There aren't many bands who can evoke such feelings of bliss amongst their fans as Submotion Orchestra. The Leeds based group have such a soothing and uplifting sound that its a struggle not to be uplifted and transported into a lucid dream-like state, and they are on yet another nationwide tour giving you all a chance to feel this.
I saw the septet in Manchester on the opening date and, as good as their music is to have on some headphones whilst kicking back, they are truly something else live. Last year's debut album 'Finest Hour' was a combination of dubstep, jazz and trip-hop which reminded us that dubstep could evoke as much musicality as any form of electronica, despite recent attempts to distort the life out of every note. When they step on stage every band member produces a piece of a beautiful whole. Bassist Chris uses a mountain of effects pedals to add waves and wobbles to his subby undertones, the rhythm section of drummer and percussionist form one mind with two bodies, keeping a shuffle and groove throughout proceedings add to that multiple keyboards a trumpet and producer Ruckspin manning the mixing desk and they're a sonic force to be reckoned with.
And then there's the Ruby-coloured cherry on the top. I don't think any of the band members would argue that their frontwoman's charm and haunting voice is key to their hypnotic live shows. From the moment she steps on stage she has the crowd's undivided attention, with declarations of love commonplace in between tracks. It's a love which seems to be reflected back as she performs with a smile throughout and appears almost overwhelmed when the audience sing 'All Yours' right back to the band. Beautiful.
As well as performing most of the biggest tracks from last year's album, this tour sees the band premiering new material from a forthcoming record, and by the sounds of it they're going from strength to strength. The new tracks we heard seem to have a bit more energy than older ones, with jazz-fuelled keyboard solos and speedier beats perhaps best likened to 'Always' from the debut album. Whether this is reflected throughout the record remains to be seen but regardless of that there's so much creativity bubbling within this group that it can't fail to impress.
Following a great show the band leave the stage to a huge reception, concerns about a particular tune they missed are quickly addressed by a prompt encore where the band launch into Finest Hour, the title track from their debut LP and an elaborate, incandescent, downtempo symphony. To simply describe Submotion Orchestra as a dubstep band would be an insult to their complexity and wide range of sound. Theirs is music too difficult to describe in words be sure to check out their material and, if you get chance, live show. I guarantee you won't regret it!