Bristol fans of this Swedish psychedelic sextet were treated to a sold out show on Friday, with eclectic support from London’s DJ Cherrystones.
Having visited the city just last October when they supported Goat on their European tour, Josefin Öhrn + The Liberation followed suit with their own headline tour this spring. Their infectious and original blend of noise-rock, psychedelia and tribal trance is a breath of fresh air amid sounds that fall flat in their attempt to corner a niche. Releasing their second full-length ‘Mirage’ on the London fuzz-psych label Rocket Recordings also doesn’t appear to pigeon-hole their music, but rather stand as an identification of their musical ilk in today’s cross-pollinated landscape.
Unseen a great deal in Louisiana’s shows, Cherrystones (DJ) warmed up the night for an hour prior to the headliners. The full-bills and shorter sets that often come with the venue were exchanged for a slower pace. Cherrystones may be London’s best kept secret, as his eclectic musical library was laid out in unassuming fashion, covering everything from new wave, industrial and post-punk. His latest release on Touch Sensitive is a blend of “loose chips, fragmented discoveries, random punts and the true excitement from that hit of ‘What the fuck is that?!’” It was a sheer thrill to be thrown into his world, and a fitting segue to The Liberations’ continued mystique.
Fragmented neon images fill the three white boards behind the Louisiana and the lights are turned down low. Josefin Öhrn stands center stage and, with tight instrumentation by The Liberation delves into an almost non-stop exploration of their back catalogue. Each track has a raw power in standing alone sonically, but also forming part of a cohesive collection. The pulsating bass lines of ‘Take Me Beyond’ and ‘Rushing Through My Mind’ relinquished the inner tribal dancer in audience members, all following Josefin’s woozy lyricism masked in both darkness and ethereality. Almost unnoticeably, the melody would shift to a convergence of guitars and synth, but underpinning the overall flow was the groove of weighty percussive and rhythmic bass elements.
The final feeling was one of fully-fledged joy that comes with the abandonment of austerity. Overhearing the comment “I haven’t been this impressed since I first saw Queens Of The Stone Age”, one could safely assume that the mood was one of elation all round. Continuing to tour UK and Europe with Cherrystones, one can only hope they garner the same long-lasting impressions.