Earlier this year the legendary Devin Townsend started a new project named Casualties of Cool, playing beautiful spacey blues/country music. Working once again with singer Ché Aimee Dorval after her great performance on his previous album Ki, this time she was more involved with the song writing this time around, they’ve so far released a really emotional, beautiful self titled album. On the 4th of September this year Casualties of Cool came to play a special show in London at the ornate Union Chapel venue with Messenger in support – and it was a stunning unforgettable show.
Support came from the atmospheric prog rock group Messenger, and as the sun set and light poured beautifully into the church through the stained glass windows, their great music shone just as brightly. Though they had a short set, they made the most of it with a well crafted, atmospheric sound throughout, making the venue’s brilliant acoustics count with their great use of dynamics. Weaving their way between softer and louder throughout the set they were captivating to watch, especially the inventive drumming, with each cymbal tap and drum hit echoing sublimely throughout the chapel, while the atmospheric sound of the soft guitars and keyboards was mesmerising, and when they revved it up into full on rock mode that was all the more powerful thanks to the great build up. A tight performance and with good songs, their set was a great way to open the night.
When Devin Townsend and Che came on with the rest of the group they said that they really wanted the music to speak for itself tonight, and didn’t want to ruin the atmosphere by talking between songs, Che joking to Devin that he could only say the words “thank you” and only three times. And it definitely added to the atmosphere, and with the by then dark venue lit up by soft lights and candles, the beauty of the venue itself, the appreciative crowd, and the incredible music it was a perfect night. From the lovely spacey tone of Devin’s electric guitar to the soft plucking of Che’s on acoustic, the music was great, and they both looked to be really enjoying themselves – Che could barely stop smiling. Her voice was absolutely sublime as well, while it’s good on the album, it’s beyond beautiful live, her soft passionate vocals really breathing life into the songs. With the mellow echoey acoustics of the venue accentuating the music all the more it was really special to hear her voice fill the whole room. Her chemistry with Devin was great too, they are really well in tune with each other musically and vocally, duetting with each other all show, and it’s hard to believe that this is only the second show the band have done together. Devin may have made his name through his heavy metal releases, but his voice is great in this soft bluesy style too. The show was captivating from start to finish, but the highlight was Flight, with the beautiful voice of Che, the music creating such a powerful atmosphere, and with the low lighting the whole venue was flooded by the energy coming off the stage from her stunning voice. The catchy bluesy number Mountaintop was great too with that catchy main riff, while Forgive Me was fantastically chilled and bluesy, with both of them singing beautifully together, and the way it went into a brilliant instrumental jam just showed the chemistry the band has. Ultimately it was a fantastic set from an equally great group of musicians. They just bring so much more energy and passion to the music live than from the album and it really was one of the best concerts I’ve attended for a long time. There aren’t many Casualties of Cool shows, so make sure to attend them, they’re simply perfect live. You could tell just by the look on Devin’s face after the show just how special this one was.
Videos of both Flight and Forgive Me from the show: