Live Review Caribou, Brixton Academy, London 14th March 2015

Dan Snaith embraces the big time with all his worth.

Doesn’t matter how big the stage - Dan Snaith’s Caribou are always a tight unit, the four of them huddled together like they’re in on a secret. But there’s a moment midway through the closing song (a bombastic version of ‘Sun’) where Snaith separates from the pack. Standing at the opposite end of the stage while his bandmates keep their grip, part of him looks capable of crowd-surfing on a whim. That’d likely stain and spoil his dashing all-white tee and trouser combo, however - no need for that. Staying static, this is a man looking out across the 4,000+ capacity space, taking in every aspect of the occasion - arguably the biggest and most unexpected triumph of his career to date.

Tonight isn’t just a celebration, some wild championing of 2014 LP ‘Our Love’. It’s also the surest test yet of Caribou’s ability to raise the stakes. For the bulk of 2015 so far, Snaith’s outfit have been spanning the globe and playing to thousands, night after night. But with a headline slot at Field Day around the corner, the potential to become a bill-topping mainstay is there for the taking. Pre-‘Can’t Do Without You’’s deserved but unlikely rise, Brixton never really seemed like a possibility. Nor did a headline slot. In being offered a next step, however, Snaith embraces the big time with all his worth.

It’s achieved with only brief hiccups. On stage, ‘Silver’ can’t quite replicate its usual string doused, all-encompassing heights - particularly after following jolting opener ‘Our Love’. Nothing tops the excitement of ‘Sun’, but the band attack the closer with such velocity that, initially, it shifts out of time.

As for the rest of the set, Snaith and co. find another gear when the next level doesn’t even seem feasible. ‘Mars’’ percussive feast has a magnetic pull, ‘Jamelia’’s disjointed euphoria running alongside the more pointed ‘Your Love Will Set You Free’. Caribou’s music isn’t overtly dancey. It’s more likely to flip structures upside-down than ‘put a donk on it’. But even when compared to late 2014’s triumph at the capital’s Koko, the mentality’s transformed. Unorthodox electronic tracks are pulled together into a melting pop of rapture. For a while, Snaith’s live set would rely on an ‘Odessa’ or ‘Sun’ to achieve its defining moment, but with huge shows a formality, there’s a new balance. Barely anything interrupts the sense of momentum building.

This won’t just serve well for the future - it’ll make Caribou even more gigantic.

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Photos: Carolina Faruolo


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