Lola Colt @Botanique Witloof bar, Brussels – 17 March 2015
On tour to promote their debut album ‘Away From the Water’, the London-based sextet Lola Colt paid a visit to Botanique Witloof bar and brought along one hour of delightful music.
Lola Colt has been built around Gun and Matt, starting about five years ago as a project for possibly film music writing. They have taken their name from a Spaghetti Western film of the ‘60s and ended in perfect symmetry with six members, three girls and three guys.
No complains for starting the show a bit latter than announced. In the end, it gave the chance to the late-arrivers to be there on time and it gathered more audience. Around 100 people which made a good enthusiastic crowd in Witloof and a perfect match with the intimate ambiance created by the music.
The kick-off sign was given by the magnificent Kitty. This beautiful dark lady seemed to guide things along by playing keyboards, tambourines, shakers or tenor drum. Sometimes simultaneously. While doing backing vocals. A hypnotic and electric presence which quickly gathered enough audience on her side of stage. On the other side full already, Martin on guitars. In the background, James on drums and Shina on bass. And the two founded members, Gun (originally from Denmark) on vocals and guitar and Matt on guitar, in the center. But while there were six people there, the stage didn’t look crowded nor the music seemed excessive or too much.
The setlist was rich. ‘Boom Boom Blasphemy’ is a great show opener, as it introduced us straight away in their universe: crispy guitar sound of the 60s, ritualistic drums, subtle tambourine bits but most of all a great voice. ‘Ring of Ghosts’ continued the spaghetti journey, shakers became part of the sound. And from now on, instruments will be switched around to emphases moods, vibes and feelings. Except for ‘Time to Burn’, which is an extraordinary instrumental excerpt, Gun’s vocals are our constant companion of the entire journey. Not very talkative, she’s cool without being distant. And how could she be, with such a warm soothing timbre.
She is playing the guitar only to emphasis certain passages. For ‘Highway’, she drops the guitar to take the shakers. For Diamonds, to take the tenor drums. For ‘Heartbreaker’, she comes back to the electric guitar, as any song about forbidden fascination requires it so.
It’s pretty difficult and also useless to pay attention to every detail that happened on stage, and don’t expect too much because the overall sound is what matters the most. As if the entire band is one living organism that transforms itself and exhales a sound palette which you can almost visualize. Towards the end, at ‘Diamonds’ even the level of the sound rose almost by itself, summoned by drums. The whole thing is a huge film soundtrack without the film. Because it’s all happening.
The performance is perfect, with no faults. The psychedelic component is not dynamic or explosive. It’s built-in and amplifies simple but clear riffs. Nothing is a surplus, nothing is superficial, no beat is wasted, everything is so well orchestrated to such accuracy that you can close your eyes and imagine the band playing in your own living room on the record. Only at the much higher volume and with enthusiastic applause and audience feedback. Which brought them back for a mind-blowing encore.
There may be a lot of care for image in Lola Colt. The black short dress of Kitty or her weird awesome haircut, the bends over the guitars, the hippy flavored dress of Gun, which by the way I couldn’t say if it was blue and black or white and gold but it definitely matched the gleaming golden guitar. Even if so, no matter how hard you look for it, it’s long gone into what represents authenticity, perfection and very much good taste. Outstanding.
Boom Boom Blasphemy
Rings Of Ghosts
Time To Burn
I Get High if You Get High