I’ve been wanting to catch NO CEREMONY /// for a while. Captivated by the stunning tracks and videos that can be found online, I was excited to hear that they were a late addition to the LIVERPOOL SOUND CITY lineup.
Here at the East Village Arts Club (EVAC) Loft, the Manchester band who have been keeping the press in the dark, were literally keeping us in the dark. With pretty much only the projector light shining on the stage, we at least get to check out in person who this elusive three-piece are. I get a little goosebump as they come onstage and take their positions. The venue is nicely filled as the steely drumbeats start to fill the room, and people bounce softly to the sophisticated electronic sounds.
The lead singer dressed in a black and white mini skirt, black top and hair tied back, is holding her bass close to her body. She looks relaxed and intense, her vocals delicate and unforced. Her two male counterparts are suitably composed, delivering solid instrumental backup.
“Heartbearker” is one of many beautiful tracks by this band. The floor is vibrating with the deep electronic beats, and I just want to hear it all over again as soon as it closes to a room-full of applause. My personal favourite is “FeelSoLow” (“Is it wrong to make you love me? / Is it wrong to make you stay / It breaks my heart to see you watching / You wanted to believe”) – the excellent new video revealing the (obscured) faces of the band members. Every track in the set is sublime, every track performed sublimely. There’s a romantic and elemental quality to their compositions.
You’d be forgiven for assuming that this band is pretentious with their inclination to stay somewhat aloof, but their sound is just so good that you can live with the secrecy, and they’ve certainly gained my respect for not desperately courting the usual suspects for media attention – a modern-day trap all too easy for bands to fall into. In any case, the anonymity can’t possibly last much longer with the band doing a lot more shows this year.
I’m in awe of No Ceremony ///. They could easily be smashing venues all over the country and the world – only if that’s what they want to do, of course. Masters of their own destiny (as all artists should be), they’re not likely to take a traditional course. I’m kind of hoping that that they don’t sell out too quickly, so that we can savour them close-up for a bit longer. Manchester should be very proud – we have another groundbreaking band to embrace – so come on, let’s get on with it!