Gig Review: Gotham Sounds Festival (by Reflections of Darkness)

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Gotham Sounds Festival Vol. II

May 2014 by Stephen Kennedy, Reflections of Darkness magazine

Continuing with the festival’s eclectic, international flavour, the UK’s RED SUN REVIVAL are next, and ‘Without You’ is the perfect start. It easily illustrates the dark romanticism at the heart of the band, a sort of pastoral yearning, something unsettling and deeply sad about the almost painful sense of nostalgia. Their Gothic is classic, and classy, and singer Rob Leydon raises his eyes to heaven repeatedly during this opening song as if to say ‘make this work, make this good’. It does, and it is, and there’s an excellent response. The stunning, violin intro to ‘Running From The Dawn’ seems to take the uninitiated by surprise, and indeed the band’s secret weapon is this use of classical elements. Christina Emery is a graceful and skilled violinist, and even when not playing, she’s engaging and integral to the performance. There’s also the steady and confident playing of Panos Theodoropoulos on bass, and the dashing highwayman elegance of guitarist Matt Helm, all under the watchful eye of Rob, who would not look out of place on a black stead, galloping off to a castle somewhere.

‘Lost For Words’ is all echo, chiming guitars and a killer chorus, held together by mournful strings, and new song ‘Mistakes’ shows the development in the RSR sound. The violin forms the backbone of this desperately melancholic song, but it has a maturity and patience to it, comfortably breaking out of the more traditional song structure and length and allowing itself to slowly unfold. A definite high point tonight, and an exciting glimpse into the band’s future. There’s a rapturous response to ‘My Child’, the bands best known song, and for a reason. Its urgent beat and instantly recognisable guitar sound lets it stamp and clatter along gloriously, the violin skipping seductively over Rob’s passionate vocals. It’s a perfectly self-contained gothic pop song, and they leave the stage on a high, the audience clamouring for more. Eager set-list thievery briefly causes confusion as the band return to perform one last song, but are clearly unsure which one. It adds a nice touch of humour to the proceedings, and it’s a relaxed and confident RED SUN REVIVAL who end a completely successful set with the dramatic ‘Nothing To Hide’. Excellent.

Read the full review here.



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