Spindrift

support SPEkTR
author BV date 02/09/14 venue Loppen, Copenhagen, DEN

Recently I’ve been returning to the spaghetti-westerns of olden times, enjoying them in equal parts because of the soundtracks and the plot. Soundtracks, however, tend to get me going down a route that eventually leads me back to a long-time fascination of mine – the band called Spindrift. Making a name for themselves by, predominantly, creating western-tinged and vastly psychedelic soundtracks, they remain a quite unique live experience that is not particularly easy to stumble upon. Fortunately though, I seemed to be in luck as Spindrift would indeed play a show in close proximity of my home – leaving me no choice but experience them yet again. On this particular Tuesday night, Spindrift had opted to screen their new film, “Spindrift: Ghost of the West”, in its entirety before the support band would take the stage. This move proved to have mixed results, with most of the turnout chatting over the sound of the film.

Pictures courtesy of Christian Søes

SPEkTR

The support band of the night was one I’ve heard about many times, but never actually gotten around to experience – or even stumble upon randomly in a record shop or the like. Just as I was unsure of what to expect of the performance, the two female members of the band appeared on stage to perform a heavily synthesizer-laden intro which, to me, felt completely out of place as support for Spindrift. Thinking it might evolve into something more relevant if given time, I listened closely as the two women were joined by the remainder of the band, as well as main-man Manoj Ramdas who seems to be the brain-child behind the project. At this point the songs, or instrumental suites, began to involve into larger soundscapes. However, even though the sound expanded, my horizon did not. I still felt the awkwardness of watching a band that I felt was completely misplaced on this lineup, whose music I couldn’t really get into for a number of different reasons. The predominant one, quite naturally, being that I was not ready to receive the vibe they were emitting. - The second being that my impression of the music was that it fell pretty far out of what I consider my favored genres, thus leaving me at something of a loss to fully understand it. However, I will attest to the fact that the frequent use of theremin noises, baritone guitars and some occasional surf-style rhythms were quite welcome and that most of the crowd actually seemed to enjoy the SPEkTR performance quite a bit. Sadly, however, I was unable to achieve their level of enthusiasm about the performance. Maybe I’ll have to check them out again to see if my impression can be altered.

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Spindrift

Following a somewhat lengthy changeover, Spindrift were ready to take the stage – accompanied by psychedelic visuals, but not wearing their western-tinged stage clothes to which I have been accustomed. It seemed strange at first, but Spindrift seemed to have evolved beyond the necessity of stage clothes to invoke the moods of their grandiose soundtracks. As they opened their set with the crowd-pleasing “Red Reflection”, front-man Kirpatrick Thomas’ vocals soared through the relatively packed Loppen and sent shivers down my spine. The gentle yet bombastic guitar rhythms had most of the audience dancing, or at the very least swaying from side to side, while the sheer catchiness of the track reminded me once again of the golden nuggets of music found in Spindrift’s discography. Proceeding through various of their somewhat more anonymous tracks, the vibe remained eerily consistent – quite evidently leaving more than a few crowd-members in a state of euphoria wherein the idea of being part of the wild west didn’t necessarily seem that far off. After all, the soundtrack was there – all we really needed was a proper street for showdowns.

With “Speak to the Wind”, the eerie tremolo effect on the guitar once again sent shivers down my spine. It is one of those instrumental songs that are just able to conjure up an immense feeling of immersion right from the get-go. As the track gradually progressed into a sort of heroic theme, one could practically visualize how this particular scene, that the song might as well have been scored for, might look like. All of the proper aesthetic elements were present – from the sluggish drumming through the solid consistency of the bass-line over to the smooth “hu-huu-huuuu” choir, everything had a purpose and served to create a truly evocative musical experience. As Spindrift ended the main part of their set, they returned once more to perform a scorching rendition of a track that, if I am not entirely mistaken, comes from the hands of Ennio Morricone – however, the title still evades me so forgive me for being foggy on the details. To follow this moment of larger-than-life grandeur, Spindrift launched into a danceable party-vibe with the single-greatest surf-rock classic of all time; “Misirlou”, leaving the crowd in a sense of utter late-night euphoria that ended as abruptly as it had started. Spindrift came, saw and conquered. I’m not entirely sure who’s keeping tabs - but I do know that Spindrift won this particular showdown.

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