The music feels meaningful; powerful, perfect particularly for those times when you just want to let yourself engage and become engulfed by the music, get lost in its majesty and let your mind wander to a meditative state.
This proved as true on the live stage at the O2 Academy in Glasgow as it does on Cinematic Orchestra’s perfect LPs.
The group has six official members but there were 13 taking a bow at the end of the performance; a packed stage boasting drums, a turntable, trumpets, violins, double bass, two vocalists, guitars and more providing one of the most impressive live spectacles we’ve had the pleasure of watching.
Interestingly, the live showcase seemed to highlight and prioritise the instrumental work ahead of the electronic, synth-based vibes often found on the records, though possibly this was just our take away from what were some truly sensational solos and jamming.
Tom Chant was unrelenting on the saxophone, the violinist was breathtaking to the point of hypnotic and Luke Flowers on drums particularly stood out as well. They were at their best though when the whole ensemble came together.
The group’s 2007 record Ma Fleur is one of our favourite albums of all time and got a good airing in Glasgow; with ‘Child Song’, ‘Breathe’, ‘As the Stars Fall’ and of course ‘To Build a Home’ – the first of the group’s three-song encore – all included in the set.
The new song from Cinematic Orchestra ‘To Believe’ was also one of the most powerful of the evening, a majestic string opening with some truly beautiful, soft, slow vocals combining to create an air of utter splendour.
The Glasgow crowd was possibly a little easier distracted than one could have asked for, chattering over quiet songs much to the displeasure of some in the crowd, but Glasgow isn’t known for its timidity. Still, it was easy to imagine the same performance commanding utter silence in a packed out theatre or arena elsewhere.
‘All That You Give’ was the perfect closer to the showcase, with keyboard work and soulful vocals floating over synths and strings.
An incredibly impressive performance from the Cinematic Orchestra all round – different in many ways to their studio recordings, but just as impressive and attention grabbing. If you see the group on a bill near you in the near future, don’t miss out.