LIVE: Basement / Cloakroom / Newmoon @ The Electric Ballroom, London

By Glen Bushell

Around two years ago Basement announced that they were going on an indefinite hiatus, and played their last show for the foreseeable future at the Underworld in Camden. It was an emotional night for everyone in attendance from band and fans alike, and saw them bowing out when they could have been on the cusp of even bigger things. Now Basement have returned to Camden – this time around the corner at the Electric Ballroom – after a trip down under, a string of state side dates in the Summer, an appearance at Reading and Leeds, and a brilliant 7” in the shape of ‘Further Sky’. Judging by the legion of fans faithfully queuing in the pouring rain on this Wednesday night in Camden, its clear from the outset that this has been a long time coming and people clearly are glad Basement are back.

Tonight’s support bands are some what of an odd choice for a band such as Basement, and are a world away from their upbeat, emotionally charged rock. Belgium’s Newmoon kick off the show with their brand of dreamy shoegaze, which is enchanting from the first notes of set opener ‘Mask’. The band only has a 3-track EP to their name so far, and this is not only their first show outside of their homeland, but in fact their first tour ever. The bands half hour set flies by, as ‘Dwell’ rings out in a My Bloody Valentine style cascade of reverb and noise, but with the positive reaction from the crowd we will surely be seeing Newmoon back on our shores again in the near future.

Next to hit the stage are Indiana trio Cloakroom who are also part of the diverse roster at Run For Cover records, and there is a lot of hype behind them after their critically acclaimed ‘Infinity’ EP. Sonically Cloakroom can’t be faulted, and their angular post-hardcore is certainly enjoyable, however it seems to go over the heads of the audience slightly tonight and does not draw you in like it should. On record Cloakroom are a mesmerizing force, but tonight it fell ever so slightly flat in the live setting. It could be down to it being a bigger venue than perhaps they are used too, or that they haven’t quite made their mark in the UK yet. Either way, their forthcoming record which is due in the New Year will undoubtedly see the band up step up a gear, and will surely give the band more traction next time around.

As the sold out Electric Ballroom begins to reach capacity, Basement bound on to the stage like a ball of energy and launch straight into ‘Whole’. Andrew Fisher barely has to sing into the microphone as the hundreds of voices singing every word back at him eclipse the sound of his own voice. The double whammy of ‘Earl Grey’ and ‘Fading’ from debut album ‘I Wish I Could Stay Here’ sound huge, and receive a thunderous reaction. Basement in 2014 seem a completely rejuvenated band, with seemingly more energy and emotion than ever before. The smiles on the faces of front man Andrew Fisher and guitarist Alex Henery say it all about tonight’s show, laying to waste any preconceived notions as to why the band returned after such a short time, showing they clearly have a love for what they do and nothing more than that. Newer songs ‘Summers Colour’ and ‘Jet’ fit into the set perfectly alongside anthems ‘Bad Apple’ and ‘Spoiled’ from sophomore album ‘Colourmeinkindness’, as well as familiar live favourite ‘Yoke’. Unsurprisingly ‘Covet’ draws one of the biggest sing-a-longs of the evening, almost raising the roof off of the venue, and set closer ‘Crickets Throw Their Voice’ incites sheer pandemonium amongst the crowd as it brings the show to an end.

Basement are on spectacular form tonight sounding near perfect in every way, which feels almost like they never went away in the first place and marks a new phase in the legacy the band are undoubtedly creating for themselves. Given the growth they are making with every release it is an exciting time to be Basement fan, let’s hope they are here to stay this time.