Returning to the venue for the first time since 1996, the Los Angeles darkwave duo began their set with the first two songs on their eponymous debut album, which included the thudding drumbeats of their 2005 debut single ‘These Things’, then playing from their last album ‘Valleyheart’ with ‘Take The World’; co-founder Adam Bravin on keys. They further included ‘Little Stars’ from the same album – crashing guitar and Sad Lovers & Giants synth moods.
The band moved onto their second album with the shrieking synth of LCD Soundsystem in ‘She Will Always Be A Broken Girl’, continuing to play from the same release with the finality of the Placebo influenced ‘This Is The End’; its Chameleons-like guitar strokes transforming into the swinging chiming guitar of Thurston Moore. Whilst the band have their obvious influences, co-founder Justin Warfield (vocals, guitar) remains a proficient songwriter and brims with sexual suavity.
SWR returned for an encore performing five songs, with the grungey rock, growling then crying guitar of ‘It’s Just Begun’, also from their second album. Warfield spoke about how much he loved playing London (his second home) and that it was the best audience they had ever seen since the earlier days, choosing to do a cover version of INXS’ 1982 single ‘Don’t Change’. SWR also included the Josef K-style ‘Out Of Control’ with a sample singalong of David Bowie’s ‘Let’s Dance’ before ending their set back on their debut album with single ‘Tear You Apart’.
15/09/22: She Wants Revenge @ The Garage, London.
Photos © E. Gabriel Edvy/Blackswitch Labs.
© Ayisha Khan.