The hottest day of the year, the hottest venue, the black box, the absorber of UV that day and The Will To Rally start to drive the set, throttle down, just to see what happens, just to see if they can get the gasket to pop and the radiator to fizz and steam.
Mr Harris, spitting vocals in the mic’s face, obviously enjoys the sweat. His tight stance is like a powerful coiled spring, always on the verge of unloading a bolt of kinetic energy.
With little acknowledgement of the steadily growing crowd, the polite frontman apologised for the heat, sweat pouring off him as if his guitar, held tight and high to his chest, was being squeezed painful linseed-tears.
Incredibly consistent throughout their set, the attacking and choppy rhythms of the band were continually full and tight, there was little let up between songs, the crowd had no time for wandering thoughts.
Indeed, this was an inspiring live performance, tight, snappy and confident, but by no means arrogant. At total ease with their ability to slice through their set. Like the lone master assassin, waiting for the single kill, the destination of their life long training, the kill which they have been rehearsing in their minds-eye for the last 10 years. An effortless and powerful charge through a number of sharp memorable songs.
Their songs are light to the touch, yet off balance, off centered by their underlying desire to subvert the melodies, they themselves have crafted. On many occasions The Will to Rally look to punch a hole through the pop core, twisting it, poking it, kicking it. Harris’s vocal battles & harmonies with Mr Banner were either polarised or merged, at all times note perfect, both men having a similar, distintive and individual vox.
The four men really want to make the more obvious melodies scream, cry and beg for forgiveness. With a little more bravery, this need for subversion could indeed take The Will to Rally to another level of notoriety and make the band standout from the Massed Bands of the Royal Shoe-Gazers, like a monolithic wall of four solid steel weapons.
The band have got balls, huge polished orbs, heavy globes with a mirror finish at their core, often covered by a dark twisted tarnish. Frequently throughout the songs, one man would polish and the next would tarnish, repeated over and over, everyone chopping at the spherical mass for four minutes at a time.
The rawness of a hot sticky gig captures this band so much more than the tepid, dis-infected, over produced, ever so playing it safe production of their studio work.
Stick a bloody great piece of AKG microphone infront of this squad and motioncapture the drops of sweat and microscopic shards of plectrum. Capture the real soul of the band, the guts, the nuggets of phlelm, the week long wicklows getting hit by strings, the gnashing of teeth, the grunts of their stinging eyes and whirring engines.
The Will to Rally need to capture their live animal and consciously start taking time to make it squeal more. Abuse the pretty creature and they will discover what its massive, nuclear-hot soul will really sound like.