Live Review – Thula Borah


13th Note, 04/11

Few genres are as spell-binding as post-rock, and Mogwai aren’t the only Weegies on the scene -Thula Borah are a four-piece band that has been around since 2009, and what makes their sound interesting is that it draws influence from slowcore as well as from 90s bands like Nirvana. Their new EP Near Life Experience is set to be released later this year, so in the spirit of supporting a local act I decided to see them live for a second time.

Tucked away underground in the 13th Note, the venue makes for an intimate setting for the small crowd that gathers; it actually feels more like a secret band practice in a garage than a gig. This impression is further reinforced when the band members themselves walk onto the stage and, after announcing that the support had to drop out, casually launch straight into their eerie new single ‘The Psychopath Test’.

And whilst they disappointingly lack energy in their performance and fail to fully engage with the audience throughout the rest of their set, this doesn’t take away from the music itself – ‘Estella’ is a repetitive but catchy ode to alternative/grunge and features a pounding breakdown, meanwhile ‘Skye Falling’ is a quieter song reminiscent of Radiohead with the added touch of atmospheric shredding. Another highlight is ‘Small Margins’, an instrumental track that combines a beautifully bitter sweet melody with audio extracts from a screenwriting lecture by Charlie Kaufman in which he expresses introspective thoughts on the human condition.

On the whole, Thula Borah switch effortlessly between heavy and softer rock styles in the space of a single song, and the result is the best of both worlds – the overall experience is one that transports you to a private place of your own where you’re perfectly happy to stay.

[Anni Payne]

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