REVIEW: ATHLETE – BLACK SWAN
The Fleece, Bristol
ATHLETE have been out of the limelight since the release, and pretty downbeat reception, of their third studio album Beyond the Neighbourhood. But they’re back with a new album called Black Swan under a new label, Fiction Records, after parting ways with Parlophone Records.
This separation has been a good thing for the band as their new material is a pleasant distraction from the more easy listening rock of their first two albums. They unveiled their latest single, Black Swan Song, which is in memory of lead guitarist Joel Pott’s grandfather who served in the armed forces. It was the highlight of the night as Pott delivered a passionate vocal performance, which was in stark contrast to the relatively sedate sing-a-long nature of the rest of the set.
Athlete are renowned for effortless melodies and their number Superhuman Touch certainly hit the spot for the crowd watching at the Fleece. The song also marked the return of guitarist Carey Willets who has been out injured for a month after an operation on his knee. His performance showed no signs of being rusty and he obviously enjoyed being back on stage, as he indulged in celebratory champagne before passed it back through the crowd. Unfortunately by the time the bottle reached me it was sadly empty.
A three-track encore took my mind off the lack of bubbly and was finished off with the bands most widely known track Wires, which was rapturously repeated by the packed flock of the Fleece. On this evidence Athlete seem to have the legs to make this tour a big success, and their new album will surely be Gold Medal standard.
Words: John Barker
by 247 Magazine