Friday 21 December 2018, 7.30pm
‘If you are about to listen to On The Shore for the first time, then you are to be envied. In an era of mass communication and commercial misappropriation, there are few genuinely lost treasures to be discovered.’ – Stewart Lee
Signed to CBS in 1969, Trees put down two albums within one year, The Garden Of Jane Delawney and On The Shore. Shortly after the release of the second album, and after two years of intensive live work, the original members had begun to go their separate ways, and their brief appearance and small body of work was left to posterity. Since then their music – described variously as acid-folk, psychedelic, gothic, arcadian, ‘a perfect mixture of west coast acid rock with dark lilting English folk, timeless and beautiful’ – has continued to achieve mythical status and the acclaim of a growing band of devotees, mostly not even born at the time Trees disbanded.
The On The Shore Band is a collective of like-minded musicians from a variety of bands (Friendly Fires/Pattern Forms, Corinthians, more) and genres (psych, pop, drone), working alongside two of the original members of Trees to produce a contemporary and inventive soundscape, exploring a selection of tracks from the two albums. There’s no intent of facsimile or reproduction – simply one of inspiration drawn from the originals, and of the sheer enjoyment of the music of Trees.
Blending guitar, harmonium, synth and sigils, Victor Noir & Friends invoke the priapic prince to weave a story of death and rebirth out of Nepalese sword dances and European folk ritual, seeking out Syd in the Sunn, and slathering everything in bees.
On the evening they will also be performing a live soundtrack to “Janet, who fell from the sea”, a short animation by graphic novelist Isabel Greenberg, bringing their séance sound to London for the first time since the untimely murder of their frontman, shot in a Parisian duel in 1870.