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Monday, December 18

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Concert Sat Jul 25 2009

The Veils @ The Empty Bottle 7/23/09

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Violently romantic or romantically violent? Which of these phrases best describes the music of The Veils depends largely on the song; but not entirely. The lines blur. I can feel the gears shifting frequently on every listen. Whatever the destination, the vehicle driving towards it all is longing; an undiluted, lucid longing. Where it shines on the albums, it blinds live. Like many who left The Empty Bottle after Thursday night's midnight rendezvous with The Veils, I'm still trying to blink away the remnants of something like staring into the sun.

London-based, The Veils are fronted by charismatic Kiwi singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, Finn Andrews. Without saying or doing anything more than plugging in a cord, Andrews immediately holds the audience transfixed. In his presence, sentences are paused; heads turn to look. It's like watching electricity walk through a blacked-out room. As he begins to travel through song, his energy becomes vibrant enough to fill the room.

While Andrews is, by nature, the focal point of The Veils, enough cannot be said about the adjoining force comprised of bassist Sophia Burn, guitarist Dan Raishbrook and drummer Henning Dietz. They play with a grand and eloquent precision; poised to move mountains. Positioned somewhat in the shadows, their unspoken talents generate a strong sense of mystery and intrigue.

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The Veils' set leaned heavily on songs from their 2006 release, Nux Vomica: "Not Yet," "Calliope!," "Pan," "House Where We All Live," "Jesus for the Jugular," "Advice for Young Mothers to Be" and "Nux Vomica" were fine displays of the fevered elegance they achieved on that album. Their set was rounded out by songs from their latest release, 2009's Sun Gangs: "The Letter," "Three Sisters," "Sit Down by the Fire" and "Larkspur" accentuated the dreamlike blend of gentleness and viciousness the album carries through to it's end.

The Veils music brings to mind the image of a snake. They move the same: slithering and shedding dead layers in a way that appears equally painful, dignified and beautiful. There are writhing and destructive elements at work, but always as a means to reaching magnificent peaks. They capture those first moments of enlightenment as it begins to swallow a used-up and swollen solitude. They can be predatory and graceful, often at the same time; violently romantic and romantically violent.

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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

Our Final Transmission Days

By The Gapers Block Transmission Staff

Transmission staffers share their most cherished memories and moments while writing for Gapers Block.

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Transmission is the music section of Gapers Block. It aims to highlight Chicago music in its many varied forms, as well as cover touring acts performing in the city. More...
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