Goldray - The Victoria, Birmingham

by Mark Steele Rating: Release Date:

It is a truly great feeling to be able to see a rock band, particularly a classic rock band, playing at The Victoria Pub in Birmingham. Whilst the venue holds a small room upstairs, it somehow made the gig, with a small crowd, that bit more intimate and nostalgic. The last leg of Goldray's 'Rising' album tour was to be a special event, a Birmingham debut - presented via Psych clubnight Electric Temple. The supporting act was a local South Birmingham 4-piece Psych/Prog oddity - Nonsuch. Led by young Liam Neeson lookalike - Harry Charles - Vox/Guitar, also featured Louis Belcher - Guitar, Ed Sadowski -Bass, and Jacob Hall - Drums. They provided a perspective package of fresh bursts of energy swamped with melancholic undertones, this was then repeated throughout with odd-time signature grooves. The band released some interesting mid-era Led Zeppelin/Pink Floyd elevating progressions, with even some guitar sounds similar to the likes of Grizzly Bear. Harry's vocals certainly carried a wondrous appeal.

Following an interlude with groovy tunes by host PA, The Mothers Earth Experiment, Goldray materialised onto the stage with axe wielding Magi, Kenwyn House releasing luring droning arpeggios into the atmosphere, coupled with the stirrings of bassman Geoff Laurens and skins manipulator Adam Gammage. The sonic sorceress supreme, Leah Rasmussen initiated the room into the cosmic presence with cries and coos, this moved quickly into opener 'Outloud', ecstatic and simultaneously enrapturing was the collective movement being generated by the group.

The second song to follow, 'Diamond Road', was euphoric and edgy, and attentive into the crowd, via the immutable pulse unleashed by Geoff's bass and carried by Adam's steady drums. Leah's potent vocals, coupled with her scarlet high priestess stage prowling, seemed to invoke a much-needed embrace, which continued with this song, and more or less every song played. Her no less than benchmark prowess brooded over the billowing waves of emotional ecstasy, lavishly provided by the guitars and rhythm section.

As the laid back groove of 'Eyes', swaggered forth, another signature blast of brilliance via Kenwyn's Stephen Stills-esq solo. The album title song 'Rising' was blissful eroticism, with every crystal clear note of Leah's, cutting into your being with each melodic rise and fall. The sheer overwhelming beat of the drums, secured by the bass, was taken that bit higher by Kenwyn's biting lysergic fuzztone flights. Two further songs including 'Calling Your Name', continued to mesmerize and transport those present into witnessing what seemed at some point to a place elsewhere.

Leah announced a new song entitled 'The Forest', creeping arpeggios, breaking into the home straight with heroic maneuvers, Kenwyn's Asgardian prowess,  captained a lunging Led Zeppelin groove, which sent forth rumbling earth and rolling thunder. It was Leah's serpent priestess pose that brought us into show epic ender 'Soulchild'. Which was truly sublime and robust in many ways. A full-on volcanic level barrage by all brought the eventful show to a close, with full-on appreciative applause all around.

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