Say Psych: Live Review: Julie’s Haircut @ The Peer Hat, Manchester 04.10.2019

Julie’s Haircut are an Italian neo-psychedelic offering who have been around for more years than they would care to admit now, having initially formed back in 1994. Their recent allegiance has been to UK based label Rocket Recordings, who today have released their latest offering, their ninth studio album no less, In The Silence Electric.

Tonight they grace one of Manchester’s finest underground, independent venues, The Peer Hat, a setting that is perfect for them. They open with ‘Gathering Light’, probably their most recognised track from 2017’s Invocation and Ritual Dance of My Demon Twin which sprung them to public attention in the UK. With its slow build that intensifies throughout as layers are added, it’s the perfect track to start things off. This is closely followed by ‘The Fire Sermon’ from the same album and the two make an intoxicating atmosphere, laden with intrigue that sets the mood for the rest of the set.

Next up is new track ‘Emerald Kiss’ which show the bands progression, with a crisper more defined sound replacing the fuzzed out layers of its predecessors. It’s an overall more accessible track that will undoubtedly garner them a whole new following in itself. Over new tracks in the set include ‘Until the Light’s Go Out’ with its hypnotic motorik beat, choral chant-esq vocal opening and pacey vocals that leave the audience breathless. There is then the double assault of ‘Sorcerer’ and ‘Pharaoh’s Dream’ which showcase their electronic tendencies in fine fettle. We then go right back to the beginning with ‘Purple Jewel’ form 2006’s After Dark, My Sweet which is a track that every fan knows, but doesn’t realise they know (it’s the one where Laura sings, yes that one) and it always packs a real punch live, tonight being no exception. They choose ‘Fountain’ to conclude from 2013’s Ashram Equinox with its unfettered sense of foreboding that ties everything together.

Julie’s Haircut have delivered something really special here tonight, in a venue that has suited their sound perfectly. The quality of the songs on the new album shows their development as a band and if they keep putting out performances like that, they’ll soon be playing to much larger crowds.

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