Live Review from London Calling
2. Invisible Man
4. While You Sleep
5. My Protocol
6. Where You’ve Been
8. Small Wars
Zurich always puts on a good show and last week they flew all the way from the United Kingdom to show us. Saturday night’s set started off with Runners, showcasing exactly why they’re eager to bring their music to new audiences around Asia. The indie rock-esque vocals combined with drum sounds reminiscent of Fall Out Boy and pop-punk made for a very distinct sound, with ambient delay and soothing vocals perfectly layered between.
Invisible Man caught my attention, with the use of an electronic backing track throughout the song. Not often seen with bands of this genre, we almost immediately caught a U2 vibe, with guitar sounds from ambient delays all the way to killer riffs, all whilst the drummer Leigh showcases complex drum parts that just fit perfectly with Adrian’s vocals – speaking to you and making you want more.
Jules O’Brien, who opened tonight with her soulful singing, was invited on stage by the band to accompany them on Where You’ve Been. While starting off quietly with just Jules, Adrian and a tight rhythm section, the chorus explodes open with massive guitar playing. The mix of a punk-rock singer and the softness of folk doesn’t seem like the ideal combo but it was perfect for the night – my personal favorite.
Then a quick throwback to their first EP with Chemical, showing just how far the band has come in such a short time. Each song is distinct in its own way yet so “Zurich”-y – something every band should strive for. Songs like Small Wars are a perfect encapsulation of who they are – gritty punk vocals, grooving bass lines, with echoed guitar and crazy riffs everywhere in between.
Lastly, the post-punk outfit closed the night with their debut single titled Alone – the song starts out with a unique feel, almost as if it isn’t Zurich – but once the chorus kicks in we’re treated to the sound we’ve grown to love.
The UK rockers are no strangers to gigging, having played at numerous venues of all sizes around Europe before. This was their second ever show in Hong Kong (the first being a few days prior at The Wanch), and even despite technical/monitoring issues (possibly even jet lag!) they never failed to impress, bringing a solid performance to end the night with. I’m looking forward to see what else they have up their sleeves.
– Aaron de Guzman