Photo (c) Mustafa Mirreh
If flower stems had been on sale within the venue, it’s almost certain they would’ve been showered on the band in unabashed appreciation.
The mutual affection shared between Merrill Garbus’ Tune-Yards and the people of Bristol was once again on show, as the band followed their appearance at London’s Field Day with a thumping display at Motion.
‘Real Thing’, for all its synth noodlings, ultimately brought out the best of the four drummers present, which had Garbus leading in a form of harmonised tribal chanting before she was joined by her backing vocalists at the side of the stage for some impromptu Irish dancing.
‘Gangsta’ was replete in screamed, layered “bangs”, which formed an intense wall of sound that Merrill took more than a fancy to throughout the evening. Even when the backing band left just her and Nate Brenner to it – as they ventured down a more organic drum and bass route – they continued at a fervent pace, which barely left the audience with a moment to recover.
By the time we’d been invited to join in with a joyous rendition of ‘Water Fountain’, the hipsters of the world had well and truly united. If flower stems had been on sale within the venue, it’s almost certain they would’ve been showered on the band in unabashed appreciation.
Although Merrill Garbus and company may appear a little off-kilter, it is clear from the evening that their relatively brief foray in the mainstream is not undeserved. With an extensive repertoire of tunes at their disposal, which seem to entice and delight in equal measure, they’ll leave you feeling happier than a Pharrell Williams record. Ultimately, Bristol audiences just can’t seem to get enough of Tune-Yards, that’s for sure.
Check out the video for ‘Water Fountain’ below: