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Sunday, 24 January 2010

The Invisible w/ Colours @ 60 Million Postcards, Bournemouth (Jan 23, 2010)

I'm going to be honest here, i find it totally incredible that The Invisible played in Bournemouth - as far as i'm concerned, the sunny seaside town is more often than not restricted to the occasional visit from Status Quo and Jools Holland at Christmas, as well as all of your obvious Snow Patrols, Kasabians and Kings of Leons which start here as a warm up for their now-routine world tours. Its only recently that new(ish) venues are vastly pumping up the standards. The Bournemouth Opera House is now O2 Academy, which means that it gets booked up to the point that once a month, you can pop down and see bands like Hot Chip, and The Temper Trap. Another recent turn of events is that i've got close enough to 18 years old to be able to blag my way in to clubs and pubs, and bars - and as a result, see something much closer to the kind of music that i spend all of my time listening to. The Invisible are one of these bands, and although i don't pretend to have known that much about them beforehand, i have been aware of them ever since their debut, the self-titled LP and Mercury Prize nominated 'Invisible', came out on Accidental Records in 2008. They had been playing music together for years, but during their collaboration on what was at first intended to be lead singer/guitarist David Okumu's solo project, The Invisible was formed in late 2006, and what was to follow were ecstatic reviews, semi-justified comparisons to Bloc Party and Tv On The Radio and a reputation as having one of the best keyboardist/bassist beards in the business.

The support band was originally intended to be dance-punk trio Chew Lips; i have no idea what happened to them, but in their place were Colours, a band i'd never heard of before and still can't find anything about on the internet. From what I can remember, they played music much like what i'd expect from Chew Lips had they been playing - loud and aggressive indie/dance/punk music which clipped the speakers and took over the room. The vocals were barely audible and they managed to get a few members of the crowd dancing down at the front. What can i say, they weren't brilliant - but they banged out some solid and cheery tunes which were totally countered by the next band to grace the stage.

The Invisible were quite obviously what the bulk of the crowd really came to see; with a fairly slow-starting set on a low-cut stage they proceeded with their ecletic blend of post-rock, dance and colourless shoegaze for 90 incredibly tight minutes, forming without doubt one of the most inspiring live sets i've seen in a long time. I find them to fit in perfectly with everything that the Mercury Prize is supposed to stand for, even if in reality the Prize has lost sight in recent times (come on, Elbow?). They manage to make dark and inspiring music which doesn't seem to adhere to any 'band formula' but still falls comfortably within their own sound. As dark as their music gets, there's always a parallel track somewhere else in their discography that counters it with almost poppy guitars, all the time retaining the classically hazed out vocals Dave has mastered so well. The live set gave The Invisible the opportunity to really jam with their current material and really showcase the new stuff. This effortless ability to get such an intense sound out of their songs and make it look that easy really showed up what incredible musicians make up this London based trio. They couldn't have been more professional about the whole thing, there were countless faces in the crowd (including myself) that were more in awe than anything else - i definitely got a lot more than what i expected from a band i really didn't know that much about before. On top of all of this, after chatting to them all after, they are not only great musicians, but really nice guys as well - i bought a signed CD off them after the set and in future won't hesitate to both see them again and buy their new record.

The Invisible - Monster's Waltz (MP3)
The Invisible - Passion (MP3)

buy the debut album by The Invisible (Import) on


  1. It's all about the beard! Great to see gems like the Invisibles popping up in small venues such as 60 million postcards. Now if only I'd managed to catch them...

  2. They really are a ridiculously amazing live band aren't they! I always liked their record, but their gig in Liverpool last May really just blew me away... then i caught them by accident at Leeds this year, must have been one of the best gigs I've ever been to - much better than the Kings Of Leon who had just finished.

  3. Couldn't agree more, the invisible are incredible, so glad i saw them, and the guitarist was sound to chat to after.


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