Given how amazing their performances are as sheer, emotive
spectacles, it’s an injustice that the British duo Nordic Giants aren’t selling
out arenas right now. With their ominous lighting, enigmatic attires and
cinematic aura, the team of masked musicians identified only as “Loki” and “Rôka”
are a group more deserving than anybody else of the controversial label “post-rock”.
Armed solely with a drumkit, piano and bowed guitar, Nordic Giants
counteract their minimalist music by screening awe-inspiring and
heart-wrenching short films on the backdrop behind them, all of their visual
pieces united in a subversive wit that celebrates unity and the purity of the human
spirit. Songs like the piano-driven “Together” and “Mechanical Minds” drive
this point home even further, sampling powerful speeches from such figures as
Martin Luther King, Jr. and Charlie Chaplin.
As if all of this brilliance was not enough, Nordic Giants
found their perfect context as their uniquely visual display graced a
Halloween show at Southampton’s Talking Heads. It was the perfect night for
such an all-consuming exercise of the senses; one of the few times in which a
band finds itself able to craft a treat for the eyes just as sumptuous and
engaging as for the ears.
Who have been your favourite live performers of this year? Be sure to let us know in the comments section!