Psychic Ills concert review

by | indieBerlin

Preceded by VV & the Void, Psychic Ills played a little more than an hour before bringing the night to an end. This is a concert review.

There’s definitely a sense of excitement when you go somewhere you’ve never been before. On my continued stroll from one Berliner venue to the next, let’s say Badehaus Szimpla is one of the neatest ones I’ve been to. This small place in the RAW compound is dark, in a fun way. it doesn’t sport the concrete so dear to the more electronic oriented locations, preferring the rustic wooden approach.

Australian trio VV & the Void came on and played their set. They’re not the most expressive group of people I’ve seen. Singer Valentina Veil didn’t talk much, but that may be in line with the dark shoegazy/industrial style of music they play. Fully dressed in black, VV & the Void could easily be mistaken for the conventional Berliners. They had interesting songs constructions, mostly based around the synth and bass. The guitar was drowned and the voice barely audible. The performance sprung some surprises, with the last song of their 40 minute set starting out like Suicide’s “Ghost Rider”. The imaginary curtain came down for twenty minutes or so, just about enough time to order before proceeding back to the front of the stage.

Tres Warren looks a lot like Doc Sportello out of Inherent Vice

Psychic Ills came on and started with love balad “Baby” off Inner Journey Out, their latest album. Tres Warren, singer and main songwriter, looks a lot like Doc Sportello out of Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice. A flowery shirt and beige suit, leather boots on, he whispers into his microphone. Elizabeth Hart dances, eyes half open, and plays her Gibson SG bass. She doesn’t sing, she elegantly plucks away her strings. Hers apparently isn’t the female voice one hears on the studio recordings. The drummer plays the role of a metronome and the slide guitar is a reminder of how much the band’s roots are planted in the South. Psychic Ills are originally from Texas and they’ve incorporated some country music in their repertoire. What ensues is a spaced out show which could be From Dusk Till Dawn’s soundtrack.

Things soured once the PA system saturated. The sound guy tried his best to cut out the annoyance, only to realise that by doing so, he was muting Warren’s guitar. So that’s where it was coming from. I’m not a fan of wah-wah pedals, this one was no exception. The guitar sound was bright and shiny when turned off. On the other hand, when activated, it would filter out all of the brilliance and cover up the music completely. But that was when it worked. Most of the time, it produced an atrocious sound similar to that of a waste container rolling on cobble stone. This one was fickle, it wanted to bust eardrums and do so surprisingly. I spent the last twenty minutes wishing it could quit agonising and finally let go. But nah, too resilient. That’s it with this concert review

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