Seeing The Coral on Saturday night was a revelatory experience for me. Not the band so much – they were as warm and fulfilling as expected, a bit like getting into a bathtub filled with your favourite winter soup. No, the revelation was that it was my first – and possibly my last – all-seater gig.
I’ll say this for The Lowry in Salford Quays: the acoustics are outrageously good. The room is full of strangely-suspended baffles and oddly-angled appendages, and has clearly been designed by computer to make every spot in there the perfect listening space.
The downside is that there is no room for deviation from the plan, so everyone has to remain seated at all times.
A seated gig is a weird thing to behold, especially from my viewpoint, high up in the gods: hundreds of people, fighting against their cushioned velveteen restraints, twitching and jerking at the music, clearly wishing they were standing and dancing.
There are bands for whom a sitting gig would suit, but The Coral are not one of them. Maybe Philadelphia’s Post Post, sharp, ethereal and lithe, could pull off such an event. Certainly I was lulled into a quasi-snooze-like state with their hypnotically soft sounds, which gently loop into Mobius Strips of delicious, pillowy bliss.
I’m not sure if the band’s name draws from some hazy insight into their influences – are they post-post-rock? – and frankly, I don’t care. Architects yearns, aches and urges, and we listeners latch on and follow suit, filling in the gaps, aligning emotions and losing thoughts by gazing into the middle distance.
Post Post have achieved the rarest of feats: an actual emotional attachment to their audience. And if that audience were penned into rows of seats before them, they might never leave of their own volition. Blissful and hypnotic.
Thanks, as always, to Peter at the always-excellent Crushing Krisis blog.