Comprised of three quarters of the lively, messy, troublemakers Palma Violets and The Big Moon's brilliant bassist Celia Archer, Gently Tender have undoubtedly grown up and moved on from their former sound and image. Now creating music that is far more thoughtful, complex and innovative, they have given themselves infinite space to explore and experiment.
Tonight’s gig at Oslo, Hackney – their biggest London show to date – proved that not only are they capable of writing with more sophistication but that they can then step up a level to perform these new songs live.
Their triumphant debut single, “2 Chords Good”, released last year, now becomes somewhat anthemic live, as Fryer’s voice swirls around and rides the build ups and descents of a perfectly formed, intricate piece of song writing. Recent release “Some Hard Advice” goes down well with their already loyal following of fans, with Fryer’s rich vocals again leading the way on a huge chorus.
Latest single “Intros and Outros” brings the room down to a mellow, sunlit moment while new songs are as equally appreciated as the few gems that have been released so far. Closing with the contemplative and profound “Avez-Vous Déjà”, they again step the performance up a level from its laid-back recorded version, ending with a great musical breakdown and showing that the band are not just writing interesting music but are having fun with what they can do with it.
Gently Tender are a fully-fledged group of experienced and knowledgeable musicians, now with the freedom to expand and create and experiment. The results are exciting.