On another cold Friday evening, the opportunity to see four excellent local acts at The Talking Heads certainly lifted spirits somewhat. Upon our arrival we were greeted with a suitably festive stage decorated with an assortment of tinsel and a neat little token (a slip of paper) which entitled the holder to one free EP of Triassic’s début, A Thousand Leagues Down.
The night started off in an unassuming manner as Dan Tovey took to the stage. Initially performing to a lukewarm audience, his soft music eventually led to an intimate relationship with the audience exemplified by inviting everyone to sit down for his track ‘Babysteps’. Showcasing a great deal of emotion, and a voice with vibes of Villagers, Tovey is refining his sound at every gig he plays at.
The mood continued with Rob Chapman who infused political sentiments into his lyrics and evoked an attitude of resistance. With a faster pace, he developed a set of stories which were uniquely personal and demonstrated a great deal of musical belief. Crafting unique lyrics, Chapman showed why he is one of the best creative talents on the local scene.
Noyo Mathis broke the mould with a injection of energy and pace and their brand of intricate, math rock was initially a bit of a shock when compared to the previous acts. Performing a variety of tracks including those from their EP Tethers, the Portsmouth three-piece emphasised the dual relationship between sheer power and craft. While the set drained a little towards the end, exquisite ‘intraludes’ (they were in the song itself) impressed many in the audience.
After some time Triassic eventually took to the stage to a rapturous reception from the excited audience. And it wasn’t just the crowd that was excited; from start to finish lead singer Jonny Vaughan had a smirk on his face that was most likely a combination of excitement, bewilderment and thankfulness. Kicking off with ‘These Days Are Golden’, the interplay of guitars was tight yet raw thanks to Connor and bassist Chris. This consistency was key throughout, with riffs and chords that, given more refinement, can be up there with the very best. Despite having only formed many of their songs over the past year, notable improvements and experiments showed off a dynamic band. ‘House Chapel’ was the most evident demonstration of this as the incessant two-minute long song – where drummer Phoebe’s talents are best seen – sounded more focussed than it did earlier this year.
As Jonny thanked everyone once again for turning up and moved into ‘Eight, Twelve, Eleven’, the moody nature of Triassic reared its head. While vocally, it didn’t quite hit the mark as other songs, the echoes and sombre nature are evidence that the band have more up their sleeve. The stand out performance however was ‘Fluoxetine’, the final track on the EP, not least because it was also played as encore by a rather bemused band. The catchy verses and direct chorus, saw the audience actually dancing somewhat and singing along and this prompted an even more energetic performance on stage. The last track of the set was a new song which saw Jonny ditch his guitar and instead launch into a poppy arrangement of ‘oohs and aahs’ and was an excellent end to the proceedings.
The whole night was a credit to the local music scene. Triassic’s talent across the board as a live band is clear and through watching their longest set to date, a unique style is coming to the fore which should lead to greater success.