Artist: Washed Out
Venue: Oval Space, London UK
Date: 24th October 2013
Ernest Greene, the American musician better known as Washed Out started the European leg of his tour this month, and played in East London warehouse space, Oval to a packed crowd. Considering Green’s music career started in his bedroom (a lack of job offers following university meant he had to move back home) his music, and his live performance have really progressed a lot since the release of his first EP High Times in 2009. Reflecting the change in direction in his newest album Paracosm, which uses less synth, Greene gave a more involved live show and was joined by four musicians on stage. He was behind the keyboard less so there was more movement and more crowd interaction too.
The drowsy, electronic vibes started out with support from Amateur Best, a London four piece on Double Denim Records. The lead singer brought out a bugle and a tambourine and the backing was tight however the vocal style didn’t stand out quite well enough against the drums, keys and guitar to make a big impact. By the time they had finished it was evident the busy Thursday night crowd was ready for the main act.
Greene donned a bright shirt and sported longer locks than his last visit, which he informed the crowd was during the 2011 riots. The set involved old classics from the Life of Leisure EP and Within and Without album as well as newer tracks from Paracosm and a brand new track entitled “Despicable Dogs”. He dedicated Portlandia sound track and dream-pop special “Feel it All Around “to his wife of four years, much to the disappointment of some of the female members of the crowd!
“Hold Out” got a live upgrade with an electronic synth-scape adding to the hazy mix whilst purple and green lasers further complimented the fuzzy atmosphere. Greene came forward and clapped his hands in the air to the rhythmic opening of “Eyes Be Closed” and really engaged with the audience. Other tracks included “You and I” and sunny, upbeat track ‘It All Feels Right” from the new album.
Of course, the crowd didn’t want the vibes to come to an end, so an encore finished the set before an abrupt fall back to earth from the distorted electronic pop land Washed Out takes you to.
Written by Heather Welsh.