High Falutin? High Five! Presents… Wot Gorilla?
This was the first show organised by the delightful High Falutin? High Five! promotions from York, featuring a selection of young and talented local support acts, and headlined by Wot Gorilla? of Halifax. In spite of travel difficulties leading to the evening’s events starting much later than planned, the singular complaint to be found from a night of diverse and quality music was that it was all over too soon.
The first act to take to the stage was Lake Michigan, the solo project of York’s own Chris Marks. Time constraints meant that his acoustic set was cut far shorter than I would have wished, for I managed to hear only a snippet of his raw, Owen-esque melodies that hinted of a young man with a surprisingly old soul – I’d strongly recommend seeking him out at future shows. The evening’s mellow acoustic atmosphere continued with brothers Mikey and Joey Donnelly, who together form guitar duo Epilogues. Despite claims of having only minimal rehearsals beforehand, they nevertheless delivered a polished and charming set of warm acoustic indie. Highlights included “Ursa Minor” and the slow-building “Cassiopeia”, and of course their cover of Estelle’s 2008 classic “American Boy”.
Things turned significantly louder when Slow Season took to the stage, launching into their own brand of melodic post-hardcore and putting on an impressive performance. The four-piece have only been playing gigs for a relatively short while now, yet seem to have already developed an accomplished group dynamic. With honest lyrics, notable two-handed tapping from guitarist Dan and a tight rhythm section, Slow Season are marking themselves out as an exciting addition to York’s music scene – standout tracks such as “Pismo Beach” and “Sons of the Desert” already appear to be established crowd favourites.
Finally Wot Gorilla? took to the stage, combining intricate math-rock with indie-pop elements and a faultless delivery. With vocals at moments reminiscent of Anatomy of a Ghost and time-changes aplenty, they managed to cram their set full of compelling tracks such as “Snow White”, “655,” and the instrumental “I Beat Up the Bathroom. I’m Sorry” to name a few. Performing with frequent and seamless transitions from math-rock intensity to sudden moments of calm, they held the crowd at Stereo in awe, and fans of Minus the Bear and This Town Needs Guns should definitely try and catch them while they’re still playing tiny venues. With Wot Gorilla?’s final chords marking a triumphant end to the inaugural High Falutin? High Five! show, York’s new promoters have proven themselves one’s to watch when it comes to putting on first-rate alternative gigs.