Live Review

2:54, Union Chapel, London

Normally so wonderfully hulking and menacing, here they lack a little edge.

It is an evocative venue, the Union Chapel. Besides which, it’s also a venue you can also spend any time before a performance asking anyone who wanders up looking for a free seat to “pull up a pew”, before bursting into hysterical laughter and later allowing you to admire the huge expanse of space create around yourself.

Nevertheless, a lot of credit should be given to Bella Union (whose showcase this is) for the staging. There’s a lot of ingenuity gone into the way the lights and the projections use the space. Illuminating and highlighting, colouring the gothic architecture in a rainbow palette.

Tonight, 2:54 are one of four bands being given the chance tonight to show their case and take us to church. It’s the first appearance from them in a while, a return to the fray for sisters Hannah and Colette Thurlow. Back with a new label and a new album ('The Other I').

2:54, Union Chapel, London 2:54, Union Chapel, London

Which they lean on heavily tonight. Five out of seven songs in a short set are drawn from the new record. The opener, 'South' is sultry and swooning, with a driving bassline adorned with finicky, antsy guitar lines. 'Sleepwalking' is heavier, more eerie and racked with a doomy sense of portent. However, both suffer from a frustrating sense of muddy imbalance.

To be fair, both climax in impressively muscular fashion. But there’s something a bit lacking from them. It’s hard to tell if it’s the venue or the mix or even just a slight ring of rustiness. There’s definitely something amiss with the levels, at times all that can be heard is bass and drums: the elements added by the sisters Thurlow are just a bit lost. And, with all the respect in the world to that backline, those bits are crucial to 2:54.

2:54, Union Chapel, London

However, in a strangely positive way, the fact that 'Scarlett', from the debut, seems a little off-colour as well does suggest this is more a factor of time and place than anything more worrying. For that song, normally so wonderfully hulking and menacing, here lacks a little edge.

Photos: Carolina Faruolo

Read More

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Stay Updated!

Get the best of DIY to your inbox each week.

Latest Issue

April 2024

With Bob Vylan, St Vincent, girl in red, Lizzy McAlpine and more.

Read Now Buy Now Subscribe to DIY