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9 out of 10
Arriving at a very packed Nottingham Bodega with just enough time to catch the promising sounding local band ’...And Stars Collide’, I suddenly realise it's never occurred to me before that Pure Reason Revolution have been around for a while now, and have obviously picked up quite a following along the way. Having had a quiet year last year, it’s great to be standing in front of a stage again, waiting for them to appear. Having only given the recently released ’Amor Vincit Omnia’ a single brief spin in the car on the way here at this point, I’m keen to hear how the new material holds up to what has become one of my favourite British bands of late.
Touring off a new album will inevitably lead to a lot of newer material being played, as is the case tonight. This is certainly not a bad thing though, and the tracks played are a showcase to the talent within the band and undeniable proof that PRR are far from dead in the water. Perhaps not quite as immediately appealing, perhaps not quite what a lot of people were expecting (the opening song tonight ’Les Malheurs’ immediately showing off their new, more electronic direction), however the songs played of ’Amor...’ already feel stronger overall and present a fresh edge that puts them ahead of the game once again.
’Deus Ex Machina’ is a pacey electronic rocker and holds up brilliantly live. There’s nowhere near enough dancing tonight to do songs like this justice, but the atmosphere is electric all the same. The band are on fine form tonight and sound incredibly tight, from the drums and guitar work to the ever present and ever powerful vocal harmonies courtesy of Jon and Chloe.
’Victorious Cupid’ sounds more like the PRR of old, yet with their 2009 sound shining through like sunlight through a storm cloud. This is a band with a new lease of life, and it’s obvious the new twist on their old sound is far more than a mere fashion statement with a limited shelf life.
There’s always time for crowd favourites as well of course, and we get a couple of PRR classics before the end, including their almost signature harmonic masterpiece ’The Bright Ambassadors of Morning’. Ending (momentarily) with the brilliant ’AVO’ from the new record, I’m left standing in awe of the mesmerizingly catchy chanting of ’Amor Amor Vincit Omnia’ amidst a wash of roaming lights.
The band walks off stage to raucous applause. The anticipation is suddenly increasingly palpable, and understandably not a single person has moved from their spot in front of the stage. They return after what feels like hours and, to the obvious elation of pretty much everybody in attendance tonight, we’re treated to a classic encore of 'Voices in Winter/In the Realms of the Divine’ from the debut album and the brilliant ’Arrival/The Intention Craft’ from the ’Cautionary Tales For The Brave’ EP.
Exceptional on record for sure, but Pure Reason Revolution are a whole different experience live. The new songs really opened up, and the older material was as jaw-droppingly epic as we’ve come to expect. Essential viewing from a band that are surely destined for great things.
Keep Me Sane/Insane
Apogee - Requiem for the Lovers
Deus Ex Machina
The Twyncyn/Trembling Willows
The Bright Ambassadors of Morning
Voices in Winter/In the Realms of the Divine
Arrival/The Intention Craft