Al Doyle is a wunderkind. Whether he’s hopping between three or four different instrument setups at a Hot Chip show, turning the guitar part on “Losing My Edge” into a rock ‘n’ roll masterpiece at LCD Soundsystem’s last show, or having the time of his life jamming out with fellow Hot Chip member Felix Martin in his excellent side project New Build (as he and the band call it, the other seven man band), he’s a stellar musician and an excellent stage presence to marvel at. Doyle was born for the spotlight, and it’s a relief that with New Build, we finally get to see him take front and center and lead an extremely talented group of musicians and play some funky, danceable material of his own. Wednesday night was Doyle and company’s first time in Seattle in support of the 2012 debut New Build LP, Yesterday Was Lived and Lost, and for everyone present, it won’t be one that they will soon forget. Playing with all the professionalism of a band that’s been together for a decade, New Build brought the house down and showed us how much of a party a dance band can throw at Neumos. Joined by British newcomers No Ceremony/// and locals Anomie Belle, Wednesday night was one for the books, and we can’t wait for Doyle and his band to return.
It was wonderful to see Anomie Belle and her unique multi-instrumental setup on Wednesday night. Her songwriting and her vibe never fail to refresh and impress, mixing programmed beats, violin, guitar, and earthy tones, Belle is all to her own. On stage, she was busy, only accompanied by a drummer, triggering tracks off her keyboard, and switching between instruments while belting out her vocal lines, Anomie Belle never fails to impress, and it was a treat to see her open this evening for New Build. Playing a mixture of old tracks and new ones off of 2012 EP Picture Perfect, Belle opened the evening strong.
Manchester band No Ceremony/// has succeeded in maintaining an air of mystery around their rise on the scene. Even after a year, not much is known or said about them, with exception to response to their music (in particular, the excellent single “Hurtlove”), but on tour with New Build for their US west coast stint, Seattle got a taste of No Ceremony/// firsthand, and what we saw was great. The three piece band was tight and their dark mixture of quiet and loud was engaging and enticing. Switching between the draw of a melancholy folk tune and the dark seduction of a piano driven dance beat, the band showed a lot of diversity and provoked the crowd to search out more. It will be interesting to see where these three go in the next year. What we’ve seen on the stage certainly shows promise!
After seeing how excellent Hot Chip’s live show is, there was no question in our minds that New Build would show the same eccentric, overwhelming energy of their sister band, albeit at a much smaller venue. In fact, getting to see Doyle and Martin and friends at Neumos was a total treat – if the band wanted to, they could throw an unforgettable Paramount show and get everyone off their feet. But here at Neumos, the synchronicity and the pure joy of these talented musicians playing alongside each other was painstakingly evident. The musicianship and the professionalism of New Build both exceeded any level of expectation. Yesterday Was Lived and Lost is a pretty excellent celebration of dance rock through the decades, and not a bit of that celebration was lost in the translation to the stage. In fact, with newer one off singles “Your Love” and “False Thing”, the power of the live show may have exceeded that of the record. Aside from being an insanely good guitar player and an excellent director of the band, Doyle played the part of the frontman in a convincing and engaging manner. Whether it was the funk throwdown of “The Third One” or the melancholy dance powerhouse “Do You Not Feel Loved?”, New Build was finished out their west coast US tour in glorious fashion.