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White Noise: Sleigh Bells Live at Heaven Review – 14/2/2011

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Sleigh Bells Live at Heaven Review – 14/2/2011

Stalking onstage to an ABBA track played at ear-splitting volume, Derek Miller doesn't look like he can possibly make as much sound as he does. He begins, firing out a hard, metal rhythm that isn't familiar, but just before it all gets too much Alexis Krauss swoops onto stage, yanks up the mic and starts singing the recognisable first melody to Treats' album opener Tell 'Em to a massive cheer. She looks sexy as hell and has an enormous stage presence, as Miller receded into the background she became the focal point for the whole gig.

Sleigh Bells music is pop that is distorted and played at terrifying volume, and it suited a live gig perfectly. The crowd were ready and willing to dance, all but the furthest back hurling themselves around in time to the music. They smashed through all the best cuts from their album, Run the Heart being especially fantastic with those drops at that volume, and Rill Rill providing glorious release from the intensity of the gig.

There was a vague question of how much of the music was actually being played onstage and how much was pre-recorded, but when you see them you realise that Krauss' voice and Miller's machine-gun guitar are Sleigh Bells' sound, and it's more than enough.

With a final rip round the glorious Crown On The Ground at ear-splitting volume Krauss launched herself into the crowd (I touched her arm!) before retreating back to the stage and bouncing off not long after they'd begun. The set was short and it would've been nice to hear some new material, but it was nevertheless fast, frenetic and satisfying, and that's exactly what you're looking for when you pay to see Sleigh Bells.


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