“Oh, Dalston, how hast thou transformed! Thou art now adorned with glistening lights and beset by gentrification,” spake a Byronic figure as we didst park near The Victoria pub.
What a glorious night we were in for! The Silent Era dared to cover a holy of holy’s and Sweet Unrest proved to be an absolute revelation… but more about them in a later review.
As if summoned by a fanfare of Jungle Exotica, Freya Beer was about to reveal what secrets lay hidden beneath those long, black gloves. Her heavily glittered eyelids complemented her subtly sparkly outfit. Iridescent Freya, with her impressively impeccably cut Bettie Page fringe and her rather serious demeanor, takes the stage. We half expected her to crack a razor-tailed bullwhip rather than strapping on a guitar.
The music that emerges from her perfect vermillion cupid’s bow is nothing short of astonishing; it has a strength, clarity and power to rival any diva’s. As her compellingly crafted set unfolds, a spell is woven around her collection of wise, contemplative lyrics that describe heartache, drama, highs, lows and blues that life will inevitably bring…
Dripping in sophisticated exotica, Freya opens with Siren, featuring her spoken voice at the beginning of the song which develops into a sharply delineated delivery. Beauty, its goth- pop vibe delighting the audience, follows before Freya address and greets us in an aura of seductive solemnity that matches her person, this vampire’s wife; her darkly powerful presence emanating from her perfect petite presentation.
Freya’s lyrics have been attributed to the inspiration she draws from poetry, literature, and art. She processes her diverse and wide-ranging influences to create a richly woven tapestry of goth/pop/rock sound. Indeed, her stage is reserved for the lucky, the strong and the brave,. The rest of us can only do what we can, and all we can do is watch, listen, and admire.
Fantasy is mouth-wateringly presented in her own inimitable style, and as she gains full confidence up there, we start to glimpse that elusive quality, that “je ne sais quoi,” which sets artists apart – that magical, mysterious essence that leaves us, the listeners and observers, with no doubt that Freya Beer is truly something special.
In the realm of music, Freya employs a minimalist tonal range – a symphony adorned with the macabre allure of minor keys and the mournful whispers of pentatonic scales. At times, her voice assumes a melancholic monotone, creating an eerie chant that seamlessly intertwines with heavy guitar riffs and a bass line pulsating with an edgy, relentless beat.
Tonight, all of her most renowned songs are present, bearing names such as “Dear Sweet Rosie,” “Groupie,” and “Galore.” But wait, if The Silent Era’s daring rendition of “Bela Lugosi” hadn’t tested us quite enough, Beer dared to cover the Britney Spears classic—often considered one of the best pop tunes ever written— “Toxic.” Oh, Freya, you embraced the very shadows of accomplishment.
Within the confines of these compositions lie the tangled tapestries of edgy, labyrinthine emotions. The sound, both raw and haunting, dances through the air, suffusing the atmosphere with a chilling resonance. Freya’s intricate craftsmanship of intense instrumentation has birthed a world uniquely her own—a world cloaked in darkness, shrouded in ambiance, and drenched in ethereal melancholy.
Tonight, the sparkling sonic tapestry strikes a delicate equilibrium, a fine line between the ethereal and the excoriated. The audience at The Victoria witnesses a transcendental journey through the labyrinth of personal experience. Each note, lyric and strum of the guitar becomes a portal, transcending traditional boundaries and beckoning the enraptured crowd into Freya’s stellar performance. It is an experience that leaves them immeasurably richer, having touched but a small fragment of her musical odyssey, even the bloke dressed as a skeleton.