That Bitterzoet wasn’t even sold out for These New Puritans is beyond me. But then again confusion and uneasiness seem to be an emotions linked to TNP like feeling nothing is to let’s say… Matchbox 20.
Touring to support their fabulous ‘Hidden’ album the foursome left an impression that will not be forgotten easily. If it was a great show? I couldn’t honestly tell you. Depends on what your definition of a great show is. If a concert is supposed to make you feel more happy afterwards than they failed miserably, if a concert is supposed to evoke strong emotions than they passed with flying colors and it will easily be one of the best shows of the year so far.
My biggest question beforehand was how they would recreate the sounds and atmosphere of the album and most of all the beats. With one tight drummer and one smashing drums half of the time while working samplers at the same time this was no problem. Battery songs is what frontman Jack Barnett calls them and ‘Attack Music’, ‘Three Thousand’ and ‘Drum Courts’ made you feel like you were at one time back in the late 70’s at a Joy Division concert but at the same time in that dancing scene from the Matrix movies. Keyboard player Sophie Sleigh-Johnson’s never changing facial expression definitely added to a more gothlike atmosphere. A band playing this tight is a sight to behold and summons up memories of Battles and Shellac. The amount of improvisation is something I did not expect at all. Loops with last longer or shorter, the guitar sounds was different but it all came together.
Barnett was at most times inaudible, due in part to huge echo on his microphone. If you didn’t know what the album was about you could still feel that it wasn’t about daisies and fluffy bunnies but about something more serious. Confusion was only added when Barnett kept saying it was the last song for about 5 songs.
War is serious but will also leave you with scars for the rest of your life. TNP is serious and it will leave a scar for a very long time.