Review: Sunnyvale Noise Sub-Element Live @ The Betsey Trotwood (07/02/05)

[url=] The Betsey Trotwood [/url] is possibly London’s tiniest venue. Certainly the stage can’t do more than accommodate a drum kit and a couple of amps, leaving the players out in the audience. But the atmosphere’s really something – a low-ceilinged little section cellar beneath the pub that puts even the most stand-offish of audiences in the thick of things.

The evening starts with Canadian chanteuse [url=] Lily Frost, [/url] who is sexy as hell and keeps the audience’s attention well through her solo set. She plays a warm-sounding electric guitar and has her silky vocals through a delay pedal that she uses to great effect. For some tracks there’s a little drum machine and while it’s not exactly ’emo’, it’s very cool and she wins us over. Lily only seems to be here on a flying visit, however, so it doesn’t look like there’ll be a chance to see her again any time soon. Next up is a band that I miss entirely because I’m deep in conversation upstairs, and I don’t even catch their name so I can’t say anything about their quality. Apologies to them if they’re reading this.

[url=] Sunnyvale Noise Sub-Element [/url] are headlining and the stage set up is different to the few other times I’ve managed to catch their set: The drums are gone, giving them more stage space, and they set the keyboards up off to the side so that when the three of them are playing their guitars at maximum noise level they have the full stage area to move around in. The result is the usual impressive set combined with a fantastic performance, aided by the closeness of the venue. The energy is fantastic, the guitars sound excellent and totally in balance with the textured-techno-industrial inspired beats coming over the PA. The new single (not available until April) definitely sounds like it’ll be worth purchasing. They finish all too quickly with a remixed and updated version of “I Love You”, still sounding fantastic with its haunting guitar riffage. Check out their website if you’ve not heard any of their stuff.

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