65daysofstatic have always been a very performance-driven band, so unsurprisingly 2014 began with a week-long tour for them – with the first date bringing them to the newest venue in Chester, The Live Rooms.
Opening the show was Chemistry Lane. If you’re a band that’s largely unfamiliar to the crowd, it’s important to make a good impression but unfortunately this five-piece fell somewhat short. Their frontman sounded bored and disinterested when he occasionally spoke to the crowd and as they progressed through the set, there was no movement about the stage so it was a largely un-engaging experience. Perhaps I should cut them some slack, as apparently it was their first show as a full band in over a year, and the music itself wasn’t bad – but at the same time, if you go to a gig, it’s only natural to expect a good performance and there was nothing more to this set than five people simply standing onstage playing a couple of songs. Not the best of starts, it has to be said.
Things really picked up as Jed Is Dead took to the stage though. There was an instant good vibe about the room as the pair began to play and it was an extremely interesting and engaging performance, with both of them putting their all into it. Sometimes when bands play to backing tracks or electronic samples, it doesn’t work and can be fairly boring, but with Jed Is Dead, it was a lively performance throughout. The electronic-type music moulded in nicely with the live instruments and the only thing about the set that suffered a little was Emily’s vocals, which at times didn’t seem all that strong, but quite honestly I don’t think it mattered because I’d much rather watch an interesting show than something that’s perfect at all times. Basically a great set from an awesome band that are clearly meant to be appreciated live – you couldn’t ask for more.
Of course, it was 65daysofstatic that stole the show. When a band puts everything they have into a performance, it really shows and that was exactly the case here. It was memorable for all the right reasons and it was so good to see a band so in tune and at ease with one another – the passion from the whole band was incredible. One of the best things about 65daysofstatic is that because their music is instrumental, their music flows like one long song but it has endless possibilities of different combinations within it due to the band’s vast back catalogue, so it stays fresh throughout with all the different ideas and instrumentation. It truly is a joy to witness live rather than simply on CD.
However, as the set progressed, one problem did become apparent – which was the stage lighting. Whilst the long lights with various patterns darting across them did look pretty cool, there was no proper lighting on the actual band (except for the moments between songs) so it meant they were practically playing in darkness, which was a little disheartening – you should at least be able to properly see the band whilst they’re performing, especially a band as visually engaging as these.
Aside from that, it was a fantastic show. Sometimes it’s nice to take a break and listen to something that’s purely instrumental because you can really take in the instrumentation and musical ability of the musicians within the band – and that’s the best way to enjoy 65daysofstatic.