Home > Reviews > Live Reviews > 19/10/2011 | The Pierces – O2 Academy, Oxford

19/10/2011 | The Pierces – O2 Academy, Oxford

Lisa Ward


Tonight draws in an unexpected older crowd than the academy usually boasts. Thankfully not all of them as cantankerous as the guy I inadvertently land myself next to. Yet despite this, as the lights drop and The Pierces atmospheric intro kicks in there’s a cheer that’s as youthful as any other evening. The sisters’ influences seem to litter the set, opener Kissing You Goodbye filled with a Beach Boys meets Abba vibe and Close My Eyes bringing a shade of Kate Bush which doesn’t ring out on the recorded version.

Yet despite the subtle shades of others drifting in, The Pierces bring their own sound to the songs leaving me only to wonder why after 4 albums they still haven’t captured the mainstream audience in the way I anticipated. Whether it’s the emotive We Are Stars, or the fairytale inspired You’ll Be Mine, The Pierces create a harmonious sound, each sister blending with and juxtaposing the other.

This question seems to be answered in the middle of the set, The Good Samaritan and Drag You Down lacking the spark of some of the other songs and losing the power they seem to hold on the girls’ latest albumYou & I. Nevertheless Sticks and Stones is more up-tempo, livening up the set, whilst Glorious is strong and rhythmic, though sadly fleeting with its pre-encore position in the set.

Whilst their acappella version of Simon & Garfunkel’s Kathy’s Song is touching, especially with the back story that they’ve been singing it since they were tots, the final two songs fall flat, I Put Your Records On seeming as though it would have blended more neatly with the middle of the set and Boring bringing out my own cantankerous side, leaving me to think the title surmises the entire song.

In essence it becomes one of those evenings which is pleasant. Enough intricacy to keep it fresh but one too many bum song choices which leave me unable to rave about it. It seems at present that The Pierces might be the kind of band that come and go, able to write songs with mainstream potential but unable to sustain it enough to guarantee their name will stick around.


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