When you go to big bands concerts, you often forget where all these artists start.
You assume any artist would have a crew that goes on stage before the concert to prepare the equipment while the band is enjoying champagne in the backstage.
Ought is a relatively new band that formed in Montreal. Clash magazine has rated them “amongst the most bracing sounds anyone can encounter in 2014”, NME reckons that their newest EP delivers “humour, eccentricity and reckless punk clatter”. Let’s say their music has been widely acclaimed-and deservingly so. Yet, at Scala-London, where bands like Coldplay and Stereophonics played, Ought came on stage, preparing their equipment and making sure they’re in tune.
Tim, the singer, is setting up the pedals and he glances rapidly to the first row and smiles. The girls at the front are already melting and the singer hasn’t said a word yet.
Tim removes his shoes from his feet and stand there in his grey socks.
The reason why he does it becomes clear a couple of seconds later. As the music starts playing, he slides with the music, like some of us would in front of a mirror, on our own, in our room, while no one is looking. But he’s doing it in front of us and that’s the charm of it. He doesn’t mind smiling at the audience and looking at the crowd straight in the eyes.
Enough about Tim the singer. Ought’s music is a blend of influences from post-punk music, rock’n’roll, to atmospheric alternative vibes, but these influences are very hard to define. Ought has their own sound.
The music is so good it can stand on its own in a small venue like Scala, but the band definitely has the charisma. the presence, passion and contact with the crowd that make the performance memorable.
A memorable picture of the concert is the drummer juggling tactfully between his drum sticks and his violin to add layers to one of Ought’s very dreamy songs that take you elsewhere.
The bassist stands very close to the crowd and plays his instrument with a lot of passion and care. The fact there’s only one electric guitar in the band makes the bass more fundamental to the music.
Of course the keyboard defines the atmosphere and gives the perfect foundation for singer Tim’s voice.
The distinctive voice of the lead singer is the final precious ingredient that makes the music complete.TIm’s singing emphasises on the words of the song. The words lead the emotional, sometimes angry music.
If Ought comes back to London and you’re looking for a good rock alternative concert that would transport you somewhere else without having to shake your hair downwards, you have to go and see Ought while they’re still “small”.
They have it all to make it big. Very big. Now go define “Big”.
Whatever happens, today, more than any other day, Ought’s is already one of the defining new faces of modern rock revealed in 2014.