Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Phantom Limb 03/04/2009


The upper floor of the Louisana trembled in the sound waves of the penetrating voice. The crowd moved in small swaying circles, the truly dedicated fans losing their thoughts into the padded bed of reverberations. Phantom Limb are a band that have a song writing skill and a leading vocalist that you want to take with you wherever you may go. From Bristol to the Philippines, they have an ability to communicate, to transcend confines and travel to the nether reaches of Timbuktu. The majority of the crowd tonight came with a log book of past gigs and a mind set to Limb. Their barriers were locked down, and Phantom Limb delivered their set on a diamond plate.

I was told after listening to Phantom Limb on someone else’s i pod at work, that you only can truly achieve that overwhelming shattering of boundaries and eardrums when you see them live. They didn’t blow my categorised cobwebs when I listened to them at my dull as polishing coal job. However, there was one song that melted into my numbed soul, Good Fortune. Incidentally it was the first song that they played in the Louisiana rectangle. And live it affected me in a way that was unexpected, having only hearing it in my own little zone, this was a far more powerful track with a face. The elongated notes stretched out to the seas, and took me up a tree to a fantasy land with silvery blue sparkling waters and dark jade forestry. Of course, Yolanda Quartey works with Bristol’s Massive Attack, singing live with them. One of the most escapingly beautiful bands I’ve ever heard live/at all. So I was expecting some sort of fluttering, but this was more of a gliding through the blue sky as opposed to a flowering butterfly thing. Really nice.

Now Yolanda; Combining country, soul and gospel, Yolanda’s voice is a weapon of such incredible force, it literally floors you. And it is just so LOUD! I think that the sound genies could have twisted those volume dials down a tad. I’ve since been told that normally she is EVEN louder. She is such an expressive and confident woman, she is probably more comfortable on the pyramid stage that in a little pub. That voice could fill nine fields, and make the sheep pass out. Able to really unleash, she would have no trouble with filling that stage. And blimey, did her confidence gIve me a little kick up the feminist ass. Shoulders back, head high and appreciate that body of yours. Yolanda is definitely aware that confidence will take you anywhere you want to go. And with that confidence she in turn takes her crowd, those utterly adoring fans, and her dedicated and talented band where she wants.

Their last song was true testament to the band’s skills, electrifying the audience and working harmoniously with Yolanda, they produced a dancing jam session. It riled up the crowd, and left an after dinner minty freshness that produced a desire for more, and an energy for an everlasting evening. Boom!!

I popped into the ladies before leaving the pub, and was immediately talking LOUDly to four besotted, affected women. They were visibly thrown by the performance, and were clearly riding high on their triggered emotions. What a power Phantom Limb clearly has.

I would say, if you see the Limb advertised, you should, SHOULD see them. Marvel at the resonating voice, the lyrics, the power of sound, and the working of an ass. I am very doubtful you will be disappointed.

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