By Jon Milton
It’s been an interesting experience, attending all these rescheduled gigs. Normally you buy your tickets because a band has had fresh material out, are promoting it and you want to go and see them play it. Rescheduled gigs, however, take you back in time to see bands playing songs that you may have moved on from and potentially outgrown. For the bands themselves, it must be equally odd and frustrating, like having to play out contractual responsibilities and music that they may have outgrown too.
Avalanche Party were originally due to play this gig at the Horn in St Albans in February of this year, a year or so on from the release of their debut album. With the album now 18 months old and no fresh music out in-between I must admit they’d pretty much flown off my radar, so I decided to revisit ‘24 Carat Diamond Trephine’ to motivate myself to get down to the night. A single play convinced me to go, as I was reminded how much of a fantastic body of work the album is.
My second time going to the Horn reminded me of the first. Outside of the headliner, three local bands were scheduled in to play, and it looked like each of them had brought their own entourage. Its great that the venue promotes local music, but also intensely irritating that their entourages seem to disperse after seeing each band, so that by the time that the headliner appears the venue is half full. Personally, I’d prefer to see a single support act on and the headliner on earlier, but hey, what do I know?
Those the stuck around were rewarded by a magnificent performance. I’d heard people say that Avalanche Party were good live, but this really blew my socks off. Within seconds of their opener ‘I’m So Wet’ you could tell you were watching a band that is a notch above. And Jordan Bell…what a frontman. For me, the way that a frontperson engages the audience can really make the difference between good and amazing, and Bell certainly steers Avalanche Party into the latter. Direct eye contact from the off. Hanging off the stage, virtually in the audience throughout. At times part of the audience, moving among us or writhing around on the floor. Brilliant.
As visually compelling a performer as Bell is, naturally he needs a solid band behind him, and he certainly has that with bells on. Avalanche Party played their way through a fierce set, including 7, Bugzy, HaHa, Porcelain and Solid Gold with Bell’s exertions wholly complemented by his band-mates energetic performance.
A phenomenal tour de force.
This gig marked the start of their tour, and if you’re toying with the idea of going to see them at any of their other dates, just get yourself down, you will not be disappointed.
Remaining Tour Dates:
October 16: Liverpool Heebie Jeebies & EBGBS
October 17: York The Crescent Community Venue
October 20: Edinburgh Sneaky Pete's
October 21: Huddersfield, The Parish
November 1: Newcastle upon Tyne, The Cluny & The Cluny 2
November 2: Glasgow, Broadcast
November 3: Manchester, YES
November 4: Cambridge, The Portland Arms
November 6: Nottingham, The Angel Microbrewery
November 7: Bristol, The Louisiana
November 8: London, Our Black Heart
November 9: Stoke-on-Trent, Sugarmill
November 10: Leeds, Brudenell Social Club