After returning with their first album in 12 years, ‘To Believe’, ‘The Cinematic Orchestra’ last night brought their immersive live experience to the Royal Concert Hall in Glasgow.
Opening the night was Salami Rose Joe Louis, a Canadian singer-songwriter armed with a drum machine and an electric keyboard played a short set of moody and soulful songs. Her voice channels the energy of past greats like Billie Holiday and funnels it through a modern lens of contemporary R&B and electronica. However, her songs got lost in the restricted sonic palette of the small amount of equipment she had. I think it’d be great to see her again with a full band and the songs fleshed out.
Taking to the stage at 9 o’clock, the magic of the Cinematic Orchestra gripped the audience right from the start. Opening with track ‘Lessons’, the militaristic drums of Luke Flowers pounded as the other instruments swirled around it. With little fanfare or stage antics, the group passionately performed a beautiful set of songs from their newest album and previous releases. Heidi Vogel joined the stage for a number of songs, disappearing from the stage and returning again. Her voice shimmered across the room and was absolutely amazing to hear live. Other highlights included guitarist Grey Reverend stepping out from his dark shadowy corner in the stage to perform ‘To Believe’ track ‘ Zero One/This Fantasy’. His low and emotive voice and delicate guitar playing was a standout moment of the set.
One downfall of the night was the audience. The Royal Concert Hall was not totally sold out and a lot of seats in the balconies dotted around the stalls remained empty. Quite a few people in my row and other rows were getting up and leaving mid-song to go to the bar.
Aside from the poor audience, however, The Cinematic Orchestra delivered an incredible show. I wasn’t hugely familiar with a lot of the band’s work but seeing them live there is no need for familiarity to be totally blown away by the music.