Timber Timbre at Islington Assembly Hall
Canadian band Timber Timbre performed an impressive concert last night at Islington Assembly Hall. The low-key, ultra cool artists delivered a smokin’ show with their deep, chimerical sound and rich, moody vocals. Contemporary blues, their music is a kind of spacey, filmic, post-punk, spooky electro jazz – their style is eerie at times, discordant, gothic and mesmerising.
Retro seems to be a trend with rock bands these days. Likewise, Timber Timbre borrows from past classic groups like Pink Floyd, The Human League and Cowboy Junkies. Taylor Kirk’s nubilous, sultry vocals remind one of David Bowie and of past greats like Lou Reed.
With heavy use of electro synth – amplifying a mysterious, otherworldly vibe – various guitars, keyboards and trumpet were brilliantly played and manipulated to produce a wild, evocative effect that enchanted an obviously devoted audience.
Hot Dreams was a favourite, a slow melancholy, dreamlike ballad carrying the concertgoers away on a fanciful reverie. From their new album Sincerely, Future Pollution, song Western Questions – with its profoundly philosophical lyrics about the future – simulated an extra-terrestrial atmosphere. With a kind of Cowboy Junkies-meets-Lou Reed with a dash of Middle Eastern, Kirk’s unusual voice was highlighted in the exotic Until the Night is Over. Black Water had a passionate, melodious tone with its gentle instrumentals and singing, again delivering a dreamy trance. Do I Have Power had a subtle jazzy beat, and was followed by Trouble Comes Knocking with its off-kilter deep blues licks and quirky vocals.
The encore featured some of the group’s most interesting tracks: country western-inspired Grand Canyon was a departure from their usual style, although infused with some ethereal musical elements and the addition of some trumpet riffs. First combining whimsical instrumentals with a strong 50s tempo and a touch of James Bond, the lighthearted Woman veered off into the otherworldly – to a sort of post-apocalyptic unearthly, celestial realm.
The sound system at Islington Assembly Hall could have been better. The base was so amplified that the entire auditorium vibrated, and the music was so loud it somewhat muted the lyrics and jumbled the instrumentals. Also, the microphones malfunctioned several times, causing jarring acoustic feedback during the songs. However, the band’s quality overcame these setbacks.
Timber Timbre are true artists, conversational but not showmen. As musicians they are remarkable and unforgettable; this was an outstanding and inspiring performance.
Photo: Timber Timbre/Facebook
For further information about Timber Timbre and future events visit here.
Watch the video for Hot Dreams here: