Liverpool’s coolest new band are on the road following the success of their debut album, Performance, last year. Exeposé Music went to meet them ahead of their show in Bristol.
After a fairly traumatic replacement bus service and a lukewarm on train coffee yours truly arrived into Bristol, filled with all the wonderment of Brian Jackson. To say I was intrigued to meet Outfit is an understatement. Their excellent first single, Two Islands, grabbed my attention as early as 2011 when played on the radio and their album was a similarly vibrant success.
Meeting frontman, Andy and keyboardist, Tom in the mellow and maroon interior of Bristol’s Start The Bus was a calming experience. The critical success of their debut LP appears not to have daunted them in the slightest, with both seeming relaxed when discussing their sound. Their synth tinged melodies and lyrical solidarity has been appreciated in the musical world, with the almost ethereal nature of their sound transporting listeners through their multifarious rhythms. They’re coming to the end of another set of gigs and both seem keen to get back to the studio. They claim to have continually developed their sound, aiming for more lyrical unity and already started putting together ‘a couple of chord progressions’. The 5 piece have known each other from school since a young age, but only really became friends in their late teens as their interest in music developed. Citing personal musical influences as varied as Liverpool’s own New Order to Igor Stravinsky, the group’s ideas are clearly broad. Helped by the laid back and hands off approach of cool, independent label Double Denim, they have been allowed to cultivate their distinct sound with little interference.
Both take near synchronised swigs from their beer bottles before coming around to their aims for 2014, they know that their second album is a big priority for them now with touring only really being a ‘distraction’ from their song writing process. Their reflective and dreamy demeanour converts quite evidently into their music, giving a far off quality to their records despite their confined reverberations. Both hold dreams to play Glastonbury’s famous pyramid stage one day, quite a contrast to the warm interior of Start The Bus. The band’s aesthetic ambitions are exemplified by frontman, Andy who reckons that the Pyramids of Giza would be as ideal a setting, if not a beach setting in somewhere like Tobago.
By the time of the gig itself there was a settled buzz around the cramped but cool bandstand at the back of the venue. The relatively young crowd, complete with big Bristol Jeff in tow were expectant as Outfit’s synth drenched sound rebounded around Start The Bus. The band’s opener House on Fire set the scene as Outfit’s melodic vocals combined with sharp riffs and languorous grooves. The crowd’s insistent bobbing around was symbolic of the ambient nature of Outfit’s performance, never really pushing anything other than the sound. The dedication to playing the music could be seen as apathy toward the audience but Andy’s clipped conversation between tracks was at least an attempt at engagement beyond the music. They continued to play tracks from both their album, Performance as well as their first EP 2011’s Another Night’s Dreams Reach Earth Again. Tunes like Nothing Big, Spraypaint and the inimitably cool Two Islands engrossed the audience as Outfit’s faraway sounds echoed around. The intricate layers of guitar and seeping synth culminated with Thank God I’m Dreaming, an impressed audience seemed contented by their decision to come to a gig on a gloomy Monday night.
All in all a good performance, Exeposé Music will be keeping its ears peeled for their next musical offering, perhaps sometime in 2014 if we’re lucky.
Callum Burroughs, Online Music Editorbookmark me