Six swarthy young ladies with long dark locks

Six swarthy young ladies with long dark locks are tinkering and attempting to organise themselves on the stage of the newly “refurbished” Old Blue Last (which just looks like a lick of paint to me), which is almost too petite to carry their armoury of gear as well as six (usually seven) moody sirens.

Grass roots London label Trial and Error have once again brought us some lovely left field sonic offerings, this time from across the pond. The clan of women that call themselves Effi Briest (the is name taken from a 19th Century German novel about a young woman ostracised from society for doin’ the dirty on her hubby) hail from Brooklyn, Noo Yoik. They rub shoulders with other voodoo friendly psych outfits such as Psychic Ills (whom Effi Briest bassist and she of long legs Elizabeth Hart, also plays) and Gang Gang Dance. They make shimmering kaleidoscopic songs that are as comfortably punk as psychedelic, and lead warbler Kelsey has a voice that comes cauterwauling, spiky and strong like Grace Slick or Ari Up (she’s tired of the comparisons but, you know, she really does sound like them).

If cultish on appearances, with their rattley instruments, dark clothing and pagan-esque twisted rope insignia’s, then live their chanting and 10 minute long, spectral psych journeys only enforce this. With noise at a premium accordion, clarinet, violin, acoustic guitar, bongos, castanets, drum set, loops, cymbal crashes and more were all layered and on repeat.
Though the vocals suffered at the hands of dodgy sound, and a couple of them looked fairly uncomfortable on stage (perhaps due to the fact they couldn’t wiggle their toe without knocking something over), these women, cloaked in mystery and intoxicating sounds, left a lasting impression.

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