Gig review: SOME VELVET MORNING – The Roundhouse, London, 4 March 2016

Some Velvet Morning are a three piece indie rock outfit of burgeoning potential. Based in London, this gig in the Sackler Space off the main Roundhouse hall was bright, bold and full of the band’s local support.

Their sound is built on a bedrock of classic ’80′s influences. There’s no doubting the legacy of The Edge’s chiming guitar on early tracks in the set list like ‘Beautiful Dress’ and ‘National Valentine’, coupled with a vocal tone that could be Lloyd Cole in disguise. It is Des Lambert that provides both that voice and that guitar, and gives the band some real presence on stage.

But when the band chuck in the new material, a more complex and sophisticated path is being explored. Set opener ‘Damocles’ and later on ‘Musical Chairs’ are much more edgy, powerful tracks with plenty of substance.

Stand out tune is ‘No Walls’ with its funky groove on the verse, giving way to powerful Muse-like bass heavy distortion and a bludgeoning chorus. The interplay between the two parts of the song works well, with Rob Flanagan precisely knitting the pieces together on the drum stool. The geometric ‘blueprint’ visuals projected onto the backdrop accompany the new tracks and provide an another accomplished dimension to the show.

Material from the 2012 album ‘Allies’ stands up well. ‘Control’ features a few bars of dirty riffing as a counterpoint to the shiny guitar that drives the heart of the track; and ‘NY City Cell’ is a sweeping slice of melodic indie rock with a great chorus. The album title track is a poignant rendition received well by a knowledgeable crowd.

Mostly knowledgeable, anyway. A bloke in front of me had been chatting away to his pals for most of the set, displaying disinterest bordering on ignorance. Until the band smashed into the glorious ‘How to Start a Revolution’. At this point he whipped off his hair tie, freed his flowing mane and moshed his way through the track like it was an Anthrax gig. It is a superbly energetic and catchy track. Upon its joyous completion, mosh-boy left the hall and was not sighted again!

Of the older material, only ‘Losing My Mind’ from the band’s debut album really catches  light. Gavin Lambert on bass finds many a compelling bass growl to underpin SVM’s output. On this one, he surpasses himself with a lick that comes straight from some long buried Goth vault to provide atmospheric, intense shape to the track.

SVM are going the right way. With new material providing a diverse roster and a confident show in front of ebullient fans, there is plenty of evidence that the future is bright for these boys.

Review by Dave Atkinson 

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