Samaris, Patterns, Marine Parade, Brighton, Tuesday, June 14

By Grant Lyons

Samaris, Patterns, Marine Parade, Brighton, Tuesday, June 14

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IT was a historic night for Iceland. By the time three-piece Icelandic band Samaris hit the stage their national football team were losing 1-0 to Portugal in the Euros. Lead singer Jófríður Ákadóttir was clearly concerned and asked the audience to keep her updated.

The band weaved a complex sound of hypnotic electronic beats, synthesisers, clarinet and haunting breathy female vocals.

Their second full length album Black Lights, recently released on One Little Indian Records, their first to be sung in English, unsurprisingly formed the backbone of their set.

The track Tn4gled seemed to go horribly wrong, reducing them to hysterical laughter, but they managed to hold it together - as did their football team, who scored an equaliser against all odds much to the obvious delight of the band.

Comparisons with Bjork are perhaps to be expected and there were definite similarities in the vocal delivery, but that is all. Samaris are unpretentious on stage, there were no frills or flamboyance and not Bjorkish at all in that regard. They let the music do the talking.

Older songs such as Goda Tungl and Solhvorf, sung in Icelandic sounded mysterious and beguiling for being performed in their own language making them sound more unique and satisfying to English ears.