Here on a Tuesday in East London, Brighton band ESBEN AND THE WITCH transform the record shop environment of Rough Trade East into their own dark gothic cathedral with their sound and presence alone. There is an intensity in the air that is visible in the faces of the audience, who are transfixed, almost hypnotically, on the band.
Their sound is comparable to Warpaint but there’s something very pagan, as their name might imply, about the imagery that the three-piece conjure up in their music. It’s a huge sound for so few people, enabled by their multitasking drummer who takes on the role of setting up droning electronic bass lines that throb and pulse under a wave of atmospheric guitar noise and singer/bassist Rachel Davies’ pained vocals.
Their album “Wash the Sins Not Only the Face” is available now – listening is strongly recommended, but for the full experience do not miss an opportunity to see them live. We had a glimpse of them last year at Manchester’s Soup Kitchen and our Pussy Riot London fundraiser concert in September, but now we’re geared up to catch them in February at Salford’s Fuhrer Bunker, known to be one of the most original and creepiest venues in the UK – perfect.