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Veils - Academy 3, Manchester, 6/10/2007

  by Dixie Ernill

published: 28 / 9 / 2007

Veils - Academy 3, Manchester, 6/10/2007


At the Academy 3 in Manchester, Dixie Ernill watches intense New York rockers the Veils blast their way through a whirlwind set on a support date to Ed Harcourt

Practically a year ago I saw the Veils deliver a spell-binding set across town in the more intimate local surroundings of The Roadhouse and have eagerly awaited their return since. Unfortunately, tonight they are the support band to Ed Harcourt, which means that they only get a strict half hour to perform whilst the aforementioned ‘English Rufus Wainwright’ gets to wade through his back catalogue for nearly 3 times as long. Thankfully, despite being minus a keyboard player, the Veils whip up a 30 minute whirlwind that more than makes up for Mr Harcourt's over indulgence. Without so much as a "hello", the Veils, led brilliantly by singer Finn Andrews, dive head-long into the title track from current long player 'Nux Vomica'. It’s an edgy, twisted dirty rock song that, judging by Andrews’ alternating pained expressions and wide blue-eyed stares has more meaning than its obtuse lyrical content would suggest. The way the rest of the band simultaneously attack their instruments with committed vigour confirms that this is music they too all truly believe in. The Smithsian pop of the excellent ‘Calliope’ follows, with the bruised lyric of “I closed my eyes and I swear I could feel you in my arms again” being a particular highlight. The huge ‘Jesus for The Jugular’, which showcases Andrews’ Nick Cavesque fascination with biblical lyrics is next up. Sounding like the Cold War Kids squeezed through an Iron Maiden blender,it is as unnerving as it is masterful. With the sweat still dripping from Andrews’ chiselled features; he announces the next song is a Springsteen cover, ‘Statetrooper’. I am unfamiliar with the original, but this version proves the perfect vehicle to allow the fragile, almost desperate, side of the singer’s voice to be heard. Simply stunning. Introduced as a "song about babies and religion", ‘Advice For Young Mothers To Be’ is THE perfect jangle-pop single. The smile that Andrews’ combusts as he delivers the lyric “Only the beauty of the world delays me” is surely self-recognition that this song is a corker. Set closer, ‘Not Yet’ kind of mixes the pop of ‘Advice…’ and ‘Calliope’ with the dirty rock of ‘Nux Vomica’ to provide a fine finish. Unfortunately, due to the time restraints, there is no encore and therefore no opportunity for any early classics to be aired, but a great gig all the same. In truth Ed Harcourt isn’t bad either, but surely the next time he will be supporting the Veils.

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Veils - Academy 3, Manchester, 6/10/2007

Veils - Academy 3, Manchester, 6/10/2007

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