16th October 2023
Archive - “Call To Arms & Angels Tour 2023” - Support: Russell Marsden (Band of Skulls)
People had to wait quite a while for this tour to happen. Originally planned for autumn 2022 to support the current album ‘Call To Arms & Angels’ released in April 2022, the tour had to be postponed due to colon cancer disease of Darius Keeler. But now, people were up for an extraordinary show since ARCHIVE is well-known for their very special concerts. Support on this evening was Russell Marsden from BAND OF SKULLSs.
The evening was opened at 7:45 by a quite short set of Russell Marsden, guitarist and singer in English Rock formation BAND OF SKULLS. The stage was already set up for ARCHIVE and really packed. In the front middle, there was some technics placed on a container. Besides, there were only the microphone stand and Russell with his guitar. Currently, he is the only member on BAND OF SKULLS since his partner Emma left in 2022. Russell played some songs of his band but also, he delighted the crowd with a new piece. A calm but very nice start of the evening. Then, the change-over was done quickly to get the stage ready for the evening’s headliner.
For nearly 30 years, the band-collective ARCHIVE around the masterminds Darius Keeler and Danny Griffiths is making music. The long and successful career of the London project includes lots of studio albums, each a masterpiece in its own right, and all together testimony to a towering musical development. Even if the typical sound always remains recognizable, none of this record is the same as the others. The current album ‘Call To Arms & Angels’ was released in April 2022. No light fare, then, that ARCHIVE present to us here and yet again a lavish performance full of fantasy and elegance. Musically, Keeler and Griffiths go back a bit in their own history and combine heavy Trip Hop with repetitive Electronica, classic acoustic piano, driving drums and psychedelic Post Rock.
Music & Performance
In the past, ARCHIVE always developed an independent and complex artistic concept for each of their albums. This included the artwork as well as the associated videos, the light show on stage as well as the films that accompany the creative process. Instead of having an opening band perform, a 40-minute opening film with a self-produced soundtrack is sometimes shown. But the London band collective around Darius Keeler and Danny Griffiths is not just about the pure art, the records and the visuals convey the content on different levels and expand the music in the best sense. Of course, this also applies to the upcoming album ‘Call To Arms & Angels’ whose first four tracks released beforehand already proved the musical and visual diversity of ARCHIVE. Anyone who knows ARCHIVE’s performances knows that the Brits will come up with something very special for their live show.
And of course, they did. The stage was packed with all the instruments and special lighting, which of course was kind of dark, gloomy, flickering and smoky. Along to the intro ‘Junkie Shuffle’, the band entered the stage and afterwards started with ‘Mr. Daisy’ from the current album. With more than half of the played songs, the main focus of the whole set was on the new masterpiece. Second song of the set, ‘Numbers’, excited the crowd, but even more did following ‘Bullets’, one pf the past big hits and one of my personal all-time favourites. I did not check out videos of the tour or setlist before the show and so I was wondering in the course of the set of the band brought a female vocalist. It took until half of the concert was over and ‘Surrounded by Ghosts’ finally answered my question. The new album also introduces Lisa Mottram as the band’s new vocalist. And finally, she entered the stage and impressed with her crystal clear and powerful voice.
Other favourites of the set to me were ‘Take My Head’ and ‘Fear There & Everywhere’. When it comes to the news songs, I found the live arrangements much more powerful than on CD. There was so much pressure and energy. Fantastic! With ‘Gold’, the main set ended. ARCHIVE returned to a one-song encore and closed the evening with ‘Again’. Well, I like to see the show again indeed. I have only one thing to moan about: Even though the sound was perfectly balanced, it was too loud overall. Even though I wore earplugs it sometimes hurt my ears. I checked out various positions in the hall but still it did not make a difference to me. I also saw several people covering their ears od leaving the front rows to find a spot in the back. So, it would have been a perfect show if it just was a little calmer. Anyway, I loved the concert and can only recommend visiting one of the remaining shows of the tour.
00. Intro: Junkie Shuffle
01. Mr. Daisy
05. Stick Me in My Heart
07. Daytime Coma
08. Surrounded by Ghosts
09. Take My Head
10. The Crown
11. Fear There & Everywhere
13. The Empty Bottle
Total: 9 / 10
All pictures by Dani Vorndran (http://www.vorndranphotography.com / http://www.facebook.com/blackcatnet)