Mono, A Storm of Light & Jo Quail Live @ Left Bank, Leeds, 5th October

Mono (5)

The Japanese post-rock outfit, Mono, brought their tour to Leeds recently to play in Left Bank. A wonderful choice in venue for the somewhat eclectic mix of acts playing tonight.

As the doors to the venue open, we are greeted to the sound of Bristol based cellist, Jo Quail (7) who has already started to play. As you walk in, you can’t help but at first notice how stunning the room is, Left Bank being an old church converted into an arts venue. There are candles dotted all around Jo as she plays. Jo plays 3 pieces of music tonight, creating a very dark and ambient feeling in the room as you hear the strings echo and shudder throughout. It’s very interesting to watch as she uses loop pedals and all sorts to create everything live. Had you not seen it firsthand, you wouldn’t think this was just one woman and her cello.

Next to perform tonight are New York’s A Storm of Light (7) who are certainly the heavier of tonight’s offerings. They start the set with “Rosebud”, a track from their latest album ‘Anthroscene’ which already demonstrates how they’re able to blend post-rock and doom so seamlessly and almost seems quite reminiscent of Mastodon. The three-piece go into “Soothsayer” before following it up with the crunching “You Are The Hunted”. The majority of the set from here on is material from their latest album, which sees a lot of industrial sounding effects peppered into the music. A Storm of Light wrap things up with “Collapse” which sounds very grandiose in a church and seems to get the balance of their heavier and more relaxed sides just right to close things out before the headline act comes on.

Mono (9) start things off tonight with “After You Comes The Flood” from their yet to be released album ‘Nowhere, Now Here’. Watching this band perform is a thing of beauty, and it’s absolutely wonderful to see that the audience are able to appreciate what they’re witnessing. As the song begins in the soft way that it does, you can’t hear a single person speaking over the music, nothing but respect for the band is shown here, which is more than can be said in a lot of other cases. As the music crescendos it really begins to feel like an assault on the senses in the best possible way.

Over half of the songs played tonight are off of the forthcoming album, a brave thing to do when the album isn’t to be released for over three months after the performance, but everything goes down a storm and everyone seems to love it. The band go into “Breathe” which provides the only vocals from the band tonight from Tamaki Kunishi which sounds beautiful as her voice echoes around the room. “Halcyon (Beautiful Days)” was mesmerising to watch, so delicate and graceful before being hit with a wall of sound that feels like you’re being lifted up to heaven. This is only further added to with the smoke and projections all around the room. Mono finish off with the almost 12 minute “Ashes In The Snow” which has a very long build to a very large payoff. An absolutely outstanding performance from Mono tonight.

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