‘Tell Me,’ from this year’s “Waiting for Something to Happen,” Roxanne Clifford’s falsetto is tempered well by James Hoare (guitar and vocals) and Patrick Doyle (drums and vocals) to create a pleasing mix of intonations. Roxanne’s voice has Lilly Allen’s range (somewhat similar in style also), although it is not often explored in the one phrase; rather, lower tones are used as counterpoint in the song structures. Marion Herbain, bassist, holds the group’s sound together well, pacifying the various sections further with solid lines. ‘My Heart Beats’ and ‘Beachy Head’ (previously released as a single in 2010) followed, both off the eponymous debut.
Patrick Doyle’s Glasgow articulation, as he made a short Hello to the crowd, suggests a sort of modest, soft-spoken, likeably Nutini spokesperson. He indicated that the tracks to follow were primarily from the newer material, which seemed to have more depth, as Hoare sat comfortably in minor pentatonic soloing, and Doyle’s played-down use of floor toms brought about more ideas of surf rock. The well-structured songs tended to break in on the off-beat: more of the quirkiness that defines the sound so well, and the pentatonic tendencies were symptomatic of, and aggregate to, the free-flowing nature of the tracks. The crowd’s interest was whole-hearted and enthusiastic, and they were provided with a particularly enjoyable show. Veronica Falls put in a great show on Thursday night; their writing features quaint and unexpected lyrics, somewhat self-conscious and very honest.
Review by Luke Etherton
Photos by Lukasz Skital