Spring Offensive for Oxjam Kilburn, 24 Nov 2010

Powers Bar, Kilburn

Francesca Baker

Nobody here is in any doubt that Oxfam is an amazing charity. If there is any divine justice, then as a collective it must have guestlist at the celestial gates and an AAA pass around paradise. No, rather the reason that everyone’s number one reason for being in Powers this Saturday evening is to see Spring Offensive, is because they are, quite frankly, amazing.

Oxford’s (bloody brilliant) music scene have embraced Spring Offensive, and indeed the band deliver on all the city’s indie band criteria; delicate emotions are delivered with a steely resolve by the doleful Lucas, furrowed brows of each band member hover over eyes that peer just beyond you, enveloped in an aura of intelligence.

Most recent single ‘Dreams About Monsters (Part 1)’ is an epic in the dictionary definition of the word, every second of the 14 minutes grabbing the heart, swooping up all cognitive abilities, and taking them on a voyage to discover themselves. A concept piece capturing the five stages of grief denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance, (as put forward by psychologist Elisabeth Kubler Ross in 1969), such a tune should not, by rights, work in a sweaty north London pub, and it’s a testament to how successful the band have been in forming a cohesive piece that continuously evolves through changing rhythms, melodies and sentiments enough to engage a booze fuelled collective.

Sprightly clip clopping on ‘A Let Down’ is interrupted by a haunting whisper of ‘could have been you’ before an almost reggae riff completes the bizarre and utterly bewitching combination that makes Spring Offensive completely evade categorisation, whilst be completely captivating. The chanting chorus of ‘Every Coin’ is deceptively unified, the feeling it creates being one of standing on transient sand.

‘I Found Myself Smiling’ grabs the emotion from every vein in the body and plants it squarely in the throat, leaving the listener choking on the lump of their own feelings. ‘If you want to find your lover, I suggest you slide into he river, like the rat that you are’ sings frontman Lucas, before four voices join for a  crescendo of gritty harmonies ‘As the water grows around my knees, I find myself smiling.’

Tonight’s set has the feeling of an embrace that leaves you with a chill – it’s not quite what one expects, with elements of the beautiful and the dark. Rather than launching a full on attack, Spring Offensive’s tactic seems to be one of quiet captivation and stealthy magic, and it’s one that’s worked on me.

Published by Francesca Baker

Passionate about music, the world, exploring, literature and smiling. Writing, marketing and events for all my favourite things.

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