Gig Review – Jane Weaver at Portsmouth Wedge...

Gig Review – Jane Weaver at Portsmouth Wedgewood Rooms

Jane Weaver is approaching British indie royalty level these days.  A collection of critically lauded albums under her belt, she has ploughed a rather pleasingly art pop furrow over the last couple of decades. With influences ranging from Krautrock to Jazz to 70s folk and early 80s pop her celebration of both the cult analogue and electronic worlds certainly has the potential to be deemed challenging to say the least. However, in Weaver’s hands she is able to craft majestically dreamy soundscapes which sit firmly in the accessible pop bracket. This is made apparent with the title track of her latest record,  ‘Love In Constant Spectacle‘, delivering in spades her brand of psych folk electronica magic. 

It is this new record where tonight’s set is gleamed from mostly though a smattering of tracks from across her output are aired, providing plenty of musical touchpoints. Weaver’s songs flit reminiscently between St Etienne, Broadcast and at times, the disco trickery of Roisin Murphy – ‘Perfect Storm’ in particular showing off more of a dancefloor stomp. For most of the set though Weaver doesn’t stray too far from the waves of blissed out dream pop which wash over the majority of her records. ‘Slow Motion’s’ lush chorus is a case in point whilst new single ‘Romantic Worlds’ feels like a slowed down Stereolab. The set is well structured though and tracks such as latest single ‘In Metal’ and are used to bring in a bit more depth and variety of sound with the former’s crunching guitar riff coming straight after the hypnotic Portishead like bass groove of ‘The Axis and the Seed’.

As well as providing the tunes, Weaver is also a hugely genial host.  Introducing the band as if we’re chatting down the pub, the disarming demenour adds a level of warmth to tonight’s proceedings,. Her general on stage patter is like you’re hanging out with your coolest new mate and the relaxed atmosphere continues, rather curiously,  with not one but two Jodie Comer related stories. The first involves ‘Mission Desire’ being part of the soundtrack to a recent film and the song once again highlight’s Weaver’s disco chops and ups the set’s tempo at just the right moment. Later on, Weaver talks about how ‘Modern Kosmology’ can be heard in the background of an episode of Killing Eve – Weaver sounding like a proud Mum, talking about her musical children. 

The set concludes with ‘I Need a Connection’ featuring a rhythm Georgio Moroder would be proud of and a chorus that could easily be lifted from the Wicker Man soundtrack; it’s essentially a crystalisation of the Jane Weaver sound. An ethereal,  floating, cosmic dreamscape, it’s a unique sound ultimately. Part folk, part disco, part electro kraut whig out. Altogether though: complete and utter bliss. 

Words and Photo: Chris Horton


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