Review – Low Island at The Cookie, Thursday 14th March 2019

Low Island at The Cookie Photo: Kevin Gaughan

with Magique

Reviewed by Aleksandra Brzezicka.

Low Island did not just play a gig at The Cookie on Thursday. They put on an exceptional show – hybrid of a possessed church choir and an underground, top-secret, rave. There are events when you expect nothing and the magic happens. It was one of those.

Magique were a perfect opening act for Low Island. They’ve mastered the art of translation of dream-like quality into indie pop music, influenced by, among many, synth-pop of Talk Talk and Bruce Springsteen. Magique charmed the crowd straight away with the first track, Digital Love with strong vocal on the mellow, electronic, background to continue with the more easy-going, Unexpected Friends.

The follow-up, Karelu, proved that they can do indie and sometimes simple is really beautiful.

Magique Photo: Kevin Gaughan

Talking about beauty, if the audience hadn’t fallen in love with Magique before, Real Love, their most successful single, made that happen.

Emotional live performance, added another dimension to the, already charming and sensual, piece about, as CJ said, ‘patience, taking a long time to realise how you feel about someone and being willing to wait.’ Staying with a love theme for a bit, the next one, Baby Blue, was a playful fusion of jazzy funk and melancholy with major Elvis vibes.

Magique finishing off with Eventually, made us feel summertime blues. Now we’re just waiting for the sun and new music from the band.

Watch this video of Alex Brzezicka interviewing CJ from Magique and their performance of Real Love.

Magique Photo: Kevin Gaughan

If Magique was a sea summer breeze, it’s Low Island that took us to the eclectic rave at the bottom of the ocean as the part of their In Person tour. Low Island are a child of a collaboration between DJ/producers Jamie Jay and Carlos Posada, bassist Jacob Lively, and jazz drummer Felix Higginbottom, unrestrained by any creative handcuffs.

Starting their 12 track set with We Drift Apart, the band got us caught in the electronic, upbeat loop – systematically broken up with a bang of the drums. Next on, the new one, Stop Start, played with a mix of DJ sets, instruments and two voices, had a groovy funk quality to it. Like a lighter version of Beck sang by Thin White Duke on ecstasy.

Low Island Photo: Kevin Gaughan

Low Island’s haunted micro-universe got everything we needed – from smooth club-like compositions (if the DJ was a shaman) aka Anywhere, Hot Air or Holding It Down, a ballad that sounds like it was recorded in the echo chamber, When You Wake At Night, to the absolutely hypnotising, Everything’s Perfect.

Extra points for their single-to-be, Search Box, a dynamic track composed entirely of random Google search terms and, how Carlos Posada put it, ‘a reflection on our chaotic minds.’ The last one, Tomorrow, composed mainly of vocal, piano and a few waves of electronic distortions, could move hearts made of stone. Heartbreakingly beautiful. ‘I’m not tired but I sleep, I’m not hungry but I eat,’ the lyrics go. I was a bit tired but I wanted more.

If you missed this one, you can still go to see Low lsland on their tour and Magique at Handmade Festival 2019.

Watch this video by Kevin Gaughan of Low Island performing at the gig.

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