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22 June 2005: Octavia Sperati - Junktion 7, Nottingham, England, UK
On a boiling hot day, the day after the summer solstice, I headed off to see Octavia [Sperati] whose new album "Winter Enclosure" has been pounding my eardrums since its release at the end of May 2005.
When I arrived the upstairs part of the venue had not yet opened so I sat in Bar 7 and sweltered (with my beer) along with everyone else.
It was soon announced that the upstairs had now opened and that the first band would be on "very soon", but there was not much movement towards the door as the thought of standing in the heat upstairs was putting people off.
After about 20 minutes of the first band (Liquid Sky), I decided to brave the heat and ventured up the stairs. As I opened the door to the venue I was greeted by a wave of ice cool air. Air conditioning!
I was quite impressed with Liquid Sky and even ambled towards the merchandise desk at one point, but didn’t buy anything. The band was a 6 piece, I think, with a female vocal and the songs went down very well with the assembled crowd.
Liquid Sky were followed by Illuminatus, a local band with a strong following in the area (especially considering the number of their T-shirts attending tonight). They were loud, aggressive and forced you to pay attention. I particularly liked the keyboard sound, but overall I was left a little disappointed and preferred Liquid Sky’s set.
I think Illuminatus finished with "Wargasm", which went down well with the crowd.
There was just enough time for a beer buying break and then I took my place near the front to watch Octavia set their kit up.
I’d been looking forward to this gig for sometime. After being impressed by a couple of tracks on a sampler and the bands Website and after buying the CD, I didn’t think that there would ever be a chance to see the band live, as they’d have to come from Norway. But then the dates were announced and I rushed off to buy my ticket (£5 (£6 on the door) was a bargain for this nights entertainment).
Octavia sound like evanescence, according to my mate. Their record company describes them as a "Norwegian all-female band whose domain is the world of heavy, Gloom metal." And I’d describe them as incomparable. I know they are a metal band from Bergen, Norway, but I hope that they don’t just get lumped into that scene and ignored, as they deserve far wider recognition.
After setting up their gear, the band stood around for a bit looking a little uncomfortable, but as soon as they started their first track "Future Is" they looked relaxed confident and put on an excellent show.
The band lined up left to right (with Kikken, the only male, on drums at the back), Bodil on guitar, Trine on bass, Silje on vocals, Gyri on guitar and Tone on keyboards and backing vocals, and proceeded to play the majority of the "Winter Enclosure" album, including "Wasted On The Living", "Lifelines Of Depths", "Soundless", "Hunting Eye" and they definitely finished with "Winter Enclosure".
Silje talked to the audience throughout the show, announcing a number of the tracks and generally making us all feel welcome.
The band managed to recreate the sound of the album completely and I was astonished by Silje’s vocals which despite seemingly very difficult she managed with very little effort.
The crowd gave the band the applause they rightly deserved and I was a little disappointed not to see them reappear for an encore (but it was ten to midnight by this time). The show seemed to have flown past and I couldn’t believe it was over.
I again wandered over to the merchandise stall, but discovered I only had just enough dosh for the taxi home.
Interestingly, watching the "Lifelines Of Depths" video, which is apparently getting some good rotation at the moment, the next day, I spotted the girl on the merchandise stall (and refresher of Silje’s pint glass) playing the drums.
Octavia have just been announced as support for the December 2005 Cradle Of Filth tour. If you missed them this time, see if you can catch them on those dates.
Go and buy the album. You’ll not be disappointed.
The views expressed in these reviews do not necessarily reflect those of the livemusicreview.co.uk team.
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