Right from the off, Aerials Up don’t disappoint, their opening salvo hits us with a bit of everything they’ve got – violin, cello, harmonies, xylophone… – and sets the mood nicely for the rest of an exciting set.
The fascinating thing about Aerials Up is that they are still coming together, the sound was there from the first time I saw them, but the songs are still finding their way out.
Every song that is prefaced with “this is another new one” is better than the last, the earlier songs are full of energy but have everything playing at once.
‘Broken Wing’ is one of the first to start with just a few plucked notes and really take advantage of the variety of instruments onstage, the build is subtle, the harmonies perfect and the effect very impressive.
The upbeat ‘Superglue’ reminds me of Mystery Jets when they shuffled a little closer towards mainstream, it’s an unashamedly poppy number full of ‘woo-oohs’ from the backing vocals and bass-lines you can dance to.
Current single ‘I Am’ is even better and shifts beautifully between big, string-laden chorus, and spiky verses that get plenty of heads nodding in the venue.
It’s difficult to tell if we’ll one day see an album of cheery pop songs or string laden slow builders but either way it will be interesting to watch the progression.
Their days as a support band are over.
Words: Alastair Mitchell
Photos: Nuala Swan