It has been over a year since Balance and Composure released the stunning The Things We Think We’re Missing and even longer since they were last on these shores. Tonight marked one of the most intimate dates of their extensive UK tour at Derby’s Victoria inn, a sold out show heralding yet another success for the Derby DIY Collective.
First on the bill however were up and coming British band Milk Teeth, with their roots firmly set in the 90s you would be forgiven for thinking the band really were from Seattle. Drawing from across their two released EPs, co-vocalists Becky and Josh immediately drew the obvious comparison of Thurston Moore and Kim Gordon’s frantic vocals of Sonic Youth; the band also sharing a few similarities with Goo era Sonic Youth. Though much of the material was previously unheard by the packed room, current single ‘Vitamins’ (released on Venn records) provided an electric close to what was a well received set.
Second band and main tour support Seahaven, despite technical difficulties throughout the set clearly affecting them, played a set consisting mostly of tracks from recent album Reverie Lagoon, and even despite the recognisable change in pace between it and their previous releases, the old material still managed to sit comfortably. Though the aforementioned technical issues left the performance far more subdued than would be expected of Seahaven, closer ‘Wild West Selfishness’ stood as the highlight with frontman Kyle Soto launching himself around the stage in a sea of distorted vocals and guitars.
…On the other hand Headliners Balance and Composure brought their A-game to Derby, and never let up throughout an intense, (very) loud set. Launching into the first track off their latest album ‘Parachutes’, followed by ‘Reflection’ and a visceral ‘Back of Your Head’, Balance and Composure held absolutely nothing back. With a brief pause to acknowledge the intimacy of the surroundings and to thank the crowd, the set switched to breakthrough album Separation with four tracks including a stunning ‘Stonehands’. Dipping further into their catalogue, even the band appeared taken aback by the number of people in the audience who knew ‘Burden’ from their split EP with Tigers Jaw, released in 2010.
Despite only having a one hour set, Balance and Composure covered just about everything you could possibly ask of them, a surprising omission of ‘Lost Your Name’ aside, the setlist represented both albums significantly, a particularly epic rendition of ‘Enemy’ from their most recent release proved to be the highlight of a superb set from yet another incredibly exciting band on No Sleep Records’ seemingly unstoppable roster, and the achievement of fitting their overwhelming sonic assault into the Victoria Inn is nothing short of a miracle.