Europe does it right. In Europe bands like Shining (not to be confused with the really rubbish Swedish band of the same name) play massive stages at festivals and are able to do some really unique things and expose it to a large, and receptive, audience.
In Scotland, they’re playing a tiny venue that isn’t even full because they don’t have the right hair cuts and don’t write songs about pizza.But that’s cool as well. You gain more internet points for going to incredible shows that everyone isn’t at.
The thing with Shining is that they simultaneously make no sense and perfect sense at the same time. The stomping industrial and 90’s influence of Nine Inch Nails et al is glaringly apparently, both musically and aesthetically, and it fills the bands set with a catchy and consistent momentum that means you can’t stand still for a second during their set.
But then…then there’s a massive saxophone break, a blistering blast beat or an abrasive arrangement riding the wave of obtusely thick and rich electronics. Which barely has anything to with the simplicity and accessibility that fills out their sound. But its a wonderful combination. That speaks volumes about the level of song-writing in this band.
Shining’s live shows fall into a marvelous happy medium between a punk rock club ferocity and the considered production of the best arena acts. It’s an approach that only serves to enhance how disconcerting certain parts of their set can be, but presumably if you’re at a Shining show you’re into a bit of feeling like that anyway.
There’s occasional lapses in momentum between songs, but this set is relentless and exciting from the first second to the last. How a band this good continue to fly just under the radar for so many people is mind boggling. How could an audience not be excited by a combination of foot to the floor rock music, jazz intricacy and blasts of extremity? Maybe they’re just not ready to admit that they love saxophone. We all have to come to that realisation in our own time.
The sooner you get there the better though.