Monday, 13 March 2017

OLA - Manchester Castle - 11th March 2017


OLA (or One Little Atlas to give them their full name) have been around the Manchester scene for several years now, but this is the first time we've had chance to witness their clever fusion of live guitars and keyboards, computer wizardry and accompanying visuals which create a stunning audio-visual experience.

It's that combination that OLA make such good use of, interchanging between approaches as they move from song to song to ensure that there's always something new for the audience to observe and experience. It's this appreciation of needing to provide the audience with stimulation as well as sating their own desire to experiment and create that makes their live performance such a fascinating show. It's something that other artists of this genre could do well to acknowledge rather than lose themselves in their own world. The response that they get at the each of the songs is the measure of how successful they achieve this.

Their six song set contains two tracks from their beautiful 2015 EP Call Of The Wild - Kind Hearts and How Honest - but the songs feel reinvigorated in the live environment as OLA's art lends itself to continued reinvention. The other four, especially the closing song and set highlight Searching, feel like they're doing just that with us bearing witness to their findings. Dean's warm emotive voice adds words to the immersive experience, living as another instrument amongst the coming together of digital and analogue and audio and visual.

The audience's response at the end of the set (and between songs) and the lack of chatter tells us that they've been similarly engrossed in what they've witnessed and the journey through their minds OLA have just taken them on.
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