There are some bands who come bursting out of the traps – no holds barred, everything online, straight into the press/radio conveyor belt. Neon Waltz are not one of those bands.
I love how slowly they’re taking things. It’s refreshing, and you can see it paying off already. Here is a band who you can still catch playing incredible sets to clubs that are only two-thirds full, meaning you can tell your mates you were onto them before anyone else. It’s a genius way to work things, and it pays dividends when you consider that old music mantra: ‘Too much hype early on kills a band’.
Anyway, I thought I was onto them early when I first heard ‘Sombre Fayre’ at the start of January, but I was wrong. They’d been doing what they do – which is write amazingly melodic songs that recall Shack, The Coral and Echo & The Bunnmen – for about eight months before that, playing mad little gigs in and around their hometowns Thurso and Wick at the very tip of Scotland, presumably to a lot of lonely barstaff and their dogs.
One of the more peculiar venues they frequented was at a disused castle – Freswick Castle – which dates from the 11th century and still has a stone staircase that looks like something out of Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves, and a fully-operational dungeon (possibly). It backs out onto the north sea, and if you step outside you can apparently quite often see the northern lights. It’s a place that was made all the more weird a couple of weekends ago when, having just completed their first baby tours of the UK, Neon Waltz played there again in front of a gaggle of onlookers (yours truly among them).
Here’s the view outside the door:
Here’s the view of the ‘stage’:
And here’s the live video they recorded, for new song ‘Sundial’. It, like the band, is worth taking note of.