Ulrika Spacek returned to Manchester’s Soup Kitchen last week and brought with them a truly breathtaking live set filled with light, noise and distortion. It would be my 3rd time seeing a band who I have seen grow from releasing their debut album and then supporting the likes of DIIV and Slowdive respectively.
Support on the night came from two relatively new and young bands, channeling the same sounds of Ulrika. Wedding and Mush both set the scene portraying their loud and eerie sounds to the audience in fantastic fashion. Ulrika Spacek’s sonic soundscapes blasted its way through the walls of tatty and dark Soup Kitchen. Playing multiple tracks off their latest record ‘Modern English Decoration’ , and their stunning debut ‘The Album Paranoia’.
The band opened the night with the blissful sounds of ‘Circa 1954’. A mellow introduction to what was going to be a noisy and electric set. The band then followed up with fellow debut album track ‘Strawberry Glue’ adding a further intensity of pace and volume, with the chorus prompting visuals being displayed across the stage. These visuals would last for the rest of the show…
Another debut album track, and this time ‘I Don’t Know’ with its pitch bending guitars, prominent bass line and haunting vocals from Rhys provided a true highlight of the show. As the swelling, pitch bending synth faded out, the band introduced the first of the new album tracks. ‘Silvertonic’ was yet another expertly crafted moment, with its almost Wytches styled vocals which feature during the chorus and an almost spooky approach.
The pace was then brought back down with ‘Saw a Habit Forming’. Ulrika’s different playing styles on the track, such as the use of playing the guitar at the top of the neck to create an almost chiming sound from their guitars, making the audience sway from side to side. ‘Victorian Acid’ had the venue vibrating from the sheer noise being created from the distorted guitars used by the band. From the beginning of this track, the band didn’t seem to take a breather. ‘Victorian Acid’ was followed by a similar sounding track, ‘Everything, All The Time’ which is my personal favourite from the bands new record. A perfect blend of two tracks which simultaneously merged into one another in elegant fashion.
Ulrika Spacek’s use in changing tempo for galactic sized finishes were enabled yet again for ‘Ultra Vivid’ with the song building to a climactic finish. ‘Full Of Men’ would be the penultimate track of the set and with a perfect finish and some incredible visuals, the band turned final track ‘Mimi Pretend’ into a psychedelic, reverb soaked craze with the band seemingly loosing their minds to a track which gave the audience a true spectacle.
Ulrika Spacek know how to perform. Their stunning visuals, intense yet melodic soundscapes all combine for a true live experience. If you haven’t seen them yet, i suggest you find a way to.
Words and images from Piran Aston.