Gig Review: OUGHT @ Shoreditch Village Underground – 01/09/2015

CA - Ought Some bands are just good. And some bands make people who don’t make moves make moves (not to mention bad puns). Have a guess which Ought are – or just read Mark K’s review of their gig at Shoreditch’s Village Underground…

Ought are gracing the Village Underground with their presence in order to promote their second album Sun Coming Down. Support comes from Shopping, who are a three-piece with a singing drummer. They entertain us with angular post-punk strongly reminiscent of the Gang Of Four. It’s good enough, but not sufficient to make me rush to one of those old-fashioned record shops to see whether they have anything on release.

However, by contrast, having heard some tracks from Ought’s debut album for Constellation Records More Than Any Other Day, I’m quite keen to hear what the material from their new opus is like. I ought (pardon the pun) to explain that Ought’s music is essentially post-punk math rock. It’s complex, tight, tuneful and punchy. It’s quite 1978, but it’s also very ‘now’ too, and live it goes down very well. They’re reminiscent of Television at times, but with a twist. Television Plus if you like. The singer is, in his delivery, very clearly influenced by Mark E Smith, which is by no means a bad thing. CA - Ought - More Than Any Other Day

They use controlled feedback as if it’s been weaponised. Tim Darcy counts out “1,2,3 kill it!” and they explode into opening song Pleasant Heart. Dear reader, I head-banged. That just doesn’t happen.

CA - Ought - Sun Coming Down In terms of today’s music Ought are bordering on the outre. Has what they’re doing been done before? It has to an extent, but there’s a mix of genres going on here. This isn’t slavish regurgitation of a particular musical style.
Tonight’s set is split fairly evenly between Ought’s two albums, and you really can’t see the join. That’s not to say that they haven’t progressed. I would say that from hearing the new material live, with their second album they’ve consolidated what they did on their first. So, similar but sharper. They have plenty of time to worry about progression.

This is still the beginning of their musical journey, and if you haven’t heard them then you really ought.

Mark Kelly