"This one's for the critics and their disappointed mothers."

The dulcet roar of sunny Shoreditch had put me in a wistful mood. Somewhere between delayed trains, being approached for cocaine, and the crippling four- fifty a pint policy of the area; I couldn't feel perkier. Since the release of Heartbreaking Bravery I'd been waiting for this moment and at 10:03pm, after the impressive Tu Fawning, Moonface took to the stage.

The first observation I made was that Spencer Krug was not the only ex-Wolf Parade member up there: Dante DeCaro hugged the left hand side of the stage like Dan Boeckner and Arlen Thompson were with him.

'Lay Your Cheek On Down' exploded into its characteristically ominous opening and the show begun. With Spencer holding the microphone and strolling around the stage like a fifties crooner, the Finnish progressive-rockers were able to show the quality at their behest. A misshapen reverb effect had been crafted for the drums (much like the recording) but with both mallets and hot-rods used to attack the percussion throughout, it created an unmistakable tension between sound and vision. How refreshing? It's unusual to hear such a boorish drum sound at a live show.

The band carried a solemn disposition which suited the subject matter in the song- writing.

Throughout the opener and the textured 'Shitty City' many of Moonface's attributes indicated that they were subdued, and there was no better way to release some tension than to enthral the audience with leading single 'Teary Eyes And Bloody Lips'. Surely the jauntiest track on the latest album allowed everybody to breathe and restore a little faith in love and humanity, before the ultimately crippling upcoming tracks – so they took a break. "We're part Canadian, part Finnish" said Krug, to a roomful of laughter. He then took a sip of his beer, shared a few looks of contemplation and set the stage a light with album heavyweights 'Quickfire, I Tried', 'Heartbreaking Bravery' and 'I'm Not Your Pheonix Yet'. As an ensemble they're beyond tight; they're abstract, complete and loose.

Krug's performance is riveting throughout, and even with only instrumental cameos, his idiosyncrasies are often the focal point of the tracks. The crafted 'Yesterday's Fire' showcased his own genius but the following performance of 'Faraway Lightening' emphasized to me how much each member brought to the table individually.

The bleak intensity of my track of the year 'Headed For The Door' arrived and conjured an emotional tirade that felt like a plane taking off. When it came to the moment where he addresses 'Sara' (the girl who wants to be a goth) and reads the love letter, there was a shrewd gravitas about every component of the show; allowing for Spencer to read another personal letter straight from the notebook. An eclectic organic version of Organ Music Not Vibraphone Like I'd Hoped's electro-single 'Fast Peter' closed the show. The spectators span into frenzy, shaking their heads with a smile.

Of course, Spencer has a lofty element of regret about his past – he is, quite clearly, recovering from Heartbreak. But with these decisive live shows, the surging of fans toward the vinyl-merchandise stand, and the overall warmth brought to everybody leaving the show – maybe approaching the end of your tether and wanting to tell the tale is what it takes.

    Set List:

  • 'Lay Your Cheek On Down'
  • 'Shitty City'
  • 'Teary Eyes And Bloody Lips'
  • 'Quickfire, I Tried'
  • 'Heartbreaking Bravery'
  • 'I'm Not Your Pheonix Yet'
  • 'Yesterday's Fire'
  • 'Faraway Lightening'
  • 'Headed For The Door'
  • 'Fast Peter'