Long Island emo legends The Movielife returned to the stage they last played fifteen years ago this week to kick off a run of UK dates in support of their comeback record Cities in Search of a Heart.
Things kick off with an intense and atmospheric performance from the mysterious Guillotine, this quartet specialise in combining quiet/loud dynamics with big choruses. They may be a new presence on the underground scene, but their live show is already a slick and dynamic beast. Between song patter is limited to a quick “hello we’re Guillotine” and “thank you, goodnight”, as a selection of cuts from their EP Sapphire do the talking instead. With just a few puffs of smoke and the addition of some lightboxes above their amps the brooding alt-rockers make one hell of an impression on those smart enough to come down early.
South London natives Wallflower are providing main support for the duration of the tour and having toured extensively over the past year, they have more than a few fans in the building tonight. Their delicate melodies go over well with a crowd that isn’t feeling a party atmosphere, unsurprising on a Tuesday night in mid-November. Highlights of the set come from their most recent release Where It Fell Apart, the intimacy of the room is reflected by the material’s haunting delicacy. ‘Splintered’ builds atmospherically to cathartic screams of “I’m cold, but I’m warming up”, there’s no denying the vocal prowess and superior song writing at work here, this band is definitely warming up.
The Movielife just about succeed in getting people closer to the stage as they rip through favourites like ‘Face or Kneecaps’ and ‘This Time Next Year’, but this is far from the bouncing crowd they would have had on their last visit. Undeterred, frontman Vinnie Caruana is in high spirits as he sips rather reluctantly from a warm can of Red Stripe. Rather than ramming new material down the audiences throat their return to the live environment is populated primarily by the classics, the likes of ‘Ship to Shore’ getting the best out of the mid-week crowd. But there’s no lack of love for the new cuts either as ‘Mercy Is Asleep at The Wheel’ gets an impassioned sing-along and the audience laps up an impromptu performance of ‘Ghosts in The Photograph’. The onstage energy culminates in a forceful rendition of ‘Jamestown’ that proves regardless of how many people are here to see it, there’s plenty of movie life left in this outfit.