ERRORS LIVE IN LONDON
While Nicola Sturgeon wins UK hearts on ITV’s Leader’s Debate, tonight four of her countryfolk decide to bathe their London fanbase in waves of synth-heavy Scottish post-rock. That foursome is Errors, who awe the capacity crowd at Oslo Hackney this evening with a set that showcases the best of their latest album, Lease of Life, plus favourites from their diverse back-catalogue.
First though, Holy Strays seizes the gathering crowd with a hailstorm of beats and loops, the Parisian producer bobbing relentlessly behind his setup of synths and sequencers. Such a strong drum assault is, at times, a bit much, but (what certainly sounded like) a sample of techno masters Eskimo Twins makes this blogger grin. Main support on the night comes from Glaswegian duo Ubre Blanca, frontman Joel Stone cutting a Jesus-like figure with long hair and purple light haze behind, as pulsing techno synths give way to huge distorted guitar chords. Like a beatsy Russian Circles with keyboards, I think to myself.
One, then two, then three: the maths behind the night’s line-up is perfect (or at least would be, had Errors not incorporated backing vocalist Cecilia Stamp into their live show). And it’s this four-piece that emerges in a green mist, as a now-full Oslo bristles with excitement to see how Lease of Life might sound in a live setting. And it’s the title track of the new record that kicks off the show. It sounds big and weird, and though perhaps not the most interesting way to open a set, it’s a good introduction to Stamp’s live role. Recent single Slow Rotor sees Stephen Livingstone meet her distinctive vocal in powerful reverberating harmony. Livingstone is still very much the ‘front man’ and on Magna Encarta and Pleasure Palaces – both which delight – he’s a powerful presence, on occasion letting forth a vocal yelp to let us know that this ain’t just the record amplified. Bearded, bespectacled and wearing two thick shirts, he stands tall – and yet barely breaks a sweat throughout the show.
“Best show ever,” he quips with deadpan delivery, after A Rumour In Africa. “…since Rod Stewart at Hampden, in 1994.” Some fans might disagree here, since the band completely neglect first album It Is Something But It Is Like Whatever. It’s this record’s frenetic dance-music-meets-guitars that I initially fell for, growing with the band as they embraced a more expansive sound. Tonight’s clearly about looking forwards for the Glasgow trio, though they do sneak in oldie Mr Milk before departing the stage for the first time.
A two-song encore of Tusk and Holus-Bolus sees us off into the Hackney night air. “Maybe we’ll come back to London,” Livingstone jokes without even a curl of a smile. I hope they do and I’m sure that they will, because whatever Errors are – be it dance, shoegaze, post-rock, or something else entirely – there’s an appetite for it, and the hungry will amass to consume the artistry of this unique band, time and time again.
Here’s Slow Rotor, for your ears only.