It was a tough night to pull a crowd in Berlin. Any night is a tough night to pull a crowd in Berlin, but Thursday night seemed to have an extra dose of good bands playing. More credit to the indie fame that has preceded Weaves, the Canadian quirk rockers, for pulling a good crowd at Fluxbau, for their first ever gig in this city. In fact their first gig in Europe.
“Oh yeah actually we were here (Europe) last year but we only played the one gig,” explained a buttonholed singer (Jasmine) to me.
What was that, I asked?
“Glastonbury,” she said.
Well, I suppose if you’re going to come all the way to Europe and only play one gig, then your first ever live experience in Europe has just got to be Glastonbury, I guess. In fact if that was their benchmark, they might have been wondering where all the mud and bad toilets were this time….
Weaves: here finally is a band that really doesn’t sound like anyone else
The first thing that struck me when I was watching them play in Fluxbau was: Well, here finally a band that really doesn’t sound like anyone else, not anyone else at all. It’s definitely not gonna be everyone’s cup of tea. Conventional melodies, straight-ahead riffs, moments where your psyche can relax for a moment and think to itself, “Ah now I can relax for a moment” are, let’s be frank, few and far between. Boring they are not.
A strange cross between Eddie Izzard and Cure frontman Robert Smith
With only one album out, Weaves played for about an hour, obviously thoroughly enjoying every minute. Drummer Spencer Cole pounded the bejeesus out of his stretched skins; bassist Zach Bines lay down nuclear earth-shaking carpets of subsonic badness; guitarist Morgan Waters on his weird old Framus hollowbody was as fuzz-drivenly freaky as you like (occasionally holding the soundholes to his mouth so that he could howl and moan into the mic tucked inside), and singer Jasmine Burke, with the way she trilled, tottered and titubated around the stage, was a strange cross between Eddie Izzard and Cure frontman Robert Smith.
The little girl who’s killed everyone else in the asylum
Jasmine has a rather unique singing style (surprise!), not giving in to obvious choices (surprise!), and her voice sits, jumps and hops around on top of the music, all the while calling to mind the little girl who’s killed everyone else in the asylum and is now looking to you to be her next best friend.
This was the first night of the Weaves’ European tour: if you’re in one of the next cities they play, you would do yourself an injustice if you didn’t go down to check them out. I for one look forward to the next time they play in Berlin.
Review by Noel Maurice | Photos by Mia Morris