Walking into Manchester’s Albert Hall, it’s hard to imagine a venue more suited to Tycho’s ambient electronica than a converted Wesleyan chapel. Arriving fashionably late, with the fading sun cascading through the venue’s stained-glass windows, it’s clear that this is one of the rare occasions on which the venue’s aesthetics boost the atmosphere tenfold. Unfortunately, it’s also clear that, despite the palpable anticipation in the room, the venue is barely at half capacity.
Initial doubts prove unfounded however. As the the four-piece stroll on stage to a backdrop depicting tranquil landscapes and flowing water, the crowd roar their appreciation and surge forward before a single note rings out. This act of devotion proves to be the most the crowd moves all evening. As Tycho segue through the likes of ‘A Walk’ and ‘Dive’, each person in the crowd is hypnotised into doing little more than swaying on the spot, transfixed by the liquid nature of the music and its accompanying visuals.
With little in the way of crowd interaction, aside from frontman Scott Hansen pausing occasionally to thank his audience, the music itself speaks volumes. On record, Tycho’s music is fluid and organic; live, they take that liquidity to a whole new level. Waves of synth wash over the audience, ebbing and flowing, blossoming forth from the stage and filling the room with icy textures and warm gusts of instrumentation.
In a city still reeling from the atrocities of a little over a fortnight ago, the effects of which are still noticeable in tonight’s modest attendance, Tycho have provided 90 minutes of blissful escapism to a thankful audience. And while the entirely instrumental set leaves any meaning open to interpretation, it’s obvious that for everyone present tonight, there was a sense of catharsis and solidarity in being able to lose yourself, even if only for an hour and a half.