Photos by Eleonora Collini

Tall Ships opened the proceedings providing the audience with their strong blend of mathy indie-rock. The band were fantastically tight and managed to be full of energy despite the concentration that was probably needed to play their complicated songs. The group have a wealth of strong material and this became particularly apparent during their short set. The occasional quite moment was rudely ignored by the crowd but generally this was a high tempo set that kept the audience wanting more.

After a short wait the main attracting for the evening Maps and Atlases arrived on stage. It's rare I see a band that genuinely blow me away with their sheer musicianship but Maps and Atlases are all incredible players. At any one point in any song each band member will be doing something which I can marvel at. Maps and Atlases are more than just a band impressing a audience with their skills though. They have a strong vein of material that comes across very well live. Part of this live strength based around the marvel that they can actually play this stuff without breaking a sweat but at the same time these are just very well written songs.

The audience had their problems with the newer material played by the band, the album has received something of a backlash from becoming more accessible. However, I felt that these songs worked just as well as their old material in a live setting. Some of the older songs have sections that spend too long building intricate rhythms without ever really going anywhere. While older material may have got a better reception from the crowd it was clear that during their more experimental bits the band lost the audience somewhat.

Nevertheless this was a very strong performance and a excellent set. The band were deservingly called back for a encore by a adoring audience. It would be possible to say that the band didn't inject much energy into their performance but one can hardly blame them given the complexity of what they have to play. This was a mesmerising gig and I highly recommend you go and see them for yourself.