Live Review

Caribou, KOKO, London

8th October 2014

Dan Snaith’s given himself no easy task in topping this record and this kind of occasion.

Dan Snaith is balancing the strange complex of making his most intimate record to date in ‘Our Love’, before taking the triumph to bigger venues than he’s ever played in before. Brixton Academy awaits in 2015, and even tonight’s London location of Koko could prove a tricky environment given the themes that define this latest LP. Arched balconies and four floors of viewing platforms might be enough to intimidate the electronic headrush of Caribou. Snaith’s response, in this case, is to begin with an almighty thud, a near-four to the floor rejoice.

‘Our Love’’s title-track is a dirty, thick and mushy contrast to the bulk of the record’s more smoothed-out splendour. But tonight’s show sees this song forming the base on which to build on. Numbers like the frenetic ‘Mars’ and the house-nodding ‘Your Love Will Set You Free’ acclimatise to become fuller forces with extra intent. Venues needn’t matter when everything is this forceful and fully-charged. From the get-go, fans on the balconies look the most enraptured.

It requires a quick pinch and jolt to the system to realise that midway through tonight’s show - when things feel like they’ve already hit several peaks at once - Snaith has yet to showcase ‘Odessa’, ‘Sun’ and this year’s go-to anthem ‘Can’t Do Without You’. Perhaps that’s in drummer Brad Weber’s ability to bring every song to a clamoured climax (even the ghostly Jessy Lanza-guesting ‘Second Chance’). Snaith guides the process brilliantly, too. He doesn’t always lead on vocals, but he has this precise awareness of where to take a song, even when it looks to have been wrung out, rinsed of all its worth. Closer ‘Sun’ could go on for hours, its waves of euphoria coming on like a constant stream.

It’s a double-edged sword that the set begins so well. ‘Our Love’ into ‘Silver’ is enough to rank Caribou’s latest LP alongside 2010’s ‘Swim’. And yet when ‘Can’t Do Without You’ eventually arrives, it’s minutely close - a hair’s length - to being the all-encompassing triumph it ought to be. Snaith’s given himself no easy task in topping this record and this kind of occasion. But given his masterful live translation of songs that might fade into the background on record, harsh thuds and sheer force will see him through to a higher calling.

Setlist:

Our Love
Silver
Mars
Found Out
All I Ever Need
Bowls
Second Chance
Jamelia
Back Home
Odessa
Your Love Will Set You Free
Can't Do Without You
Sun

Photos: Carolina Faruolo

Tags: Caribou, Reviews, Live Reviews

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