EDINBURGH | GLASGOW | ABERDEEN | INVERNESS | DUNDEE | PERTH

The Horrors

at Queen Margaret Union

* * * * -

Goth punks-turned-stadium shoegazers are a band at the height of their powers.

Image of The Horrors

Tonight, the merch stall in the QMU sells t-shirts emblazoned with a black winklepicker boot and the legend I Am A Horror. However, you are more likely to see a Liam style anorak or Ben Sherman shirt in the crowd tonight than the pointy shoes beloved by goths (though props to the young gentleman whose fashion inspiration appears to be Carlos D in Interpol circa 2004, complete with bovver boots and braces.)

The Horrors diverse appeal is of course down to the success of the shoegazy, dream pop vibes brought on board with third album Skying, and the polished post punk, 80s electro and bold experimentation  on follow up Luminous and latest album V. Their popularity and the enthusiasm with which they are greeted tonight is also down to the fact that Horrors are currently one of the best live acts in the UK, reflected in their selection as support act to their synth heroes Depeche Mode at the London Stadium in June.

They are incredibly tight, with a set list spanning the last four albums and displaying the full canon of their experimentation (debut album  Strange House having been taken off the table years ago.) They begin with Hologram, the distorted, epic opening track of V(Are we hologram?/ Are we vision? ) Two numbers from second album Primary Colours – Mirror Image and Who Can Say – are a welcome contrast to the more psychedelic moments in their spiky energy and screeching guitars.

Lead singer Faris Badwan – resplendent in PVC jacket and tartan drain pipes – manages the stage like a pro, alternating between thrashing around with a mic stand and posing balletically at the front of the stage. They are incredibly aware of how they look on stage and create a visual spectacle from simple elements, only appearing backlit, with Badwan’s impossibly tall mop topped frame looming out of the darkness.

Fan favourite Still Life gets the biggest reaction of the evening, with (mostly) empty plastic pint glasses flying, mobile phones recording and frenetic jumping down the front. One poor gurning lad even attempts a stage invasion before being forcibly escorted from the building. The feeling is mutual – Badwan thanks their fans, declaring them the ‘reason they keep going.’ They finish with latest single Something to Remember Me By, a little gem of a track and their most poppy to date. Horrors are a band at the height of their powers – catch them on the rest of their UK tour if you can.