LIVE REVIEW: Purity Ring, Brudenell Social Club, 29th April 2015

by - Friday, May 08, 2015

Pictures: Kevin Lawson
Words: Jenessa Williams

Fresh off the back of moving to the city while watching ones parents sell the family home, hitting the busiest work period of the year and being just two weeks away from a 22nd birthday, it's fair to say that a certain nostalgia is the order of the day as we grab a drink and meander our way into the Brudenell Social Club. Whats-apping teens we once were mingle with the strait-laced adults we're set to become, a curious collection considering the futuristic electro-pop we're about to witness.

Before we can get there though, we have Born Gold, a Canadian duo who's take on chiptune is at itchy as lead singer Cecil Frena's snappy hologram leggings appear, irresistibly recalling the likes of Hadouken and Glamour For Better but with a darker, almost emo undertone. They make the sound of a million after-school hours spent in the local arcade, frantically trying to perfect a dancemat routine on the highest level just to impress friends.

With ambitions clearly larger than the cramped Brudenell stage, they navigate the awkward 'no one knows who we are yet' chasm with typically Canadian charm, handing out free download cards with a humble 'if you'd be so kind, and if not, you can come to the merch desk and tell me what I'm doing wrong.' In the hands of another band, that might sound like an aggressive challenge, but from the pairs relaxed faces as they launch into the gleeful 'I Want To Be Naked', it's clear they're open to advice.

For all those who were wondering what was hiding behind the ominous curtain that took up most of
Born Gold's room, all becomes clear as Purity Ring arrive. The minute their webbed curtain of a light show starts pulsing, it becomes very easy to forget that tonight's show is taking place in a social club in the north of England. From Megan James' space-age catsuit to the wind machines and hypnotic nodding of the crowd, it's an otherworldly experience.

Borrowing heavily from their most recent outing 'Another Eternity', the set flows seamlessly for it's first half, almost spellike, with barely a word uttered between songs. 'Fineshrine' understandably goes down well (perhaps thanks in part to it's feature on a advert), but it's 'Push Pull' that creates an early highlight, video-game toadstool percussion perfectly complimenting the delicate vocal.

Far from screaming along the lyrics like so many northern crowds normally do, the audience seem content to just take in what is in front of them, James weaving her way through the labyrinth of lights while Corin Roddick taps floating orbs that look like they should be part of a Mighty Boosh set. The whole thing just screams strength, the sharp edges of their mingling with the soft, almost bashful like ability of Megan's attempt to make conversation about Eggs Benedict when her equipment stops working.

After a brief fix-up, everything gets back on track for 'sea castle', which is a revelation- mirrored gloves that rival Beyonce's 'Single Ladies' costume are used to retract and reflect the strobe lighting, quite literally manipulating the visuals at a whim. It's a remarkably inventive creation that shows why Purity Ring are heads and shoulders above so many of their electronic contemporaries - they understand the importance of theatrics, and blend them with a soft humanity that forces you to catch a breath. With an arsenal of songs that all sound similar enough to portray a distinct personality but different enough to retain intrigue, it seems they have finally settled into a sound that is undeniably theirs. Perhaps this is the sound of the future arriving?

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  1. Everything just simply screams muscle, a distinct corners of their total interacting together with the comfortable, just about bashful for instance skill with Megan's make an attempt to generate dialog pertaining to Ova Benedict if the girl's devices can stop performing.

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  3. With a new approach to making music and a new set of influences, electro-pop duo Purity Ring bring their sophomore album another eternity to The Brudenell.