The Great Escape: Dan Shears & The Velveteen Orkestra, Above Audio, Brighton, May 14 (From The Argus)
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The Great Escape: Dan Shears & The Velveteen Orkestra, Above Audio, Brighton, May 14
Competing with music industry chitter-chatter is never easy but there were times, albeit briefly, when Dan Shears and his Velveteens managed to reduce the bar above Audio to near-silence.
This wasn't the case from the start though, when their opening track, One Dry Eye In The House Of God, was elevated above the venue's kerfuffle with the help of some brisk brush work on the drums. Vocally Shears recalled Matt Bellamy's slower and more ponderous tones but the Muse similarities ended there; this band nurture melodies instead of wielding them like an axe.
Saying that, a stand-out was the slow-burner The Rest Is Silence, which was introduced as being about “bashing someone to death with a hatchet”. It developed from a lonesome acoustic prefix into a dark and cloudy gem – reflecting the emotions one might feel after such an ordeal. Let's hope he's not speaking from experience.
The only off-putting moment was a braying conversation taking place behind me. I wasn’t the only one more interested in the band; The Futureheads paid a fleeting visit following their secret show earlier in the day. Playing in front of the right A&R person, Dan Shears and band could be mixing with more celebrities sooner than they think.