The Orielles played at The Trades in Hebden Bridge as part of IVW. As a local outfit – and the one who ostensibly kickstarted the ‘Calderfornia’ plethora of local bands, there was a supportive atmosphere, with plenty of their friends out in the crowd, singing along, word perfect. I’ve probably seen The Orielles more than any other band and I think I know by now how they’re going to sound– and I only saw them as recently as last summer at Green Man festival.
But this time there was something different about them, something apparent from the opening notes. I was struck by a shift in their approach. There’s a more heavily textural quality to the instrumentation. And they take their time with each song, coaxing out a something different. The sense of experimentation in their music began around 2018 when the stunning Sugar Tastes Like Salt emerged, the 8‑minute psych prog-infused hit. It remains an exciting live number with its tempo changes and sense of its own drama, and which gets an airing as the penultimate track. Other standouts are Let Your Dogtooth Grow, Space Slumber, Thrift Shop Cowboys and Space Samba.
That development and progress was further evident on their next album Disco Volador with its ragbag mix of references, mostly of a vintage indie cosmic disco theme. It all makes for a far more exciting live performance than I’ve seen up till now and indicates how far The Orielles have come.
Support came in the form of The Short Causeway, another band local to the area, with the three members all variously tying in with other bands. They may be relatively new to the live scene, but they have the foundations to build into something with their raw, garage sound – and they look pretty cool too. The material is strong and it will be interesting to see the band develop.
The set was a reminder that festival sets, while a brilliant introduction to new bands and singers, aren’t really a properly rounded representation of what that artist is all about. What is needed is a dedicated audience at their own gigs, and what local venues need are the paying, drinking, merch-buying punters. Or we’ll all lose out.