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.

The Orielles on stage at The Trades

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.

The Orielles played at Inde­pen­dent Venue Week at The Trades, Heb­den Bridge

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