The Garden at Electric Ballroom
A flood of sounds invade the Electric Ballroom in a special treat for no wave, post-punk fans. The Garden are performing at the Camden venue for the last English stop in their 2018 world tour. The band’s music is impossible to classify in a set genre, composed of sound patterns and rhythms crossed and fused for unique arrangements.
The Californian duo open the night with mid-air flips. U Want the Scoop? – whose namesake album has just been released– kicks off the gig with intense and energetic notes. Fletcher Shears literally jumps from one end of the stage to the other, while his identical twin Wyatt pretends to direct the orchestra in front of him with smooth and broad movements. Then the rhythm of the song suddenly changes, reproducing the distinctive unexpected mixture of the two-piece. The drum rolls wildly, and the lights of the Ballroom follow the electrifying beats. Synth sounds enter the scene more heavily with Haha, a lo-fi, less edgy track.
The Shears brothers chose their act’s name back in 2011 because of their ever-growing musical style and merging of influences. Indeed, there is no school that the music heard last night could belong to. This individuality is the origin of Vada Vada, named after the term the band came up with to convey the division between them and known labels – along with the entire history of the punk rock world. Tonight, the song is vibrantly raging – quite a change from the introductory rock tunes and the gothic lines in the middle of the concert.
The Garden don’t refrain from using extra sounds – from gunshots to screams – resulting in further complex sequences. Dog barks accompany All the Dogs Out, adding an original touch to the minimalistic electronic beats.
However, the siblings’lack of interaction with the audience– and the abrupt ending of the night – feels not up to the standards for such an eclectic and wild partnership. The untamed music – whose mood is reflected in the unconventional clothing of the fans – doesn’t find a mirror in the overall performance, with the gig appearing more a blazing freestyle session than a show.
Fletcher really masters the drum, it would be great to have more of him behind the instrument. Wyatt’s bass is a unique adrenaline charge. The pair reach increasingly high pitches that even the speakers – towards the end –are hardly able to sustain. Egg and No Destination are the most enjoyable numbers of the night. Partially for the rock melody, partially for the less nasal rendition of the vocals, the two songs boast more than just weighty synths, hinting at The Garden’s original taste.
Photos: Fillipo L’Astorina
For further information and future events visit The Garden’s website here.
Watch the video for Egg here: