The See See were part of a swirly psychedelia night at The Lexington on Pentonville Road two years ago, and they particularly caught my attention. (Also memorable were Canadian band Elephant Stone whose music is enriched with Rishi Dhir’s mesmerising sitar playing). Fast forward two years and we were back at The Lexington last week for The See See’s return.
I don’t remember them sounding quite this good. This is a psychedelic-driven sound without fey, flowery overtones, it’s raw and ripply, as it should be, but there’s a muscular element to it, something harder edged. Something that defines it from this era.
Uplifting track Gold and Honey encapsulates the bands feel-good elements – supple, driving, jangly guitars and strong riffs – all overlaid with echoey harmonies with a breezy Beach Boys style touch.
The Rain & The Snow is a beautiful languid, wistful ballad which fuses guitar, organ and vocals. The harmonies are again rich and echoey in a nod to The Yarbirds and Zombies era.
If there’s one issue with The See See’s music, it’s that some of their songs are over too quickly. The band really get going in the instrumental sections, drawing you into the complex rippling interplay of guitars. But just as you’ve melded your brain with the music and moved off into another plane, the song goes into its final flourishes and comes to a halt. The framework of a 5-minute song isn’t adequate to do this band justice. To put it another way, I was enjoying them so much that I didn’t want their songs to end.
Penultimate number is And I wonder from the bands first CD released in 2011, Late Morning Light. It’s a country style ballad overlaid with Shadows-esque guitar.
I bought their latest CD Fonteyne Mountain at the gig and haven’t stopped playing it since. The band are touring in Spain later this year, but here’s hoping they get themselves onto the lineups of some UK festivals this summer, they deserve a much wider audience.
THE SMALL PRINT
WHO: The See See, Kelley Stoltz
WHEN: March 5, 2014
WHERE: The Lexington, London
TICKETS: £6 approx